Dishwasher.

31 January 2012 | 18 Comments

Dave is the worst dishwasher loader in the entire world.  It’s like he failed spatial reasoning in the class of life.  FAILED.

Or something.

But, we fight about it all the time because there are very few things I am OCD about and the dishwasher is definitely one of them.  I have been known to unload an entire dishwasher full of dishes and re-load it.

You know… the RIGHT way.

I’ll pass by an overflowing stack of {mostly junk} mail.  I’ll leave the clean dishes in the dishwasher until Dave puts them away.  Laundry can sit in a basket until I wear it again.  I’ll let Finn get out every toy known to man and have a living room full of Spiderman guys rodeo riding on Thomas the Train. 

It’s like I don’t even see that stuff. 

Just show me a dishwasher improperly loaded though?  Sends me over the edge.

You can also add that I fold my underwear and have them lined up in the drawer like a VS store. Also, every hanger in every closet must be facing the same direction yes, but they also have to be the same TYPE of hanger.  Oh, AND one last thing, I hate sleeping with a top sheet and Dave used to be the exact opposite, he had to sleep with a top sheet, but I have sort of converted him to the ways of only the duvet.

So tell me this… what are you OCD about?  And are you a top sheet user or ‘just a duvet’ person? 

Tweet, Tweet.

30 January 2012 | 4 Comments

Alas, I am a Twit{terer}, peeps.  I considered calling this post, Caved. 

So, what do I think?  It’s more fun than I had anticipated, but less fun than Pinterest.

I need tips.  And friends.  Who are your favorites to follow? 

@SoWondSoMarv

How was your weekend?

Um, Something.

25 January 2012 | 6 Comments

It’s gotten to the point that when I say things like, “I want to have a party for the winter solstice and paint the living room and adopt ten puppies, all this weekend,” Dave doesn’t even bat an eyelash. 

He just sighs and tells me no.  

To which I respond to most every {stupid} thing he says for the rest of the day with a “your face,” alternated occasionally with a “your butt.”  Then, I think of the most compromising positions his parents could be in at the time and then remind him of that.  I may very well be the best wife in the entire world.

I also wear monkey pajamas all day.  He has broken me of wearing them in public, which is good because we saw a grown ass man wearing Cookie Monster pajama pants at the store the other day and dude looked a little cray. 

I’m not going to lie, Dave IS lucky to have me.  My only talent is creating cute babies.  {After millions of fertility treatments and a little stint where I almost died and he wouldn’t leave me alone for months, but we can leave that part out.}  I don’t clean, make fun of him on the internet, I barely remember to pick the four year old up from preschool, and I don’t even bring home the bacon.

Well, I mean I DO work.  Really though… is it work if you’re paid to hang out on the internet with you people? I mean it’s like the equivalent of all your moms chipping in to pay me to be friends with you.  It isn’t even that you aren’t pretty or popular or that you don’t put out, because we all know you do.  It’s not like your moms need to pay me.  I would totally be friends with you for free, but don’t tell your moms that because I need to keep these toes pedicured except of course, for the month of January

I just now remembered why I started this post.

I’m taking the rest of the week off from the blog.  I’m up to my eyeballs in a project that isn’t funded by your mom, but is funded by someone else and well, they probably want me to get finished up.  Plus, I’m planning two parties right now.  Two.  And three, possibly four more in the next six months.  Dave is really happy with me, he might even let me adopt ten puppies.  I also have to corral this baby who is now getting into everything and stop the four year old from wrestling with her.  I will still be on Facebook this week {I totally wrote wee instead of week there and then laughed my ass off at the thought of wee, I might be twelve years old} discussing my insane Pinterest addiction {ok, so I’ll be on Pinterest too, I can’t quit you Pinterest} and linking to things like how to clean your Dyson and begging for shampoo suggestions.  Next up is getting you to spill all your beauty secrets because, you’re pretty

Yesterday was National Compliment Day which you would know if you were on Facebook hanging out with me.

Hey Dave...  your face.

Brunch.

24 January 2012 | 3 Comments

Pumpkin waffles, unbelievable blueberry muffins courtesy of my friend Steph, two bottles of champagne, three carafes of coffee, egg pie {made with bacon rather than sausage} and lots of breakfast meat.  That’s what she said.

We had friends for brunch last weekend and it was perfect.  No one minded that it took us forty five minutes to make waffles.  There is something to be said for easy friendships and cranberry juice mimosas.  The laughter was plentiful and bellies were full.

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I’m making a new rule that mimosas and great friends are mandatory on Sunday.

Wedge.

23 January 2012 | 6 Comments

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Dave and I drove up to Ann Arbor to go to Trader Joes & Whole foods.  Is it weird that we drive 45 minutes to go to the grocery once or twice a month?  This last trip we picked up a killer Oregon bleu cheese that was so delicious we had to do something special with it.

Wedge salads are one of my favorites and they are so easy to throw together.  {Even better in the summer when we can just grab a tomato from the garden.}

Cut a head of iceberg lettuce into quarters, top with bacon, tomato, bleu cheese crumbles, & dressing, I like to use half bleu cheese, half balsamic {Ken’s makes a kick ass version} vinaigrette.  You can also add diced red onion or chopped hardboiled egg, if you like.

Death Metal, Snow, & Strep Tests

20 January 2012 | 12 Comments

I’m currently listening to death metal at one in the morning courtesy of Jimmy Kimmel.  Well obviously as I’m writing, not as you’re reading… as you’re reading this I am probably knee deep in strep tests for the four year old.  Preschool disease vectors I curse you!  It’s not even that I enjoy death metal or strep tests really, it’s just the Friday that I’m being dealt, people.  Did I mention that punk baby Tate isn’t wanting to go to sleep either? 

She’s lucky she’s cute. 

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Also slated for this weekend?  Snow, lots of snow!  {finally}  Dinner with the in laws!  {provided that pesky strep test comes back negative}  Brunch with friends! {mimosas? yes, please}  And sleep!  {hopefully}

Send baby sleep secrets!  Send “no strep” thoughts!  Send snow shovels and chopsticks and fresh squeezed orange juice!

What are you up to this weekend? 

Naked Toes.

19 January 2012 | 14 Comments

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I am weird, but I do this every winter.  A  month off from polish.  Do you do this too?

Save the Internet

18 January 2012 | 3 Comments


The US House and Senate are currently considering two bills called SOPA and PIPA.

These bills threaten the freedoms of everyone on the Internet and, if passed, will be detrimental to the web as we know it.



ACT NOW.


CALL YOUR SENATOR AND ASK THEM TO VOTE "NO" FOR PIPA

JOIN US

Chocolate Covered Pretzels with Bacon.

17 January 2012 | 9 Comments

Chocolate + Pretzels + Bacon = Extreme Goodness.  Don’t believe me?

TRY THESE.

choc pretzels

First, I should tell you that my friends and family are constantly getting roped into my blogging.  They don’t even think twice to ask if I’ve gotten pictures before digging into meals.  They don’t roll their eyes {much} when I come up with my latest project or con them into ask them to participate.  My mother continually asks if things are going to be blogged about and STILL doesn’t understand why people think it is funny she didn’t know who Snoop was or why so many people read about my daily ridiculousness.

Psssst…. don’t listen to her.

So, back to the bacony goodness.  My friend Amy brought her son {Finn’s bestie} over for a playdate.  We were sitting around talking and I was asking her to help me brainstorm ideas for an upcoming post about all the ways you can chocolate dip pretzels.  Incidentally, so many delicious ways, is the answer.  {Look for that post next week!}  We sent Dave to the store for supplies and went to the kitchen to start creating chocolate masterpieces. 

I was trying to come up with some savory options when Amy brilliantly suggested trying bacon!  Bacon?  I have bacon!  Let’s do it!

Followed by furious dipping and bacon sprinkling.  We waited for the chocolate to harden.  Then we made Dave try them first tried them…

Be still my heart.  {Which might actually happen if you eat these too often.}

Amy has created a masterpiece of epic proportions.  It is THE perfect blend of sweet and salty and with the crunch of the pretzel. 

Perfection.  I know they sound scary, but trust me.

Sheer perfection. 

And they are so easy to make.

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Cook your bacon, allow to cool, and crumble.

Melt chocolate.

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Dip your pretzel rod in the chocolate and lay on a sheet of waxed paper.

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Sprinkle with bacon, pressing it lightly into the chocolate so it sticks.

Try to think of something to occupy your time while you’re waiting for these to be done drying… or get impatient and pop them in the freezer to hurry it along.  Incidentally, they store well in the fridge.  Most chocolate covered pretzels are good for a week or two, but I would eat these within a couple days.

Try them, I dare ya.

I only wish we had had these at Dave’s Manly Beer Tasting Party.  Or when I was pregnant.

The Weathergods Owe Finn an Apology and Me $41.87.

13 January 2012 | 10 Comments

A few days ago, we got a tease that there might be snow. 

This was big news for the four year old in our house because it has been near 40 degrees.   He just does not understand why we’ve not had any real snow to speak of and it is already January the 13th.  He wants to go sledding!  He wants to make a snowman!  We haven’t even bought boots yet this year.  We live in Ohio, so it’s to be expected that we’ll be living in a freaking winter wonderland at least once or twice during WINTER.  You know, the season when snow is supposed to come? 

By yesterday morning, they predicted two to four  inches for our area and he asked approximately 28,239 times when the snow would arrive.   

By four in the afternoon weather alerts were popping up saying it would fall on the heavy end for our city, maybe even a little more than four inches.  My teacher friends were keeping fingers and toes crossed for a snow day.    

You can see with the excitement of FOUR whole inches of the good stuff coming we had to run out and buy some boots and “Mom, please can we get snow pants too?  WHAT am I going to wear outside when I’m helping Dave shovel the ice??”  {Yes, he is still calling his daddy Dave.}  Apparently Kohls doesn’t have faith in Ohio ever getting snow this winter either because the racks were full and the snow pants 70% off.

When is the snow coming?

When you’re asleep buddy.

Can I go outside?

Yes, tomorrow.

And then Dave and I watched the late news.  HALF AN INCH.  Maybe. 

When we woke up this morning, there wasn’t even enough to brush off the car.

Weathergods, you owe Finn an apology for messing up his Friday.  And $41.87 to me if these boots and snow pants aren’t going to get used!

Send snow.

How Did You Know?

11 January 2012 | 12 Comments

I have talked about our love story before.  The shortened version is this, Dave and I were friends for six months.  He liked me.  I knew he liked me.  I wasn’t done having fun.  I didn’t want a boyfriend. 

To be fair, he didn’t want a girlfriend either.  

And still he liked me.  He came over to watch Boston Public every week even though he admitted later to hating the show.  He came to watch a junior high football game because I was coaching cheerleading. 

And still I put him off.  I thought he was too nice.  He was my friend.  I tried to hook him up with my sister and my best friend.

You know a man has to be incredible if you’re willing to hook him up with your sister.

So one night after many months of knowing he wanted to make a move but not making a move, I told him that I would kiss him and I was unbelievably shocked pleasantly surprised that he was a great kisser.

Then I got smashed and we hooked up.

Romantic, eh?

He claims this is the precise reason I don’t drink anymore.

Here is the thing… I thought the instant you met the person you were going to marry there would be fireworks.  You would just KNOW.  He would be a fairy tale prince riding up on a white horse.  Your cartoon eyes would pop out of your head.  Dream Weaver would play a la Garth.  He would walk in the door and there would be an instantaneous something going off in my brain saying “this is the ONE!”

And maybe for some people it is.  {Dave.}

For me, it was more like a slow realization, an enlightenment if you will, that this man was everything that I wanted.  Everything.  He was kind.  I liked him on a friendship level as well as a romantic one.  He was intelligent.  He opened my car doors and owned a suit.  He was hilarious and he was patient.  Most of all he loved me unconditionally and out loud. 

Thankfully, I came to my senses.

 

What is your story?  Did you know in an instant?  Was it a slow realization?  Are you still waiting to find out? 

Sophie la Girafe.

10 January 2012 | 6 Comments

Teething babies?  You need a Sophie. 

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Slow Cooker English Roast

09 January 2012 | 10 Comments

I love using my crockpot in the winter and for days that we’re in a rush.  Having dinner all prepped and done by 10 am makes for a peaceful evening and my house smells so good all day!

  • 2-3 pound English Roast {aka chuck shoulder}
  • 1 large white onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1.5 - 2 Tablespoons of Spices {I used salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, & a French spice mix}
  • 1 1/3 cups of red wine {my fave is Trader Joe’s Cabernet Sauvignon, at $3 a bottle you can’t beat the flavor for cooking!}
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup balsamic or cider vinegar

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Chop the white onion, one of the carrots, and four cloves of garlic and layer on the bottom of the slow cooker.

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Put the English roast on top and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and spices.

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Pour the wine, vinegar, & olive oil into the slow cooker, cover and turn on low.

Cook for 7-8 hours and enjoy!  I like to serve with potatoes and a vegetable or two.

I Promised Not to Post the Pic on the Internet. For Now.

05 January 2012 | 8 Comments

I get it.  Really, I do.  The new year brings out all kinds of crazy NEWNESS!  Shiny sparkly newness! Organize.  Everything.  In.  Your.  Life.  NOW.

Something about the flip of the calendar makes people believe that they too can be an exerciser, a healthy eater, a svelte model, a domestic goddess, a rockstar at work, or all of the above.  The results, they need to happen now!  You know how I feel about resolutions, which is why all the sparkly newness in my world is in the form of goals that I am failing miserably at keeping

Uh yeah, this isn’t about me.

This is about Dave.

I maybe, just might have, taken a picture of Dave in the shower for something totally unrelated to fitness.  It wasn’t even about sex, I promise.  Am I the best wife ever, or what?  I thought I was being funny, but I inadvertently launched the “Oh dear GOD, I have to work out NOW,” sequence.  And once it’s started, there is no stopping it.

It was like watching that movie Speed.  You know it needs to be stopped, but you can’t figure out how to loop the video to trick the bad guy so you can hop off the damn bus.  I didn’t just ruin it for you… did I?  He got out of the shower and immediately started doing push ups and then {when I refused to do so} he made Finn sit on his feet so he could do sit ups.

Which was followed closely by a beet red face and a fan turned on high.  In the middle of winter.

It was about then that I texted my sister about what was happening at our house.

The next morning he woke up early and went running in tights, with shorts over the top of them.   In the rain.  He snuck out while I slept in because that would not happen on my watch.

After I stopped laughing, I told him to never go out of the house like that again.  I want to keep our neighbor friends and we’re not going to do that if he is out there running in tights and what looked like a skort.  All he needed was like 3 layers of scrunchie socks to complete the look.

Me:  I spent half the eighties dressed like that and I’m a girl, Dave.

Yesterday, he was up at five thirty in the freaking morning, which was approximately four hours after I went to bed.  You didn’t think I was lying when I said I was failing miserably at my goals, did you?

He came home and I surmised that his thighs hurt by deciphering clues in the form of an excruciating grunt every time he had to bend down, or get off the couch, or really pretty much any time he moved his legs.  There were also repeated requests for gluteus rubbing, but I am pretty sure that was his idea of foreplay and not really related to the exercise.  Maybe.

It was the lunges that did it.

Me: You aren’t one of those idiots that does lunges on the treadmill, walking like half a mile an hour in slow motion, are you?  Because those people are ridiculous.

Dave:  No!  I do them in front of the mirror with hand weights. 

Me:  Dork.

Dave:  I mean, I took a shower and I seemed fine.  Then I had to go down three flights of stairs.  I realized I might not be fine when my legs went to jelly and I caught myself before I fell down them.

Me:  Um, what?

Dave:  Yeah.

I’m pretty sure Dave’s resolution should have been to listen to his wife.  Hopefully though, this will be like all resolutions {goals are where it’s at people!} and things will go back to normal by February… if not the only results the Davester might be seeing are a pair of crutches, dirty looks from the neighbors and his picture wearing tights surfacing on the internet. 

And Then This Happened.

04 January 2012 | 6 Comments

Six months last week. 

She’s crawling, it sure isn’t pretty and it has us scrambling to baby proof.  She’s 90th percentile for height and 50th for weight, exactly like her brother.  Her favorite food is mango.  She hates peas.  She eats her toes at every opportunity.

And she’s clearly picking Dave over me. 

Already.

Finnisms.

Finn: Well my Fruity Cheerios are mushy now because I went poop. 
*Pause*
Finn: Well, I went poop in the toilet, not in my cereal.

***********************************************

Finn: Hi Dave.
Dave: Finnegan, what are you supposed to call me?
Finn: I don't know.
Me: Finn, apologize to your Daddy.
Finn: Sorry, Dave.

***********************************************

Two weeks later…

Finn {talking to Tate who is crying}:  Awww did David leave you? 

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The Davester was putting Cars 2 in the dvd player… 
Finn: Hey!  Did you wash your hands? 
Dave: *blink, blink* Yes. 
Finn: I don’t want my CD all greasy, it’s from Christmas!
Dave: Ok, mini Dave, I appreciate your OCD-ness. 
Finn:  Hey, my name is not Dave!

***********************************************

Finn: WHAT is wrong with my FOOT?!?! 
Finn: It feels like it’s got SPARKLES on it!

Bread Pudding with Bourbon Cream Sauce

03 January 2012 | 2 Comments

If your new year resolution was to lose weight, you might want to skip this one.  When the weather gets colder, we like to have heartier, warmer, satisfying foods and dessert is no exception!  One of our favorites is bread pudding, the perfect ending to a winter meal.  You can top it with ice cream or store bought caramel sauce too, but a little Vanilla Bourbon Cream Sauce will add an extra layer of warmth to the dish.

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Bread Pudding

  • 6 cups challah {if you can’t find challah, substitute brioche or in a pinch french bread}
  • 1/2 stick butter, melted
  • 1 c whole milk
  • 2 c heavy cream
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 3/4 c sugar {I use sugar with vanilla beans stored in it}
  • 1 T good quality vanilla or vanilla bean paste {I used my DIY Bourbon Vanilla}
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • dash of nutmeg
  • 1/2 t almond extract, optional

Cut the challah into 1” cubes, toast in the oven until crisp, but not dark.  To do this, I toasted at 300 degrees for 5 minutes, took it out of the oven and turned the cubes, turned the oven off and put the tray back in for another 5 minutes.

Set aside 2 cups of toasted bread.  Melt butter and toss the remaining 4 {heaping} cups of toasted bread cubes with it. 

While bread is toasting, whisk the milk, cream, egg yolks, sugar, vanilla, salt, cinnamon, & nutmeg in a large mixing bowl.  Mix in the buttered bread cubes and pour into a baking dish.  Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Press the remaining 2 cups of toasted bread into the top of the soaked bread mixture.  You will want them to soak up as much of the liquid as possible, but still remain crisp. 

Bake for 50-60 minutes, the center should be jiggly, but not runny when pressed.  Allow to sit for 20 minutes to cool and serve with Bourbon Cream Sauce.

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Vanilla Bourbon Cream Sauce slightly adapted from the Commander’s Kitchen recipe on Epicurious

  • 1 1/2 c heavy cream
  • 2 t cornstarch
  • 2 T cold water
  • 1/3 c sugar {I used sugar with vanilla beans stored in it}
  • 1/4 c bourbon {I used my DIY Bourbon Vanilla here}

If you don’t use vanilla sugar and the Bourbon Vanilla, add:

  • 1 vanilla bean, scraped –or- 2 T vanilla bean paste {a good quality pure vanilla extract can be substituted here, maybe it’s psychological, but I love seeing the flecks of vanilla in the sauce so use the bean or the paste if you can}

Enjoy!

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Goals for 2012.

02 January 2012 | 9 Comments

I have five goals for 2012.  Resolutions can make you feel like a failure by February, goals can keep you striving all year long.

  1. Go to bed earlier than midnight… or 1 am… or 2 am during the week.  I really need to work on this.  It is so easy to get sucked into doing things at night when the kids and the Davester are fast asleep.  Just catching up on my blog reading, just one more load of laundry, just one last chapter, just putting these dishes away… all not good excuses for missing sleep that my body desperately needs.
  2. Re-vamp our family budget so we can start saving more.  We’ve been slackers in this area the last half of 2011 and it’s amazing how quickly that money can disappear when it’s not being saved.  A new house is on the agenda in the next two years so we’re going to amp up our savings.
  3. Say YES more.  I say ‘no’ a whole lot.  To Finn, to my friends, to my family, to opportunity.  I want to say yes a lot more in 2012.
  4. Aim higher.  A few surprises happened in 2011 that showed me just exactly what I can achieve if I put my mind to it.  It’s time to set the bar higher, the goals loftier, and enjoy the challenge of making things happen that I never thought possible. 
  5. Have more sex.  Yep.  I said it.  Having an infant can suck the {sex} life out of your marriage if you let it.  You’re tired.  You’re breastfeeding.  You’re busy.  You don’t feel sexy.  All valid points, yes, but good sex trumps all of them.  Every time.

What are your goals for 2012?

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