Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Tantrum Tuesday - My House Is Never Clean

Look at the beautiful sunlight streaming through my kitchen window:

Now look closer at the beautiful sunlight streaming through my kitchen window:

No amount of cleaning seems to help. I wipe off the nose prints and they return, tenfold, within about 10 minutes.  It is futile.

I sweep the floor. Then Sam thinks about the floor from 6 blocks away. The floor is covered in fur.

I change the sheets on the bed. Then we fart. And even if it doesn't really make the sheets "unclean", I know they've been farted in and I can no longer think of them as fresh. They are sullied.

I vacuum the basement. Sam chews his bone on the carpet so it's like walking on a beach in there. But without the relaxing and waves and sunshine. Just the stepping on bits of bone and crushed grit.

I dust, and three months later, I have to dust again!

There are always tiny bits of lettuce in the sink. 

Should I just give up and go to a "How Clean is Your House" extreme? 

If you need me I'm hiding under the pile of unfolded sheets.

Monday, 30 July 2012

One Year Samiversary

It's been one year since we brought home our little/huge dog Sam.

After 10 years of living with my dog Gracie (future blog about THAT upcoming) convinced me that life with a dog was really nothing but frustration and yelling.

Sam changed that. Sam is a labrador retriever, so that means he is nothing but a loving pile of fur who wants nothing more than to sleep, wag his tail and be interested in things. And destroy crap, but that's of no matter.

Here is a little photo journey of Sam's first year with us.

With us for just 30 minutes.

Ankle high

Good sit!

Home and sleepy

Father and Son

Day 2

ignore the wiener. 3 months

Four months old
Sam, mommy and the creepy toenail of fate.

My fave shot


Boys playing. 5 months, I think

6 months, "special" procedure.

6 months

apparently this is relaxing

Beach Walk

I'msis likes swimmings!

the goose died soon after this photo was taken. RIP, goose.


cutest pillow, ever!

He really wants to fit on the window seat.

Brother and Sister. There was no love between them

Sam's 1st birthday. I have other clothes besides pyjamas.  I just hardly ever wear them.
what Sam did to the couch
Pre-couch eating nap.

It's been a furry year, Sam. Here's to many more.


Friday, 27 July 2012

Foodie Friday - My Mad Mexican Obsession and Recipes for Such.

I have recently discovered the avocado.

I spent most of my younger years (the years leading up to about 2 months ago) eschewing all things avocado because Weight Watchers tells me that it's "faaaaaahttening".

I was trying some samples at my local natural foods store and they had Mad Mexican Chunky Guacamole and Taco Chips on for offer. As it was free, I had to give it a try.

I swear I saw God.

This is the best, most creamily delicious green crud you will ever scoop up on a taco chip in your whole life. Or at least it was in mine. So far. Which isn't saying much as I have hardly ever had guac before. But let us not distract ourselves from the task at hand: Worshipping Mad Mexican Guac and Chips.

The chips and guacamole lasted about 10 minutes once I got it home. I think it's supposed to serve 6. Or 20. Probably 20. It is that good.

I knew I couldn't justify snacking like that too often/ever again, so I wanted to come up with more healthy, balanced ways of sneaking this delicious elixir into my meals.

I knew I'd have to forgo the chips. Period. Too bad. They rock.

So I came up with a couple recipes that could accommodate My New Love.

I cooked up these Black Bean Quesadillas with Spinach and Guacamole in an effort to justify my fix. The beans for protein, the greens for, well, greens, and the guac for my ever nagging jones.

I started with a basic recipe from the nice lady over at Olives For Dinner, and made my adjustments from there. Her recipe calls for four times the amount of spices, which makes me think it must be a type-o and I reduced it drastically. It would have been overpowering, I think, otherwise.

1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp salt
1/2 red onion or 3 small shallots, chopped
4-6 cloves garlic, sliced
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup chopped spinach or chard (I used chard)
12 cherry tomatoes, halved
Pepper Jack daiya
Mad Mexican Guacamole or some other inferior guac that you like.
8 whole grain tortillas
olive oil
to serve: fresh cilantro, vegan sour cream, salsa
Preheat your oven to 400. Combine spices together in a small bowl. Set aside. 

Heat about half tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add in the onions saute until soft. Add in the garlic and saute for a minute more. Add the spice blend to the skillet and mix well, sauteing about a minute more. 

Add in the black beans and spinach, along with about 4 Tablespoons water. Saute for a few minutes until greens are slightly wilted, but still bright green. Remove from the heat and throw in the tomatoes.

Place a tablespoon of oil onto a cookie sheet. Place the tortilla onto the oil and swirl it around, and then flip it over. Place into the oven to bake for 5-7 minutes, or until slightly browned. Remove from the oven and repeat oiling a fresh tortilla. Place a generous amount of the skillet mixture onto the tortilla and place into the oven. Bake for 7-10 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with a handful of the daiya and some chopped fresh cilantro. Spread a generous amount of Mad Mexican Guac on one of the first baked tortilla , turn over and place the cooked tortilla on top. Slice into quarters with a pizza wheel or very sharp knife.

Serve with vegan sour cream and salsa.

Easy Delicious Appetizers using Mad Mexican Guacamole Because it is Freaking Awesome.


Ace Bakery Rosemary and Sea Salt Crisps

Hummus - home made or store bought
Mad Mexican Guac
Cherry Tomatoes, diced

Spread hummus and then guac on as many crisp bread pieces as you intend to serve/cram into your cake hole. Top with tomatoes and cilantro. Fill gullet.

I have recently sampled Mad Mexican's Two-Way JalapeƱo Black Bean Dip. The wheels are already turning.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Thankful Thursdays - Naps

I am well aware that I am the luckiest Princess in Princessland. So when I talk about how thankful I am for naps, I do so with a big twinge of guilt because most people I know do not have the luxury of the daily nap. But I can't help but want to sing the praises of the sweet, sweet nap, despite the smirks that may result.

I nap pretty much every day.

I love naps. Like, really.

Sometimes for 30 minutes. Sometimes an hour. More often than I care to admit I have hunkered down for the three hour nap. Like Gilligan's fated tour, I don't expect to be gone so long. It just kinda happens.

This has been going on for years. Probably 15 years or so. Almost every day after lunch, I find that I need a little lie down. It used to be because I'd been to the gym or run 10 miles that morning. However, now, without exercising that much (or at all),  I'm usually not even that sleepy. I just need to lie down and be calm and quiet. And then I fall asleep anyway. Remember, my daily life is not exactly that of a stock broker or ER nurse. My days are placid. Beyond placid. So why I should need to find my mellow in a day that consists mainly of mellow, well, I don't know.

It's such a habit that Fiona, my beloved cat, will come and remind me that it's nap time if I don't show up at my usual time. She meows at me and then scoots upstairs ahead of me and jumps up on the bed. We're a couple of gals that love routine.

Still, I  have to be careful about my naps. If I nap too soon before I have to go out and do something, trouble can happen. I wake up from one of my three hour slumber benders and I feel like I'm in a fog for a good hour afterward. If I have to do something that requires decision making, or putting one foot in front of the other, chances are, I'm going to fail.

Luckily for me, the most I have to do in an afternoon is a couple errands, pick up a mountain of dog poo, laundry, cooking dinner, cleaning or accepting deliveries of running shoes and baseball hats from UPS because my husband is addicted to buying sports apparel on line. None of those activities require a fully functioning brain.

My nap dreams are always the most vivid dreams. They usually revolve around losing Gracie in a crowd, all of my friends hating me or suddenly realizing I've given myself a very drastic home perm. I don't have Nancy Trapp dreams anymore since I became her Facebook friend. Weird, eh? Maybe that's how you can get a song that's stuck in your head to stop, too. I have to become the Facebook friend of the theme song to How the Grinch Stole Christmas. In my head for years. Years, people!

Anyway, let's hear it for naps. Hurray naps! You keep me from accomplishing greatness. Or anything, really.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Sex and Fame

 I hugged the guy who wrote Puff The Magic Dragon. 

But that was it. It was just a hug. He was a little creepy and gropey about it, but whatever.  I didn’t mind because he’s kinda old and famous. That makes me kind of slutty, I guess.

Famous people get away with so much crap. Sure, they're under the microscope for stupid little things, too. But mostly I think they get a lot of slack cut for them because they've extended their 15 minutes

tic tic tic, Paris.

However, people who only attained only modest levels of celebrity for a short period of time are usually under appreciated and are super thin and pretty.

 A long time ago, I asked two of my heterosexual female friends how much they’d have to be paid to have sex with Cindy Crawford. One friend said $10,000. The other said there was no amount of money that would induce her to go to the other side, even for one night. She’s squeamish about boobs.

 Hell, I’d do it for free if I could tell everyone about it afterward. Best cocktail party story ever. 

I think that friend would now change her mind. One night of awkwardness with Cindy Crawford and her mortgage could be paid off.  There are worse things one could do. And people.

I admit that, growing up, I really wanted to be super famous. But I wasn't confident enough to think I could be famous in my own right. I wanted "by association" fame. I wanted to be Steven Tyler’s girlfriend. 

hotly androgynous rock god.

A long time ago. Before he was gross. 

weirdly gummy and super excited about everything not  rock god.
And even before he got cool after being gross the first time he was gross. I don’t think you could pay me enough to be a wrangler for his unbridled enthusiasm for everything everywhere. Chill, Steve. It’s ok to age.

Even when I did get my 15 minutes, I am well aware of the fact that I was still only famous by my proximity to the really famous one. It was ok. I still got free stuff now and then.

But you know, it never got me any sex.

We were in Providence, playing at some club that was a converted K-Mart or something like that, and after the show, I told our tour manager that I'd had enough of all the cute girls trying to get back stage (there weren't that many, and they weren't the slutty kind, sadly, for the guys in the band). I told him to go and bring back some hot college guys, because dammit that was our demographic and hell if I wasn't going to make the most of my rapidly passing 15 minutes. I had something to prove.

So the guy, the ONE guy he allows back stage is this kid, maybe 18, acne ravaged and kind of sore looking.

 Tour manager says, Ellen, this is "Dave" (read: nameless potential shag), "Dave" this is Ellen. He smiled and said. "So.... what's it like working with Brad?"

I said, "why don't you ask him", and introduced him to Brad right away, saddling my boss with what could have been a regrettable night of non-passion. 

And no, I wouldn't have had sex with him even if he had been interested. Not even for $10,000. No cocktail party is worth that kind of shame.