Tuesday, January 31, 2012

I Take That Back...

Jimmy and I eat lunch at Captain D's at least once a week.

Sure, there's a risk of food poisoning with each deep-fried bite, but we go for the atmosphere. It's nice and quiet since most of the other patrons are at least 60 years older than we are, and the D's Blue Hair Club always makes for good conversation:

ME: "Did you see that guy's belt? It said FARM ALL and had red tractors all over it!"
JIMMY: "Where? Look at that lady - seems to be quite tricky to keep the dentures in when you're eating corn on the cob."
ME: "Yep. Hey did that ole boy reek of whiskey, or am I crazy?"
JIMMY: "I believe he did...Did you hear that one in front of us? Who the fuck orders their fish well done?!"

Now, don't get me wrong - we're not being disrespectful. We love old people! They're so blunt and comfortable with who they are. The elderly make no apologies for their likes and dislikes, and to be honest, they shouldn't have to! If you're still kicking at 117, you've earned the right to wave that flag proudly.

Inevitably, we leave lunch calling dibs on some Grams or Gramps inside with a simple "When I'm old, I'm going to be just like that!"

Depending on the day, my kids think I'm anywhere from 6 to "really, really old". I am, in fact, 28 years old which is really NOT  that old. If I think back ten years ago (which feels like it was just yesterday), I was 18 and 28 really did seem ancient. Some things I love now, would've mortified me then.

I conducted a little survey tonight and asked some friends - all young at heart - to list a few things that they never would've dreamed of enjoying 10 years ago.
Laura, my sweetheart sister-in-law / bestest baker I know / woman who makes me feel completely validated when I hit the point of insanity: With maturity comes practicality...
  1. A minivan - all of the kids fit comfortably. Plus it's fuel efficient. Such a mom thing to say...
  2. The diaper purse - what's the point in carrying 2 separate bags? Nothing is just Mom's, it's always ours.
  3. Potpourri - used to smell like old lady dead flowers, but now smells just as the package says "Crisp Autumn Morning"!
Sam, a friend who babysat 18 year old me many, many times: With maturity comes responsibility...
  1. Driving the speed limit.
  2. Waking up sober.
  3. Anti-depressants.
Deb, mother of the hubs, otherwise known as Grandma Grandpa: With maturity comes resourcefulness...
  1. AARP membership...
  2. Shape Ups by Sketchers - probably the easiest workout ever. Plus, great for the shorties like Grandma Grandpa when they want to feel taller!
  3. A cane - Not just good for walking, but also good for smacking your husband with when he won't stop talking during your show!
 Paco, friend since the tender age of 10. With maturity comes enjoying life's simple pleasures...
  1. Mowing the lawn. (Insert Hispanic stereotype here...I can say that about him and get away with it because we're friends!)
  2. Watching the DIY channel.
  3. Choosing a neat glass of scotch over an ice cold beer.
Cathe, friend and fellow mom blogger from Tiaras & Tantrums. With maturity comes the search for your inner happy place...
  1.  Taking naps. (Cathe, I'm going to assume we're on the same page here - kid nap time = Mommy nap time?!)
  2. Organizing the closets & cabinets
  3. Excedrin Migraine quick-release tablets - hallelujah!!!
Granny, credited with birthing and raising yours truly. With maturity comes self-fulfilling prophecy - you eventually turn into your mother...
  1. Elastic waistbands
  2. Sunday drives through scenic Garden City, Missouri
  3. Fiber bars every morning for breakfast.
Additional contributions by those who shall remain anonymous. Can I just say that some of these made me laugh out loud?!!! With maturity comes dignity...
  1. Yogurt.
  2. Battery-operated boyfriends.
  3. Reading glasses - multiple sets because they're soooo easy to lose...
  4. Spanx (amen, sister!)
  5. GPS - you're going to get lost anyway, at least now you can blame it on the Garmin.
  6. Not going shopping constantly.
And now, a few things I swore I'd never want/use/enjoy when I got older:

The ubiquitous old lady nightgown, mom jeans, and solid torpedo bra with underwires
Oh spice rack, you are the red Solo cup of my world...
The 'I Feel Pretty' MVPs: aerosol hairspray & rat tail comb, antacids, Tucks pads, and the best wrinkle cream in the world

Honey, calm down - you spend now to save money later! Everyone knows that...

Unplanned pregnancies, whatcha gonna do about 'em? At least they're trained to eat popsicles only in the bathtub.
Oh! And just for the hell of it, I asked the biggest curmudgeon I know for his input: the Old Man.

Ten years ago, when he turned 40? He announced that all he wanted for his birthday was a coffin and a bottle of tequila. "I'll drink until I'm ready to pass out and then I'll climb into the coffin. Set that sucker next to the road. Don't waste any money on a funeral - just ask people to drive by and honk to pay their respects. Ain't worth livin after you hit 40..."  

  1. The Early Bird Special. "I eat early so I can go to bed early. Some of us have to wake up and make a living before noon!"
  2. Cable TV. "Yeah, you can come over for dinner, but everyone needs to leave by the time Ice Road Truckers starts..."
  3. Having 48 hours to recuperate after too much tequila. "Maybe we shouldn't have went to Waffle House after I drank all of that Jose...Holly, get me a quilt and crank the furnace up. I need to sweat this one out before I clean start cleaning the gutters."
Comment away: I swore I'd never... but damn it if I don't kind of like it...

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Toy Story (Merci Giveaway Winners Announced!)

One of my bucket list adventures is to be a contestant on Jeopardy.

The top 5 categories in which I would blow the competition away:
1. Music of the 1960s and 1970s
2. The Old Testament
3. American Civil War
4. Cultural Stereotypes
5. Beloved Childhood Toys

Also, there's a big chance that I would walk away mortified beyond belief like I'm guessing Mike did after this mishap. Open mouth, insert foot...

When I hear bits of information, my mind is like the proverbial steel trap. I learn something that I feel important, and I lock it in for the rest of my life. Unless it's about things that are really useful in every day life like login information to make the mortgage payment or sending lunch money to school with Mia. 

Ask me how old Khloe Kardashian was when she lost her virginity though? 14. Ask me who is credited with the basis for the modern patent on the staple remover? A seamstress from Ireland. Ask what sound a hippo makes? Cross between a duck's quack and a pig's oink - similar to the sound you get when you blow raspberries on your arm.

In summary, I would kick major ass. Heads up - Jeopardy doesn't have much to do with this post, but I would really like to be a contestant and I needed a reason to post that video. It makes me snort every time I watch it.

That being said...

"I'll take Beloved Childhood Toys for $1000, Alex!"

Peaches & Cream Barbie, New Kids On the Block doll - Jordan (aka the one with the Cosby sweater)

Pretty sure I've mentioned it before, but my oldest, Mia is a bit on the eccentric side. She likes vintage toys more than toys that are brand new. Vintage toys that were first introduced between 1980 and 1997 to be exact.
Sweet Valley High, Goosebumps, Baby Sitter's Club, Nancy Drew
Thankfully, I still own a lot of my old toys because Granny was thoughtful enough to save them (the basement is huge and creepy so nobody ever wants to clean it out) for the grandbabies.
Polly Pocket, Norfin Trolls, Magic Nursery Surprise doll, Rainbow Brite Shy Violet doll
 It seems so wrong that I'm old enough to have owned first editions of vintage toys. Damn you sands of time...
Snoopy Sno-Cone Machine, Shrinky Dinks, Play-Doh Bakery, Fashion Plates
Mall Madness, Clue, Connect 4, Donkey Kong Country for Super Nintendo
On the plus side though, it's saved us a ton in Ebay purchases. We've passed these suckers down like family heirlooms: Teddy RuxpinBaby Sitter's Club doll, Barbie swimming pool and RV. I can't believe the prices they're currently listed at! Holy college fund, Batman!!!

Which makes me think it's about time to start stealing toys from my children. If I keep them in a storage unit for the next couple of decades I might have something to retire on. Fingers crossed that one Zhu Zhu pet will be worth $100 in the future...

What's the one toy that you wish you'd saved for an Antiques Roadshow moment?

 Merci giveaway winners were chosen by random number generator tonight at 6PM CST.

Winners are as follows:

Comment #11 - Hoshii Designs Origami Clutch
 11. Krista said...    Unexpected thankfulness? One of my kiddos today wrote a card for my baby (not due til June). Thankful for a sweetheart in the middle of a hectic (horrendous) school day!
Comment #15 - Contempo Jewels Pea Pod Necklace in Peacock
 15. Cathe said...    I am unexpectedly thankful for you girlie! You make me feel normal and not crazy, overstressed, and under appreciated!

Comment #17 - Whatsername Jewelry Zodiac Necklace
17. Johnna said...     I am so Thankful for the unexpected support and Love I recieve from my Amazing friends and family. Love them all! 
Comment #20 - Sparklingtwi Black Tie Affair ring

 20. Anonymous said...     I am thankful for the unexpected days that little Hadlee Shae wraps her baby arms around my legs and gives my those sweet little leg HUGS!!!

Congratulations to the winners! Please contact me at HHDDblog@gmail.com to claim your fabulous swag!

Also, thank you so much to everyone who reads this blog - whether you comment or not! High five!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Dear Garbie...

Dear Garbie,

Hello there! I hope that this letter finds you doing well and that you're enjoying your evening after a hard day of picking up garbage all over my sweet little town.

Look- I know that being a garbie is hard work. I know that you probably get little to no enjoyment out of your job, aside from a well-earned paycheck at the end of the pay period. I know you get home each night, and smell like ... well, probably a garbage can. I feel for you, I do, and I appreciate the fact that you perform a service that not many people would want to perform.

Sympathy aside, I'd like to get right down to business here: I would really appreciate it if you'd stop acting like a total dickhead.

The thing is, each Thursday morning, we drag our two trashcans down to the end of the driveway because we pay for a service in which you pick up the cans and empty the contents (neatly bagged and tied shut so that the contents don't spill on your fluorescent attire) into your truck. We place the trashcans in a certain spot every time - centered between the ditch and the edge of the driveway. 

Why do we place the cans there? So that we're able to maneuver our vehicles in and out of the driveway without hitting the trashcans and knocking them over. 

Imagine my frustration when I get home from work every single Thursday and find my two trashcans either A) thrown into the ditch that is 4 feet deep or B) laying on their sides across the driveway like the entrance to a really shitty gated community!

Sure, my kids get a kick out of it when we pull up and after uttering a few choice phrases, I ask if they'd like me to ram the shit out of the cans. "Yeah! Drive really, really fast Mom! Smash 'em!"

They also enjoy the sight of Mommy, launching her purse at the porch like a giant leather grenade before making her way down the gravel driveway in 3 inch heels, and attempting to pull the nasty ass trashcans out of the big ditch. 

Hell, I'm sure the neighbors enjoy seeing these things as well, though at this point they've all probably witnessed at least one of my front yard hissy fits.

You know who doesn't enjoy those things though? Me, motherfucker! The one paying for the service!  

Does it really require that much more effort for you to sit the God damn can down after you've emptied it? Are you so rushed that tossing it into the muddy, water-filled ditch is your only option? I doubt it, asshole. Mrs. D doesn't even put hers in a friggin can - and it's only 15 steps from her driveway to mine. Trust me, you can take a few seconds to do me a solid.

If you don't, then you can look forward to 7 days worth of dirty diapers dumped all loosey-goosey across the top of each can for the next couple of weeks, like sprinkles on a sundae but disgusting and completely unsanitary.

Consider this your one warning. Get your shit together, please; otherwise, I'll make your job suck even more than I'm sure it already does.




Just a reminder to check out yesterday's post and leave a comment to be included in the running for a giveaway from each of the ole blog's 4 sponsors! Winners will be announced on Saturday evening!

Good news - tomorrow's Friday! Try not to kill anyone between now and then, friends!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


$4 'European' chocolates. French name, made in Germany. Sold at Walmart.

Tonight's post will be a short one because I have just a few things to say:
  1. My back hurts, so I'm going to pour a glass of wine and relax in a hot shower.
  2. My idea of camping is where I camp out on the couch in my sweats. I have a bag of salt & vinegar chips on my right and an icy cold can of soda on my left. There's an all day marathon of Nora Roberts movies on Lifetime. My husband & children are gone from sun-up to sun-down. That's roughing it...
  3. Thank you all for reading, commenting, and sharing. You continuously rock my socks off!

Congratulations to comment number 25 who wins the beautiful Rising Sun wristlet by Hoshii Designs!

Momof4 "I also wanted to add that you are certainly NOT the only one with a less than tidy home lol. You won't be seeing pictures of mine in House Beautiful!", please contact me here with your shipping information to claim your prize! Thank you for entering, and thank you for following! 

Oh - I also want to say thank you to all of the kick ass sponsors who have allowed me to feature them on the ole blog this month! To express my gratitude, I'm giving away a few more things tonight: an item from each sponsor's Etsy shop, from me to you, paid for with my own (sometimes) hard-earned cash!

Black Tie Affair ring by Sparklingtwi
From Sparklingtwi Jewelry, I'm giving away 1 Black Tie Affair ring. The ring features gunmetal gray petals made from silky soft fabric, topped by a metal flower adorned with rhinestones. The band is an adjustable stretch, which means you can definitely have seconds on dessert when you're wearing it!

Peanut necklace by Contempo Jewels
From Contempo Jewels, I'm giving away 1 Peanut necklace made from sterling silver and freshwater pearls. What color are those pearls, you ask? Peacock colored, baby. I can't help myself. Mama loves a good peacock color scheme. 'Nuff said!

Custom Zodiac pendant by Whatsername Jewelry
From Whatsername Jewelry, 1 commenter will win a hand stamped clay zodiac pendant. Allergic to jewelry (Hi, Granny...), never fear! This necklace is metal-free and comes with an all cotton cord. The photo above features the sign of the Scorpio, but trust me, I'll definitely be asking the winner what their sign is...Maybe I'll ask whether they enjoy long walks on the beach or not. Maybe I'll ask if the smooth voice of Barry White makes them break into a cold sweat. I really don't know, I mean, we just met and this is all happening so fast...

Origami clutch by Hoshii Designs
And from Hoshii Designs, the writer of 1 comment will win the awesome Origami clutch in wool felt. I am fascinated by origami, but lack the patience to create art that features sharp edges created with a steady hand. This lady loves caffeine - If the hands ain't rockin', I'm probably taking a nap. 

To enter, leave a comment. What's something unexpected that you're thankful for? Winners will be announced on Saturday and will be chosen via random number generator.

I've got an affinity for chocolate and amazing guitarists.

I'll be back tomorrow night! Same place...sometime after midnight I'm sure...Shake your tambourine...

Monday, January 23, 2012

Happy Campers

I'd like to make a confession about last night's blog piece: I almost didn't post it. 

The title was saved a few weeks ago when I came up with the idea, but even then, I had this bitchy inner voice that nagged "Sure, some might relate to the fact that your house is in shambles, but there will be more who actually clean their houses and fix things when they're broken. Those readers? They'll judge you, and they'll hate you." So I chickened out - and I almost chickened out again last night.

Then all of a sudden, it hit me that I really don't give a flying fuck if people are impressed with my housekeeping skills and I hit PUBLISH POST. Why should I even pretend that I enjoy doing something that has brought me nothing but misery since childhood? I hate to clean and I have the stained carpet to prove it, folks!

Seemingly, a lot of people feel the same way - or at least got a good laugh out of the lack of prioritization that goes on in our house. Thank you BlogHer!

And!!! If you follow this link, the ole blog is right there at the top. They even put this sweet bit of flair on it like an award. (Sidenote: Just now, thinking of this as an award I got to imagining what I'd say in my acceptance speech... but snapped out of it upon realizing my kids would definitely pull a Kanye and ruin it for me. Probably because they need bologna sandwiches or something.)

When I got home, I had another awesome surprise waiting as a direct result of last night's blog post.

One of these things is not like the other...
Chris decided to fix the silverware drawer. What a stud, right? He's so macho...

And then, to reward himself for his electric drill handiwork, he felt me up. I just stood there, eyes rolling in boredom. "Come on, babe! It takes all of the fun out of it when you don't fight back!" Spoken like a true pervert.


The kids have a small tent. They got it for Christmas a few years ago from one of the great-aunts and they absolutely love it. Our tent is set up and taken down about 5 times each day as of late. Only problem with said tent? Someone always ends up crying after being in the tent for a while.

Isn't that like every God damn camping trip you've ever been on though? Hmm...OK, well it is for me.

Tonight, I had this brilliant plan to keep the kiddos occupied (detour them from their typical early evening knock down, drag-out) while I ate a sandwich: Why not let them each pack a bag of supplies to take on their upcoming tent adventure? 

Nothing in the house was off limits. We just told them to choose things that they thought they'd need if they went camping, and put it in their bags. And to please stop screaming at each other...
Miles: 1 blue plastic phone, 3 packets of soothing oatmeal bath treatment, 1 boot, and 3 pieces of cat food
Looks like Daddy's not the only fella in this house who's man-crushing on Bear Grylls. He's what outdoorsy types would refer to as a survivalist. The bare minimum - that's all Miles needs on a camping trip. And his thumb. He's my thumb sucker!
Marlee: 1 pair of gold sneakers, 1 Pampered Chef spatula thing, 5 crazy straws, 2 books, 1 ladybug mug, and a box filled with her big sister's makeup
Mar is my diva. Even if she's walking through a field of poison ivy, sista's going to be rocking the shit out of some gold shoes!

If she were older, I'd guess that she had the makings for a really awesome party in her Dora backpack. I remember a few float trips where I packed similar items...back in the old days, before I had kids and grew tiger stripes on my belly...

Mia: 1 blanket, 1 doll, 1 pillow pet, 1 canteen, 1 hair tie, 2 books, 1 sandwich box, 1 basket, and MOMMY'S makeup bag
True to her status as firstborn, Mia is the responsible child. Chickie packs the most practical items, even attempting to cram a little extra even though the bag is already overflowing. She packs just like her mama. I was bursting with pride!

MARLEE: I know! We can pack Minnie for da camp out!
MIA: Marlee, don't be dumb. I'm packing only needs, not wants. You should too.
MARLEE: Ok...Hey, how 'bout cookies?!
MIA: Good job, Mar Mar! We do need food!

Somehow, the cat ended up in a backpack anyway...
What did the kids do once they'd finished packing their camp out bags? Well...
They had a blast - that's what they did! Then bedtime arrived, and of course, so did the tears. The difference in their camping trip and the camping trips I've been on (besides beer)? For them, the tears start when it's time to come out of the tent for bedtime. For me, the tears come when it hits me that I'm sleeping in a God damn tent.


Hey - who's checked out the AMAZING sponsors currently featured on High Heels & Dirty Dishes? 

Everyone, right? I surely hope so because these ladies are seriously talented. The only thing that I can make with my own two hands is a mess... If you haven't already done so, please click on the designers' ad boxes on the right side bar!

Tonight, I'd like to announce the very first giveaway on the ole blog, courtesy of Deb from Hoshii Designs! Score! (Score for you, not for me. I've decided to exclude myself from the giveaway just so that no one can say that I played favorites. Because I love you, and I'm a really nice person!)

The Rising Sun Wristlet by Hoshii Designs
 This guy here is made from 100% wool felt, with no applied post processing and sells for $40.00 online. 

And yes, though this super cute bag is classified as a wristlet or a clutch, I'm pretty sure he's male. How do I know? Durable on the outside, soft on the inside, and fits right in the palm of your hand. Booyah!

One winner will be selected via random number generator and announced on Wednesday night right here on the ole blog.

To enter the giveaway, simply leave a comment and finish this sentence:
"My idea of camping is ..."

Until then, check out the Hoshii Designs Facebook and Twitter pages for current promotions like limited time free shipping, and on Etsy to view newly listed items like the ones pictured below!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things

I have this fantasy where we win the lottery. We don't just win - we win big. Like an amount so large that it makes you feel dirty if you say it out loud.

In our new found baller status, we'd sell the house we currently live in and build our dream house. Sell it? Excuse me, give away to the person with the lowest standards.

Not that it's a dump or anything. It's just small and needs some TLC in spots - the less space you have to work with, the more apparent the bloodstains are...or something like that. Mr. & Mrs. Fix-It, we're not.
  1. Repairs cost money and we don't always have the money to spare. Mommy enjoys fast food too often...
  2. Some projects require a little knowledge on how to actually go about making the repairs. HGTV makes it look so much easier than it usually is.
  3. We both work full time jobs with opposing schedules. Better to have both of us here on fix-it day, just in case someone needs to call 911.
  4. Having 3 small children in a small house makes it tricky to give your undivided attention to anything other than 3 small children.
  5. Any other excuse you can come up with.
I'll give you a tour and please, watch your step as you're probably going to step on at least one toy car during the tour.

Welcome! Don't remove your shoes, as that's obviously not customary in our house.
This is a section of carpet when you come in through the front door. Yep - it's absolutely disgusting. Honestly, we shampoo the carpets on a quarterly basis and they look really nice for about 2 weeks afterward. Then, the old stains creep back up because the padding underneath needs to be replaced. 

The rest of the carpet doesn't look this bad, but then again, most of the house has hardwood or butt ugly linoleum.

You'd think someone would touch that up. Nah, we'll just scoot the chair back in front.
The living room also features these bare spots all over from the million times we've scooted the furniture in attempts of keeping the light switch/electrical outlet/30lb mirror out of the kids' reach. It's our duty as parents to keep them safe!

Heading to the kitchen....

Sharpie Marker. Initially believed to be black liquid eyeliner.
You put markers in the cabinet, kids take them out. You put them somewhere up high, kids find something to climb on so they can reach. You throw all markers in the trash, your mother and the Hubs will just bring more home. It's a losing battle.

As if the wood paneling isn't bad enough on it's own.
Once upon a time, I wanted to hang up a piece of wood with hooks on it in attempts to stop losing my car keys. For reasons that I now can't remember, I decided to use screws instead of nails to hang the damn thing and the battery on the drill pooped out about 2 minutes in. 

Apparently it's a bad idea to try hammering a screw into wood paneling?

I meant to document the current state of the silverware drawer, but seem to have captured the missing counter trim as well.
When I bought the place, the cabinets were this melted-butter shade of yellow. My then husband, now referred to as Uncle Ty Ty, decided to repaint them a nice crisp white. The silverware drawer got dropped at some point and the front separated from the sides. It was painted and reattached - upside down.

The drawer front stayed in place (upside down) for a few years. Occasionally, it'd feel loose again and I'd hammer it back into place. The wood started stripping away last year though, and Chris decided to flip it back the way it's supposed to go. And now, well, you can see how that's working out...

I have no idea why my ceiling looks the color of nacho cheese in this pic. It's actually white.
The bathroom features a to-do list so long that it's embarrassing. I will say that this year's tax money will go to hiring a plumber and putting in a new floor. Sorry kids, looks like you're never going to Disneyland!

I've chosen to highlight the fact that the central air vent is missing. It fell out one night and whacked me in the shoulder as I was getting out of the shower. Current location for vent? Under the bathroom sink. Logically.

Come for the peeling paint, stay for the crooked curtain rod!
The girls' room really isn't too bad to be honest. Carpets are in good shape, windows seal up tightly, closet is large.

And then your eyes travel toward the ceiling... We have radiant heating (those ugly panels at the top of the wall) in every room. There are individual thermostats for each room, and when in use, they feel like the sun shining down on a perfect summer day. 

For some reason, heating the house has caused the paint to begin peeling over the last few years. Except for in the bathroom. The paint's peeling there too, but it's due to excess moisture. Chris fried that heater panel when he removed it to touch up the paint job, ironically.

Goodbye funeral parlor burgundy, hello simple white.
My bedroom is currently a work in progress. It's been "progressing" since September.

Mmm... best spot in the whole house
In August, I bought a nice pale green bed-in-a-bag set to replace the burgundy and gold stuff that we had. Within a few days, Marlee had spilled chocolate milk on it and I threw it into the washer. A few days later, it happened again, but this time there was a giant burn hole in the comforter. 

So, we have green and tan pillows, green and beige sheets, and whatever blankets aren't covered with chocolate milk. Right now, we're using separate twin-sized polka dot blankets. Romantic, eh?

Jackson Pollock, eat your heart out...
Someone (not me and not the kids) spilled paint in the garage. I honestly don't mind it that much because it makes me think of this, which is hilarious. (Skip to 4:45 for the paint scene)

Where once stood fencing, now stand big gaping holes in the ground.
Up until early fall, there was a small section of yard surrounded by chain link fencing. The fence had seen better days and we'd made several repairs to it since moving in. When we found a new home for the idiot dog, we took the fence down.

One eye sore gone, another one created. Story of my life.

"If you don't take better care of the things you have, you'll never get something nicer!" I feel like such a hypocrite when I say that sometimes...

What needs a little TLC at your house?

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Ye Ole Blog

Discount medicine rocks my socks off

Someone's been sickly this week. Sore throat, headache, constant sniffles, and sweaty eyes. Yes, sweaty eyes. When I run a fever, it feels like my eyes are sweaty. Shut up!

Anyway... thanks to my Nitetime pal in the photo above, Mama was passed out like an old drunk by 9:30 each night and therefore, I haven't blogged it up since Monday night. 

So that I don't feel as guilty about completely screwing up this whole month-long writing challenge, I'm going to back track a little using the NaBloPoMo writing prompts for this week.

Tuesday 1/17/12: Tell about the first teacher who was important to you - Mrs. Gentry, 3rd grade. She was a tiny old woman from Norway, reputed to be 'the mean teacher'. I was the new girl in class and having spent the majority of my education at home due to severe respiratory issues, I was very shy. Mrs. Gentry took a liking to me though and helped me make friends, later telling my mother that I was one of her favorite students. Mrs. Gentry, thank you for bringing me out of my shell. You helped create this monster of arrogance and vanity.

Wednesday 1/18/12: What is the best first line of a book & why - "The cats nestle close to their kittens now. The lambs have laid down with the sheep. You're cozy and warm in your bed my dear, please go the fuck to sleep..." from Go The Fuck To Sleep by Adam Mansbach. Why is it the best opening? By show of hands, who feels this way at bed time? I rest my case. Best. Into. Ever.

Thursday 1/19/12: If you miss the first few minutes of a movie, do you still watch the rest of it - Define 'watch'... I can count on one hand the number of movies that I've allowed myself to become totally engrossed in. Not that there aren't any good movies out there, or that I have a lot going on, I'm just too impatient to sit through an entire movie. I'm more of a watch the trailer on YouTube/read the synopsis on IMDB/Google the ending kind of gal.

Friday 1/20/12: Which do you enjoy more - the start of a book or the end - Neither. Most times, I skip ahead in the beginning because typically the beginnings are boring. I also hate the end because if the book has become a short-term addiction in my life, I dread where there's nothing to look forward to anymore. My favorite part is the twist - the point just past the middle. You'd had an idea of what had happened/was going to happen and then all of a sudden, it turns out it wasn't the one-armed gardener who fathered that baby and 3 minor characters are suddenly lined up for paternity tests like an episode of Maury. The twist is the best part!

And now, my own blurb for today - Why do I enjoy this little ole blog so much?  Because it makes me feel normal. In my heart of hearts, I know that out there somewhere is a person who, like me, obsesses over glitter and caffeine, with kids that shun clothing/most rules/sleeping in their own beds, has a filthy mouth, feels like her husband is way too good for her, and dreams of more even though what's happening right now is pretty damn good.

Maybe you're just like me, and that's why you follow the ole blog. Then again, maybe you are nothing like me, and you follow because you intend to keep it that way and my life is a prime example of your worst fears.

With that being said, I'm looking for a blog swap partner for Leap Blog Day (February 29). 

The idea is that someone guest blogs on High Heels & Dirty Dishes on Leap Day, and I blog on their site. Sounds like a nifty idea, right? Follow the link to get more information, check out other blogs and sign up for the swap. 

I'm kind of holding out for a young Amish person on Rumspringa to swap with, but I realize that the chances of that happening are slim. If interested, shoot me an email here and be sure to include a link to your blog! My only request is that my swapper doesn't flip their lid if I use the words 1.) God damn it, 2.) Son of a bitch, 3.) Random salty phrase on their blog. Sometimes it really is necessary.


This may come as a shock to some readers, but I am a big fan of jewelry.

I live for gaudy, but most often, I find myself wearing jewelry that is classic and feminine, but with a natural twist: hammered silver hoops, bangles inlaid with enamel and seed pearls, intricately woven bracelets, and semi-precious stones for a pop of color without being too distracting.

Welcome aboard as the newest sponsor on HHDD, Contempo Jewelry - also known as, gorgeous. Period.

Contempo owner, Staci Egan, contacted me a few weeks ago and I knew as soon as I opened the link that I definitely wanted to do a feature on her designs. 

Staci's designs have been featured in countless publications, blogs, and artisan festivals. In October 2011, she opened Contempo Artisan Boutique in Boalsburg, Pennsylvania not only to showcase her beautiful pieces, but also to display the work of other local artists featuring stationary to furniture to apothecary items.

Contempo designs are hand crafted and styles range from minimalist mod to dainty whimsical and nature-inspired to utterly romantic. Jewelry lines feature the use of wrapped wire, ceramic tile, freshwater pearls, gold, silver, crystals, and gemstones. 

Please check out Contempo Jewelry's website for more information on custom or bridal pieces, as well as customer testimonials and photos. View items currently in stock at the Contempo Etsy shop, or if you're a lucky sucker - stop in the Contempo Artisan Boutique (and buy me something amazing!!!!).

And then, because you're addicted to deals just like me (I knew we were twins...), make sure you follow Contempo Jewelry on Twitter and Facebook!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Mini Adventures In Realistville

Some people consider themselves optimists. They see a life as a beautiful crystal goblet, filled halfway full with a concoction so sweet that it puts a permanent smile on their face for all of eternity.

Some people consider themselves pessimists. They see life as a half empty paper cup from McDonald's. The soda is flat and the ice has melted too fast. There's a hole in the straw, and the stupid thing left a water ring on the end table after they forgot to use a coaster.

I consider myself a realist. Life, for me, is my favorite mug - completely empty in the morning, just waiting to be filled.

Yes, that's Folger's in my cup...and Jim Beam. Juuuuust kidding, DFS and Personnel!
I have no recollection of how this mug came to be mine, but it seems to fit perfectly in my cup holder and I prefer it over all of the other mugs I've come across. What do I fill it with? Coffee, and like life, some days the coffee tastes amazing and some days the coffee tastes like complete shit. (That's not just a clever metaphor. I do a lot of things really well, but making good coffee is consistently absent from my list of accomplishments!) Realistically, it doesn't matter how the coffee tastes from day to day, just as long as I have the opportunity to drink it up.

The reality of today is that nothing major happened, but it still managed to be entertaining- and it kicked off with really decent cup of coffee (purchased at the gas station) in a Styrofoam cup.

Today was a staff training day at work. Call me an butt-kisser, but I honestly love days where I'm paid to go to work and be vocally productive instead of measurably productive. Bonus: jeans on a Monday AND free lunch.

One of my favorite things about staff training days is that I get to hang out with my brother all day. Aw, yeah, it's so sweet... No, really - I enjoy it. When you work with your brother, there's never that awkward "Is anybody sitting here?" moment when you're the person who doesn't necessarily have an office BFF. My brother is my office BFF, and ironically, he doesn't work in my office. He doesn't even work in my building, but we do work for the same company so it's pretty much the same thing I guess.

From Guy 1 to Guy 2 to Kim Jong Il to Macho Man Randy Savage.
I read somewhere that when you doodle, it actually helps you to retain the information being presented. We prefer to use the same notepad and pass it back and forth for critiquing and additional detailing. Wonder twin powers - ACTIVATE! 

As you can tell, the training was awesome. We each got 100% on the test at the end!

There was also a trip to Walmart today. I needed toilet paper and wound up swiping my debit card for a $39.56 total. Probably because I bought toilet paper and a bunch of random stuff that looked delicious...

$3.00 truffles and 2 kinds of crab dip. Be still my heart...

No photographic proof, but we also witnessed a young woman (AKA a SPINSTER) bicker with the Walmart cashier for a good 10 minutes over the sale price of purple yarn. Walmart wasn't going to price match for some reason. That lady's cat is going to be seriously pissed when he doesn't get that new sweater she promised to knit him!

When I got home, I had a flash back of the Incredible Hulk incident from a few weeks ago. As I trudged up the sidewalk with my various bags of irresistibles, I heard the deadbolt turn on the front door. "I didn't open the door to help you out. I opened it because I was hoping to see you flip out and toss a gallon of milk at the door again, Babe..." Har har har.

Time for a dose of Benedryl, Princess Rashy Face!
Mia had the day off from school. She also apparently hasn't outgrown her contact sensitivity to citrus fruits. Damn you, Cuties! You are delicious and so easy to peel, but you make my pretty girl look like she used a cheap Bic on a bone-dry face. "Mommy? It doesn't...(scratching) itch as much as ... well yeah, it itches - nevermind!"

Fingers crossed that the school doesn't doubt us enforcing the whole nightly face washing thing.

Pretend that visible crust on the stove is temporarily invisible. I actually cook in my kitchen - GASP!
I bake beautiful pies, don't I? Not fruit pies because that's just nasty, but pies filled with meat and vegetables. I'm a master at the homemade thing as long as it's semi-homemade. Translation of that crazy-talk: I don't buy frozen pot pies. Instead... 

  • 1 whole rotisserie chicken
  • 1 pkg of pre-made pie crust(2 crusts in the package)
  • 1 can of sliced carrots, liquid drained
  • 1 can of sliced potatoes, liquid drained
  • 1 can of cut green beans, liquid drained
  • 1 can of Campbell's Cream of Chicken w/ Herbs soup
  • 2 tsp McCormick's Original Perfect Pinch seasoning
  • Black pepper to taste

Pull legs and thighs off of the chicken and freeze for another meal. Remove one pre-made pie crust from fridge and bring to room temperature (in the plastic package) on the counter while you start preparing the filling. Pull meat from the breast of the chicken, shredding until picked clean, and put into a bowl and set aside. After you're finished with the chicken, open the pie crust and unroll it, then place it in your pie tin. To the chicken add in sliced carrots, sliced potatoes, and green beans. Fold mixture a few times to combine. Next add in the can of soup - do not dilute, it should remain thick like a gravy. Sprinkle with Perfect Pinch and pepper to taste. Remove second pie crust from the fridge to warm, and pre-heat your oven as directed on the package. Heat  the mixture in the microwave for 2 minutes before again folding to thoroughly coat meat and veggies in the gravy. Remove, pour filling into pie tin and top with second pie crust, crimping the edges shut with your fingers or a fork. Cut a few slits in the top of the pie crust to ventilate. Put in the oven and bake until it's a pretty golden brown.

Make it. You know you want to... The whole thing only takes about 45 minutes from prep to serve, and it's a really easy make ahead meal that you can freeze and bake later on.

And now, the piece de resistance of my day? Reality, baby:

Who hasn't done this at some point in their life?
Thank God this is someone else's reality. I'm going to guess that Richard K is an optimist... "For a little lovin', I can sleep inside this crack house and get lit? Take me to the nearest mattress, Romeo!"