Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Cactus Incident

Did everyone have a pleasant weekend? Here in New Mexico, the weather was so perfect that we decided to pack a picnic lunch, ditch Albuquerque, and hike the property that we purchased a few months ago.

Our "picnic" consisted of cans of Coke (his) and Diet Coke (mine) and a shared Subway sandwich. We sat on a rock with an old beach towel on top of it.

That counts, right? Don't tell those hard core, wine-glasses and silverware toting picnickers about us.

Anyway...

We wandered our 13 acres for almost 4 hours while Sexy Nerd fiddled with his GPS, trying to mark the exact property boundaries. The perfect weather turned out to be insanely hot, which was okay because I had ignored Sexy Nerd's advice about wearing long pants and thick shoes. Shorts and sandals were working out great! You can get by just fine when you have your husband to pull branches out of your way, even if his chivalry does include a lecture on proper hiking attire.

Personally, I had thought when leaving our house that Sexy Nerd was over prepared. Was the Camelbak (aka, the dorkiest backpack in the world) really necessary?

Not that I didn't enjoy all that cold water he was toting around. I hadn't expected our picnic to last 4 hours!

With my sandwich long gone and nothing but the peace and quiet of Mother Nature, I quickly became bored. This resulted in many shadow photos and self portraits.

Shadow Photo!

Self Portrait!

Sexy Nerd refused to be captured with me and my fugly brace face.

(Just 2+ more years of braces, BTW!)

Have you figured out where all this silliness and summer clothing is leading? I'll give you a hint. The title of this post is a big clue.

Sexy Nerd had been searching for an elusive boundary marker. When he finally spotted a stick he thought might be it (but, of course, wasn't), he dashed off, leaving me scrambling to keep up with him.

And quickly stumbling with both feet into The Cactus From Hell.

Ow. Ow. Ow.

OW! OW! OW! 

Sexy Nerd is my hero. He came right back and pulled all those sharp cactus needles out of my feet. He ignored my cringing and whining and was even able to get the teeny tiny, almost invisible (but still razor sharp) needles out.

My super-sore (and FILTHY) feet.

Oh, the lecture that followed though!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Why I Loves Me Some Sexy Nerd

Email waiting for me this snowy morning: 

Drive safe…there are a ton of crazies out there!  As usual, if you can get out of the neighborhood, the roads are just fine.
Thank you for the cookie :)  Aren’t you a sweetie?  I guess I can forgive you for your superior vocabularity!  Yes, I made that up though how cool would it be if that were a word?
I love you!


Hmmm...after reading that out of context, I suppose I had better point out that the "cookie" Sexy Nerd was referring to was indeed a real cookie, which I snuck onto the driver's seat of his truck as a suprise.
Oh, and I have totally destroyed him in all 8 of our games of Words with Friends. Muah ha ha!



Sadly for Sexy Nerd, I wasn't quite as sweet with my reply:



Aww! You write the cutest, spur-of-the-moment emails. It kinda almost makes me feel bad for planning to make that delicious eggplant pasta for our dinner tonight.


Almost.


(You would hate for the eggplant to go bad, right? It cost me a whole dollar! A WHOLE DOLLAR!)


Mwahs! I love you too :)
BTW, the eggplant pasta (a la the lovely Giada De Laurentis) is scrumptious, but *someone* would rather have a frozen pizza. Bah!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Spring Cleaning - My Most Favorite Thing in the World (NOT!)

This is the built-in bookcase in our dining room. It's really not that bad, right?

  Right??

If Pica wanders in much further, we may never see her again!

The bookcase that my Sexy Nerd worked so hard on (before pics here) had become an easy place for us to stash homeless objects. It started innocently enough - a basket, a candle or two - but we were soon overwhelmed with junk.

Step one of cleaning a bookcase is sorting through the junk, which always takes forever! Mostly because of things like this:

Ummm, is there a reason we're keeping this little pot of dirt inside a glass? And what do these screws belong to? We do have a garage...kind of a better place for screws. And Biscuit ate the little plastic pieces out of the timer the last time it was plugged into the wall (seriously!) so there's no sense in keeping it.

Sand from my trip to the Seychelles. Pretty, but it doesn't belong on the dining room bookcase.

This picture is actually hanging on our kitchen wall, not on the bookcase, but I took a photo of it anyway. When the task at hand it cleaning, (boo!) distractions come easily.

A mix tape! Remember these? With that sliver of Scotch tape holding the top closed, I was ready to be thoroughly distracted from cleaning. After all, you can't just find a mix tape and move on. You have to find out what's on it! You have to dance!

You have to rummage through the guest bedroom to find the broken boombox (do people still use the term 'boombox'?) that you've held onto just for the cassette player, which still works. Barely.

After a little LL Cool J, SWV, Master P, and Jay Z (really, truly all in a row on the tape. Rappers adore initials!) it was time to focus.
I've been looking for this!

Sorting through old magazines, I came across another major distraction. They don't even make Domino magazine anymore! I know that you would have taken a break from cleaning to read it too. Admit it.
These 3 cloches were a steal at $10 for the set. As much as I love them, I don't actually have a place in my home that would benefit from their display. For now, they've been relocated to a cabinet in the kitchen. Every time I clean, it seems like the area I'm focusing on improves, while the rest of the house gets messier. 

An empty instant coffee canister and a piggy bank with a wart on its cheek. Why was I keeping these?

A souvenir from our second cruise. It just isn't as much fun without a drink inside.

It's funny to look back at things I loved when we first bought our house. How has my style changed so drastically in just 3 years?

Oops! Let this be a lesson to keep your books organized.

When all the junk was finally sorted through, it was time for phase two of my bookcase project. These are just $1 frames around pages torn out of a $1 calendar.

Much better!

But something was still missing.

Ta da!




Next up on the Spring Cleaning agenda...
(if you're squeamish, you may want to skip this photo)
(and perhaps the photo beneath it)

Cleaning the floor!


*Disclaimer*
Although it may appear otherwise in the 2 photos above, I assure you that I was not cleaning the bookcase naked. Really, who would do a thing like that? It's cold in my house!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

SneakPeeq Coupon & Credit! Giveaway

Have you heard of sneakpeeq? They're a fun new source for online deals. Basically, you receive a number of "peeqs" each day, which is like peeling off a virtual price tag to reveal the super-discounted clearance price underneath!

Yours truly fell in love with sneakpeeq after purchasing this for one dollar, shipped (!!!):
Four fancy, full-size Indaphoria chocolate bars. Can you believe it? Give me chocolate and I will be your friend for life.

What's that? You want practically free chocolate (and clothes, and home goods, and all kinds of other nifty things) too? You don't say! Well, sneakpeeq has given me a $25 gift card to give away to one lucky duck reader.

Bonus? After entering, you will receive 20% off your next purchase! Because $1 for all those candy bars just wasn't cheap enough, I guess.
 
To enter the giveaway and to receive your 20% off sneakpeeq coupon, all you have to do is join through this link: 
http://bit.ly/wWsXcm. Easy, right? Sorry, but this giveaway has ended. Thank you to everyone who entered!


***Giveaway Fine Print***
All entries must go through the provided link (http://bit.ly/wWsXcm) to be valid. Limited to new sneakpeek members in the U.S. only (sorry, but sneakpeek doesn't ship outside the U.S. yet!). Giveaway will end on 3/28/12, at which time a winner will be randomly selected by random.org.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Recipe: Breakfast Potstickers w Avocado & Goat Cheese

Potstickers...for breakfast! These are so tasty that you just might want to have them for lunch and dinner too.


But first, a favor.

I have entered this recipe in the Food.com Ready, Set, Cook! recipe contest. Please (pretty please? with a cherry on top?) can you take a moment to vote for me in the contest? And if you could also pass this request on to your friends/family/Pinterest/Twitter/Facebook followers, well that would simply make you the bee's knees in my book!

So many people seem to be intimidated by the thought of making their own potstickers. They are EASY! The filling can be made several days in advance. I like to make a big batch of these potstickers during the weekend and reheat them in the toaster oven for weekday breakfasts.

Premade potsticker wrappers (AKA wonton wrappers) can be found in the produce section of most grocery stores, usually near the bean sprouts and tofu, and are only a few dollars. I tried once to made my own wrappers from scratch. They turned out alright but took up my entire afternoon! 

 
There. Now that you know what to buy, you have no excuse not to make these scrumptious breakfast potstickers!

You can place a dozen wrappers on the countertop and get the entire package knocked out quickly. Bonus if you have a helper. Sexy Nerd looooves to eat these, but also hates them because he knows he's expected to turn off Nascar and come help me fill and fold potstickers!

 
A cup of water and a basting brush make easy work out of sealing the edges.


Any pan will do the trick, but my electric skillet from the clearance aisle at Bed Bath & Beyond (it wobbles dangerously because it is missing a leg - I still say it was a deal!) can hold all 48 potstickers at once. Technically, it's a bit of a squeeze and they all stick together this way, but the sooner you're done cooking the potstickers, the sooner you can eat them.

Steaming.
Ooooh!

Side 1, all steamed, soft, and chewy.

Side 2, crispy and fried to perfection!

Breakfast Potstickers with Avocado and Goat Cheese
    • 1 cup Simply Potatoes Shredded Hash Browns
    • ½ lb bacon, cooked and chopped
    • 1 avocado, diced
    • ½ cup crumbled goat cheese
    • ½ cup fresh spinach
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 red bell pepper
    • ½ white onion
    • 48 wonton wrappers
    • just a little vegetable oil ( for frying)
    • ¼ cup ketchup
    • 1 cup boiling water ( for steaming)
    • sea salt and black pepper for seasoning
  1. In a medium bowl, add Simply Potatoes Shredded Hash Browns, bacon, avocado, and goat cheese.
  2. In a food processor, finely chop the spinach, bell pepper, and onion. Add the eggs to the food processor and pulse until combined.
  3. Mix the ingredients from the food processor into the bowl.
  4. On a clean countertop, lay out a dozen potsticker wrappers. Place 1 tablespoons of filling onto the center of each.
  5. Using a basting brush, lightly dab the edges of each potsticker with cold water.
  6. Fold a corner of each potsticker onto the opposite corner, forming a triangle, and press all the way around the edges to create a seal.
  7. Repeat until all of your potsticker wrappers are filled and sealed.
  8. In a large pan with a lid (I use an electric griddle, set to 350F) add just enough oil to lightly coat the surface. When the oil is hot, add as many potstickers as will fit (My griddle can accommodate all 48 - though it is a tight fit! - but smaller pans will require you to work in batches).
  9. While the potstickers are cooking, combine your boiling water and ketchup and mix thoroughly. Add this water/ketchup mixture onto the potstickers and immediately cover with the lid.
  10. Let steam for 5 minutes, then remove the lid, allowing the water to evaporate.
  11. Season with sea salt and black pepper.
  12. Enjoy your fancy potsticker breakfast!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Dr. Oz 2 Day Cleanse

Wondering if you read this post's title correctly? Starting tomorrow, Sexy Nerd and I are going to attempt the Dr. Oz 48 Hour Cleanse, which I read about in the March issue of the Oprah magazine. The timing seems perfect. With tomorrow being Daylight Savings, our diet will be 1 hour shorter!

Sexy Nerd is not 100% on board. I think he may try to cheat and have a cup of coffee in the morning. Good luck, Sexy Nerd. I have hidden the coffee! Muah ha ha!

We'll see how this goes.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Dining Room Ideas

Dining rooms! Should we go formal? Just a cozy nook off the kitchen? Do we even need a dining room at all or will a fancy kitchen island suffice? The most fun part of building our dream home is looking online for inspiration. Here are a few extravagant dining room photos I have saved.

You might notice a theme while browsing these dining room ideas. Dining table + expensive, white rug underneath. It's an elegant thought, but we're sloppy joe people. Methinks not.

The grouping of mirrors, that spiffy kitchen island, the crystals on the chandelier - I heart this dining room photo!

Pretend the stairs stop at the dining table and the walls enclose each side. How fun would it be to have the dining room perched above the living room on its own mini-floor!

I just don't trust myself to pull off white walls. Sure, it looks great here, but in real life, plain white always looks so...plain white. At least, it does when I try it.

My favorite is the last one...no, the first. The two in the middle are nice too though, in their own way. How am I ever going to decide what to build?!

I suppose I'll just have to continue looking through all the pretty dining room ideas online. Poor me! ;)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Braces Adjustment: Before and After

My second braces adjustment went a little something like this:

Orthodontist: Those little wires on the sides don't want to stay in, but that's okay. We can just wire everything together. It will be much more permanent.

I wasn't sure what he meant, but was aware while lying in the chair that this braces adjustment was taking much longer than the last and involved a great deal more wires and pulling on my teeth. The assistant jammed a sharp wire into my cheek and joked that she was going to give me a piercing.

Ahh, so this was what he had meant:

The 'After' is below (like you couldn't tell!)

Afterward, Sexy Nerd took one look at me and asked what the point of clear brackets was. Ummm, yeah. My thoughts exactly.

And those sharp little twisties all over? I hate those sharp little twisties!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

BLOG HOP (and STUPID Story!)

First up, I want to share something completely stupid I did this morning. I made oatmeal pancakes just for myself. I halved the 2 person recipe. At least, I halved everything up until the last 2 ingredients - oatmeal and flour - then became distracted and threw in double the amount needed of each. The batter was crazy thick, but I had never tried the recipe before and assumed it was just supposed to be that way.

Those were some really bad pancakes.
Have a happy Sunday, everyone!

Friday, March 2, 2012

So I'm a Slut?

As a taxpayer, I would much rather chip in a little toward birth control pills than pay for an unwanted baby. If you can't afford contraception, how are you going to afford an abortion or afford to raise a child? The entire cost of that baby - medical, food, clothing, etc. - is going to fall on the taxpayers.

Rush Limbaugh has said that the only reason for a woman to take birth control is because she's having so much sex that she must be a slut and a prostitute. I will be boycotting every company that sponsors Rush Limbaugh. And, Rush, you need to take the same amount of birth control whether you have sex one or one hundred times. Taking the pill does not reflect poorly on me, or any woman, in any way whatsoever.

Even if you have been a fan of his, surely we can all agree that this crosses the line.

In response to criticism, Limbaugh doubled down. He offered a deal to "feminazis" who support no-cost birth control: "If we are going to pay for your contraceptives and thus pay for you to have sex, we want something for it... We want you to post the videos online so we can all watch."

Rush had no right to personally insult Sandra, a law student, and women everywhere. He may be known as extreme, but this goes too far.

I signed a petition with NARAL Pro-Choice America to get Rush dropped from as many local stations as possible, and I hope you sign too.

http://bit.ly/A5xWim

Thanks for speaking out. Don't let Rush bully women.


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/02/rush-limbaugh-sleep-train-sandra-fluke-slut_n_1315900.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/01/martin-bashir-rush-limbaugh-sandra-fluke_n_1314569.html

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Window Seat Idea - Dream Home Inspiration of the Day

See it? Waaay at the back of the photo? I like how the window seat extends past the window all the way to the wall. How about you?
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