Thursday, June 13, 2013

My apologies...and fajitas!

Okay, okay. I said I was gonna keep up with this blog, and I didn't, I know, I suck. I'm a terrible blogger. BUT, I'm trying really hard to get back into it and keep up with it. Anyone reading this (if there's even anyone, who freaking knows) is probably only reading it because they have similar stay-at-home mom/housewivery woes, so surely you can understand my predicament of not having any free time. Well, let me rephrase--I technically do have free time, like when my youngest is napping and my oldest is either in school or (now that he's out for summer) practically living at my mother's house. But my "free time" is oh so rarely dedicated to myself, it's usually dedicated to chores. And yet, for some reason, my house is never clean...

Luckily for me, I'm an extravagantly fast typist, and it will take me about 5 minutes to get this blog post typed and posted. I'm hoping by the time I've hit PUBLISH, my 18 month old will have stopped yelling "MAMA! MAMA!" from his crib and will actually be asleep for his nap. Fingers crossed, everybody, because otherwise, mama's evening beer schedule might get moved up a few hours. Kidding, kidding...probably kidding...

BUT, in an effort to apologize (mostly to myself) for my obvious lack in commitment to my blog, I am going to share one of my personal favorite recipes: BEEF FAJITAS!!!! Look guys, I even took a few pictures! So, I mean, really, you can tell I'm making an effort here...

This recipe is so simple and so delicious. Seriously, when I first told my husband I was making fajitas the next day for dinner, he didn't seem all that interested. Then suddenly it dawned on him what I meant and he asked, "Wait, you mean the fajitas you make that have like the green sauce on them?" To which I replied, "Well, umm...duh." His response was a very emphatic, "YESSSSS!!!!!" Apparently he thought I meant "plain" or "regular" fajitas. What a silly man.

Anyway, so the beef marinates for...well, however long you want it to, really, and every time you take it out of the fridge to stir it up, it makes your mouth water. It smells so good, and it tastes even better. I usually make pico de gallo to go with it too, which I didn't have time to make THIS time around, but I suppose I could post that recipe as well...

So, let's continue!

Don't you love the cluttered-island-counter backdrop for this photo? I think it really adds charm to the picture of the food. But oh just look at all the yummy stuff in that food processor...

...waiting patiently for me to hit the button and CHOP IT UP INTO TINY BITS!!!! BWAHAHAHAHAHA. Okay no really, every time I use my food processor, I act out a ridiculous and hilarious murder scene and pretend my food knows exactly what's about to happen to it. I have my fun when I can. "Don't tease me about my hobbies, I don't tease you for being an asshole."

I took this picture right after dumping the marinade over the beef and stirring it up. It sits in a glass baking dish, gets covered with foil, and gets put in the fridge. And then a few hours later...

...the cooking begins, and then your whole fridge smells heavenly, and your husband tries to steal the meat out of the pan until you threaten to make him watch you and the kids eat the fajitas while he eats nothing but plain tortillas for dinner. PLAIN tortillas. Not even any butter. That'll make him stop, I promise.

Lime-Cilantro Marinated Fajitas
Servings: I don't know...9 or 10 or so? I'm not very good at this.
Prep/cook time: Prep time about 15 or so minutes, cook time about 5 minutes. With several hours of longing for food in between, while waiting for the marinating process to be complete.

  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 red onion, roughly chopped
  • juice from 2-3 limes, or if you're like me and forget to buy limes at the store and have lime juice in the fridge, I'd say use about 3 tablespoons of lime juice, maybe a little more
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp dried thyme
  • 1-2 cups loosely packed cilantro leaves (in case you've forgotten from my taco soup post, I LOVE cilantro, and in my opinion you just can't have too much of it)
  • 1 cup corn oil
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2-3 lbs steak***
  • 10 flour tortillas (or corn tortillas, if you're weird and prefer those)
  • pico de gallo (see recipe below)
  • shredded Mexican blend cheese
  • sour cream
***I will freely admit that I don't know the first thing about steak, and don't know what kind of steak would be best for this. Flank steak, probably, in which case you can wait until it's done cooking before slicing it up and leave it whole while it's marinating. If you do that, you'd probably want to GRILL the steak instead of cook it on the stove like I do. HOWEVER, I always buy that "fajita steak" that comes in bags. I know, it's probably not as healthy, but steak is often way overpriced (to me anyway) and the fajita meat is already cooked, so I don't have to cook it for very long! I think I usually buy that John Soule's brand...?

  1. Add the garlic, red onion, lime juice, jalapeño, thyme, cilantro, corn oil and honey to a food processor or blender. Puree the ingredients until they're mixed well, and yes, the color will be sort of off-putting, but the smell will remind you of why you're making it.
  2. Place the beef in a shallow baking dish and pour the marinade over it (or, you can put the meat and the marinade in a large Ziploc bag, which might actually be easier). Stir the meat up to make sure all the meat is covered in the marinade, and cover the dish with aluminum foil. Place it in the fridge, and force yourself to wait...for a while. Note: You can marinate it overnight if you prefer, but I usually make it in the morning and let it marinate all day, and I stir it about once every hour or hour and a half to make sure the meat is well incorporated with the marinade. If it's all in a Ziploc bag, however, there's no real need to stir it over and over, so you can easily let it sit in the fridge overnight instead.
  3. Pour all this limey-cilantro-goodness covered steak into a pan and turn your stove on medium heat. If you buy the "fajita steak" like I do, the meat itself is already cooked, so you just have to cook it long enough to warm it up--hence why I prefer MY method, because it's way easier and faster. And cheaper. Did I mention cheaper?
  4. You can drain off the marinade (or most of it) if you'd like, or you can leave it on and use it as a sauce on your fajitas. I usually drain off about half of it, only because of the corn oil, which can make a big mess for when you reheat leftovers (just ask my husband about our white sheets and how I dripped that marinade mess all over the place when I was trying to eat these fajitas in bed).
  5. Serve on tortillas with whatever the hell you want, and enjoy!

Homemade Pico de Gallo
Prep time: 20 minutes or so, because chopping 6 tomatoes is really damned annoying and tedious work, especially when you have to chop up all this other crap with it too.

  • 6 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
  • 1/2 lime, juiced (or about 1 tbsp lime juice, again, because I often seem to forget to buy limes)
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pinch ground cumin
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl. 
  2. Refrigerate about 3-4 hours before serving.
  3. ...That's it. Enjoy!

Friday, March 8, 2013

These terrible, selfish parents, wanting to be happy and whatnot...

Okay, I'm gonna drop the humorous parenting and housewife anecdotes for a minute here and talk about something a little more seriously. I apologize in advance for the lengthy rant I'm about to go on.

About a week ago, E! News celebrity Giuliana Rancic made the statement to US Weekly that she and her husband put their marriage first, baby second. She said, "'s funny because a lot of people, when they have kids, they put the baby first, and the marriage second. That works for some people. For us, I find, we put our marriage first and our child second, because the best thing we can do for him is have a strong marriage."

I don't usually follow or pay attention to things like this, and I probably still wouldn't know about it if I hadn't been flipping through the channels on Friday and, for some reason, decided to start watching a bit on HLN where a couple reporters were discussing Rancic's comments. They were talking about why they agree with her, and discussing the fact that apparently, Rancic has received a lot of flack about these "controversial statements." Side note: I really hate it when people use that term. "Controversial statements" or remarks. It's silly. Most remarks celebrities make are perceived as controversial by SOMEONE - because they're human beings who have their own opinions and since they're famous, their opinions are often voiced louder than ours are, and there are always going to be plenty of people who disagree with them and want to make THEIR opinions heard too. But, I digress.

After I watched this bit about it on HLN, I thought about it for a little while and I realized--oh my god, that's exactly what my husband and I have been doing this whole time. We've made our kids our entire priority and the centers of our universe. Anyone who knows us personally may (or may not, I don't know) know that we've had our fair share of issues since we got married two years ago, and we've dealt with a lot of bullshit. We've gone through several really unpleasant, unhappy and downright ugly phases. I've heard a lot of married people say that the first year or two is the hardest. I've also heard a lot of married people say that the first year or two is the best. There really is no definitive answer, because everyone is different, every marriage is different, and what works for some people won't work for everyone. But what these people were saying seemed to me to be completely and 100% accurate and good advice. Basically, what it comes down to is this: 

First of all, our children look to us as their parents for everything. Not just for the essentials to growing and survival, I mean for what to do in life. The first notions of marriage we get are from our parents. Hence why children of divorced parents often go on to marry and divorce, sometimes more than once--or often they use it as their knowledge of what NOT to do in a marriage. Whether we become another statistic because of the situation we were forced into or we use the situation we were forced into to our advantage or we have a good, solid memory and foundation of marriage because of our own parents' happy marriage, it all translates into: we look to our parents for guidance on marriage, just like we do (or did as kids, at least) for everything else. So if you have a strong, happy marriage, your children see that, and they emulate that later in life.

Second of all, when children see their parents are unhappy--and no, they don't have to see you fighting or arguing for those of you who think that by not fighting in front of the kids you're doing them a favor, you're not, kids are extremely perceptive and can feel any tension or negativity between you and your spouse--they often feel anxious, or nervous, or worried, or just plain stressed out. They don't know how to voice these emotions, if they're younger anyway, so it often turns into acting out. Misbehaving in school, talking back at home, things like that. So if your children can see the love you and your spouse have for each other, and can see the strong bond between you and that you are happy together and in love with each other, your kids feel more secure about their family and their home life.

In essence, if your MARRIAGE is strong, your entire "family unit" is strong. And I'm sorry but based on various blogs I've read, posts on Reddit and other websites I've seen, stories I've heard from people and MY OWN EXPERIENCE--I have YET to see a marriage that is strong and happy where the couple makes their entire world and relationship revolve around their kids. I'm not saying this doesn't happen, I'm not saying it's impossible, I'm just saying.

To explain a little better, I'm going to go on a tangent and make up a story about a random family. So, say, John and Jane are married with two kids, Sally and Andrew. Jane thinks her marriage is totally fine and happy, tells all their friends at dinner parties that she and John have never been happier, while John just silently nods his head and eats his dinner. Why? Well, apart from being annoyed that his entire family has nothing but these ridiculous cookie-cutter 1950's sitcom names, he also has been emotionally and physically neglected by Jane pretty much ever since Sally and Andrew came along. Where he and Jane used to be so happy and they had a great marriage and a great sex life, ever since having kids, they have no alone time, no date nights, and NO sex. Jane isn't ever interested in having sex and tells John there's no time for sex, or date nights, or just alone time, because after the kids get home from school, she fixes them a wholesome and delicious snack, and Sally has ballet practice Tuesdays and Thursdays and gymnastics on Fridays, and Andrew has karate on Mondays and soccer on Wednesdays and Fridays, and once they get home from all these utterly exhausting activities, Jane cooks her family a nice warm meal. After the undoubtedly rushed dinner the family eats (how could it not be rushed? After all, it must take hours to do all these incredibly exhausting things), then it's time for homework and then bedtime stories and then brushing teeth and baths and blah blah BLAH. So, after a while, John doesn't even try to have sex with Jane anymore, nor does he try to kiss her or give her hugs anymore, because, well, he doesn't want to hug or kiss her anymore, because she rarely reciprocates said kissing or hugging, and even when she does, it feels just as rushed as the rest of the day, and he just feels neglected and unfulfilled. Sometimes when Sally and Andrew are playing together in the backyard, they wonder why daddy never hugs mommy or buys her flowers anymore. So, while Jane is busy trying her damnedest to be mommy dearest, she's completely ignoring her marriage to John. So when Sally and Andrew are all grown up and have moved off to college, suddenly Jane seems absolutely stunned when she and John have nothing to talk about, nothing in common, and no real happiness left. And then she doesn't understand why John is suddenly handing her divorce papers...

Okay, so, this might be a little exaggerated according to some people, but I'm not kidding when I say, THIS IS NOT UNCOMMON, PEOPLE. This happens ALL THE TIME. I don't know about you, but I don't want that for my husband and me. It sounds AWFUL, not to mention, ridiculously exhausting, and totally unfair to everyone involved. And what's crazy is, the reason why Giuliana Rancic's comments were deemed so "controversial" by some is because, well, some parents and married couples seem to think it's backwards. OBVIOUSLY you should put the children first and HOW SELFISH do you have to be to put YOU and YOUR HUSBAND'S happiness above YOUR CHILDREN? BECAUSE EVERYONE KNOWS THAT ONCE YOU HAVE CHILDREN THE ONLY PERSON OR PEOPLE WHO ARE SUPPOSED TO MAKE YOU HAPPY IS YOUR CHILD OR CHILDREN AND IF ANYONE EVER MAKES YOU HAPPY WHO ISN'T ONE OF YOUR KIDS YOU ARE A HORRRRRIBLE PAAAAARENT!!!!! Seriously, that's how some of these folks think. 

These are actual responses to what Giuliana Rancic said. One person had the NERVE to "blame" her logic on the fact that she and her husband used a surrogate due to fertility issues, and another is basically placing a wager on how long the marriage will last. In my opinion, THESE parents are the horrible ones, for being so goddamn judgmental.

It's ridiculous. They think that by saying "I put my marriage first," you're really saying, "I only care if my spouse and I are happy, I don't care whether or not the kids are happy," or they think you're saying, "YES, put your marriage first, and ignore your kids." Umm, no. No, no one is saying that at all, in fact that's the opposite of what I'm saying; you're just an asshole for trying to put words in my mouth and make me look like a shitty parent. 

What it REALLY means is, if your marriage is happy, your family is happy. If your marriage is strong, your family is strong. If your kids can see that mommy is in love with daddy and daddy is in love with mommy, your kids are going to feel secure and safe, and they're going to go into their own marriages with memories of mommy and daddy being happy and they're going to use that to put towards their own marital bliss. This in no way translates into: focus everything on the spouse, forget the kids. No one is saying ignoring your children is the key. Just...make time for your damn spouse. Have SEX--an utterly ridiculous concept to some married couples, because "obviously" sex is only for procreation and all that nonsense, but for those of us who realize that, well, that's just moronic, yes, sex is good. It's not all about basal temperatures and tracking ovulation, or it shouldn't be anyway. It should be about connecting with your husband or wife, about intimacy, about closeness, about bonding, about romance and passion and all that other sappy stuff that may seem cheesy but that doesn't make it untrue. Plan date nights where you DON'T talk about your kids (okay that actually seriously does require effort, especially for stay at home moms like me, because if my husband asks about my day, it's always going to have an answer involving the kids), after the kids are in bed, instead of moving onto some kind of chore or going straight to bed, spend an hour or even just 30 minutes talking to your husband or wife, or snuggle up on the couch or in bed and watch TV or a movie together, read a book together in bed while holding hands, don't use TV or books as a way to ignore and disconnect from the other person by sitting on the opposite end of the couch or on total opposite sides of the bed. Start cooking dinner together once a week and be silly and have fun while you cook, take family walks in the evenings where you take turns pushing the stroller and you talk to each other the whole time, or have your oldest kid push the stroller or hold hands with the youngest kid or walk the dog or whatever and let them walk in front of you while you watch and walk behind them holding your husband's or wife's hand and just talk to each other. My god, it's not rocket science, I can't believe it's taken me this long to see it and put the advice to good use in my own marriage. Just be happy together. 

If you and your spouse put your kids first AND HAVE A GENUINELY HAPPY MARRIAGE, not just one you THINK is happy but it ACTUALLY IS HAPPY, then obviously, keep on keepin' on, cuz what you're doing is working. But from what I've seen and experienced, putting the kids first will usually lead to unhappy marriages, and then what happens once your kids have moved out? IF YOUR WHOLE MARRIAGE WAS ABOUT YOUR KIDS, THEN WHEN THEY MOVE OUT, YOUR MARRIAGE HAS NOTHING LEFT. Duh. It's pretty simple logic, really. 

But I can say this: ever since my husband and I talked about what I watched on HLN (I told him about it that same evening), and we've put the advice to use, we were already happier by the next damn day!!!! He's been giving me more compliments and sending me cute, sweet texts in the mornings for me to wake up to, we've got a date night planned for tomorrow night, I haven't been going off the wall losing my temper about every tiny little thing, I've been talking to him more and we haven't been arguing constantly like we used to. Our kids are still getting our attention, they haven't been getting ignored and neglected, there have been no trips to the ER because no one was watching and the baby hit his head on the corner of the fireplace or any other disastrous situation, we've just been putting in the effort to make OUR happiness a priority, and WE ARE HAPPIER FOR IT. If a year from today I am posting that my husband and I are miserable or that our whole family is homeless because we were so busy being lovesick teenagers that we became reckless and our house burned down, then any naysayers out there can feel free to do an "I told you so" dance around me as I cry shamelessly to our homeowners insurance company about needing our house rebuilt. Until then, quit being such a Negative Nancy and maybe take a good long look at your own marriage and decide if you should try not making your children the ENTIRE center of your universe as well. 

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Oh, the hairstyle woes of a housewife.

You know, I had my hair in a nice cute bun earlier. A minute ago, I was walking through my room (to sit my fat ass down in bed, because I obviously have no intention of doing anything productive today) and I walked past the mirror and had to stop and back up and look again.

Upon further inspection, it appears that my hair took it upon itself to fall down (which is fine and perfectly normal - obviously, I mean I require a bun or a ponytail 99% of the time for various reasons, I think I know by now that it doesn't stay perfect and in place 6 hours later) and turn into an abomination.

It's not like it simply loosened and fell down my head. No. It fell, it took lots of shorter baby hairs around my face down with it, causing one of those "crazy-lady-with-hair-sticking-out-everywhere" situations, and then a frizzy, tangled, rat's nest ponytail of an ordeal where my bun should be.

So my hair has a mind of its own, and clearly not a very intelligent one. If my hair had even an average IQ, it would know to IMPROVE the situation residing on my head instead of slaughter it.

But, the good news is - I now look like I've been doing LOTS of housework today. I may be able to trick myself (and perhaps my husband) into thinking I've actually cleaned house!!


**Edit:** To clarify, I have yet to correct my hair into a civilized state of being. If I fix it now, how will my husband ever be fooled into thinking I've been doing actual productive things around our house?!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

I have no clever title for today.

I don't really have much to post about today--well, I do, but my head is pounding and I don't feel like it.

But, I did want to offer a cleaning tip that some of you may or may not already know. I discovered it a couple weeks ago by trying something out, and just had to utilize it a few minutes ago because my six year old son still eats like a 1 year old baby--messy face, grubby hands, and OHMYGOD CRUMBS--and got tiny bits of Goldfish everywhere.

So, cleaning tip of the day:
If you have a microfiber or suede couch (and probably any type of couch that isn't leather, really), then you know how hard it is to wipe crumbs and dirt off of it. You wipe with your hand to get it into your other hand or onto the floor to be swept/vacuumed, and it just sticks or bounces around, moving to a different cushion or falling between cushions, frustrating you to the point that you'd rather set the couch on fire than deal with it again. Right? Is that just me?

Ok well anyway, if you take your little hand broom and use that to sweep the crumbs off the couch into the dustpan (or just onto the floor, cuz fuck it, the floor's already filthy and needs a good sweeping anyway), this works WAY better than the previously mentioned "method." You have to sweep them off a couple times cuz they don't just slide right off, but it is a much more efficient method.

Another good use for your hand broom: use it to wipe the dust off of your baseboards when they're looking disgusting, and then sweep it all off the floor. Then have your husband or one of your kids (whoever is annoying you more at that moment) go behind you with a damp cloth and quickly wipe the baseboards down. Seriously, if you use the hand broom to do it first, it makes "cleaning" them WAY easier.

Hope this is useful! Enjoy!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Diaper hilarity (and trauma).

So, a while back I registered on the Huggies (and others) website so I could get diaper coupons and stuff, although we ended up switching to Pampers, then realized how expensive those are and said "Screw you Pampers, Walmart brand it is!"

Anyway, so of course you put in your baby's birthday and all that, so they can send you emails periodically about things pertaining to your little bundle of joy's age group. For anyone who doesn't know, he's now 14 months old.

Well I just got an email from them and the subject said "Is it time for your baby to move up to a size 4 diaper?"

HA! HA HA HA!!!!!

Oh Huggies, your naivety is so adorable. My baby has been in a size FIVE diaper for the last six months or so. My baby is a future linebacker and your puny size fours are laughable to parents like my husband and me. He would look at a size 4 diaper and probably wonder if it's supposed to go on his leg. Or, if he were capable, he would probably say, "What is this, a diaper for ants? Are there really babies my age that are this small?"

And speaking of diapers...let's talk about baby poop. No, really--let's. This incident actually happened a few days ago, but I was too traumatized by the event to write about it the same day. I think I'm ready now...

It was a normal Saturday morning. My child had a dirty diaper. I discovered this while laying on the couch when he crawled to me and started climbing up right on top of me, and I realized that the air I was breathing was suddenly filled with a dreadfully familiar poop pollution. He was climbing all over me, giggling away, pulling my hair, slamming his head into mine and causing me to say very colorful words very loudly in front of my six year old, you know, the usual charming things babies and toddlers do. I managed to free myself from his grasp and got off the couch, then turned to pick him up so I could change his terrible smelling diaper, and then I realized that his dirty diaper had, well...exploded.

It was all over his back, on my couch, on the pillow I was laying on, and I could feel that it was on the back of my shirt too. The box of baby wipes was nowhere to be seen and I started yelling "WHERE ARE THE WIPES??!!" as if this would make them appear before my eyes, but I was becoming more and more traumatized by the minute and got a little panicked. My husband, who had previously been asleep in our room, suddenly emerged wondering what the hell was going on. Luckily HE knew where the wipes were, since he was the one who had left them on the dining room table the night before (ahem), and brought them to me. Then HE saw what the hell was going on and understood exactly why I was yelling and took over from there. He went to clean the little darling off, I started the bath water (otherwise we would've used an entire box of wipes on this one), and then went to change my shirt which did, in fact, have poop on it. Before I could even remove my shirt, however, I wanted to put my hair in a ponytail because my hair is very long and I was afraid it would get in the mess on the back of my shirt. As I was doing this, I realized...there was baby poop in my hair. And then of course on my hand since I had my hair in my hand.

I have never wanted to cry about baby poop before that day. I can deal with it if it gets on my hand (still gross, but hey, it's motherhood, we all have plenty of hand soap and anti bacterial spray and gel and whatnot), or on the floor (especially now that we don't live in a carpeted home - much easier to clean it off of wood floors than out of carpet), and I wasn't even all that grossed out about it being on my shirt or my pillow or my couch. These can all easily be washed. But my hair...ew.

Now yes my hair can easily be washed as well. But there is just something about having your son's (or anyone's for that matter) CRAP in your own HAIR that just, well, makes you want to vomit and cry at the same time.

All in all, I think I handled the situation fairly well. And everyone I've told this story to has found it very humorous, but let me tell you something. It was NOT humorous at the time. Funny parenting story now, life-ruining tragic event as it was occurring.

Do you have any similar stories that are just as disgustingly traumatizing as this one? If you're ready to discuss them (I understand if you're still shell--I mean, shit-shocked over the experience and unable to discuss it), feel free to comment and tell me your story. We can commiserate (and laugh/cry/puke) together.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Today was fine. Then it wasn't.

You know, I'm pretty good at a lot of beauty related things. I find that I'm actually quite talented with makeup (I haven't perfected the art of "costume" makeup yet, but still), I can style my hair fairly nicely, and I dye it at home all the time, by myself. However. Highlights...are an entirely different story. And today, for me, it wasn't merely highlights, it was going back over the highlights I did last week. My hair is so dark they came out a little golden and orange in some parts so I had to go back over them.

Here's how to ruin a perfectly good, normal day, if you're in the mood to do so:

1. Make the decision to highlight (or touch up existing highlights) your OWN hair - all by yourself.

2. Get all your necessary tools together (foils, clips, tinting brush, bleach, developer, etc., etc.) and mix your bleach or your hair color and all that.

3. Make sure to wear gloves. Otherwise when the smallest glob of bleach mixture falls onto your hand, it will feel like it's being pricked by about a thousand needles all at once in that one spot. Trust me on this one. Now then. If you're merely highlighting your hair, skip step 4. If you're re-doing or fixing existing highlights (like me), proceed to step 4.

4. Spend 30 fucking minutes or more trying to find and separate out all of your existing highlights. OBVIOUSLY when you first did them the week prior you weren't counting on having to go over them a second time and you probably decided to put them in obscure locations and you can't seem to figure out which way you had your hair parted when you did them. Am I right?!?!?! UGH.

5. Hold your section of hair to be highlighted in one hand and your foil in the other and hold your foil against your head AND PROCEED TO COMPLETELY SCREW YOURSELF OVER. Seriously, from what I've heard, you get better at it with practice, much like most other things (hence my theory about parenting abilities improving with each child - practice makes perfect, so my first born is screwed), but I don't know how people can STAND to do this on themselves often enough to become good at it. I'm sure it's so much easier foiling on other people than it is on yourself. But I am pretty sure I will never do it again. My foils kept sliding, making bleach touch parts of my hair that I didn't want it to. Halfway through my "waiting around in misery until I can finally wash this smelly garbage out of my hair" time, my foils do I put this...EXPLODING?! Leaking bleach out everywhere, dripping down my freaking neck, and once again MAKING BLEACH TOUCH MORE PARTS OF MY HAIR THAT I DIDN'T WANT IT TO.

6. Continue selecting chunks to highlight or however you want to do it and continue screwing yourself, and your hair, over completely. See step 5 if you need additional instructions or reminders.

7. Wait around in misery until you can finally wash that smelly garbage out of your hair.

8. Take the foils out and rinse the bleach from your hair. Rinse really well, or you will regret it. Then shampoo your hair with a mild shampoo (I like that Mane n Tail stuff for things like this). If you're worried about brassiness, you can also try the Clairol stuff that I cannot think of the damn name of and am too lazy to walk the five feet to my shower to look at it - it's in a purple bottle and the shampoo itself is purple. It's good for non-natural-blonde hair.

9. Condition the CRAP out of your hair, even though you and I both know that you can condition all you want, that bleach killed your fucking hair and it's gonna feel like crap. The conditioning will just help it feel less like crap, temporarily. And it will also make it smell good.

10. Towel dry your hair and check yourself out in the mirror. Now note what time it is and realize that you've wasted FOUR HOURS OF YOUR DAMN DAY doing this shit, and then realize that's probably why your husband kept giving you dirty looks every time he walked by and saw you still standing there declaring mutiny on yourself and your hair. HE saw it as declaring mutiny on him because the baby decided to be a pain in the ass for him the whole time you were busy with your hair. He has no clue what trauma you've just been through; you may need to kick him in the shin.

11. Do your highlights look nice? If the answer is yes, proceed to steps 12-13.
If the answer is no, congratulations, you've done exactly what I did a week ago, and you wasted all that time and energy, and all those awesome new curse words you came up with during the process that no one was around to hear. Guess what, you'll get to repeat all these amazing steps again when your hair is done crying and trying to mend itself! THEN you'll get to do steps 12-13!

12. You can now, for the first time in FOUR MOTHER-F*ING HOURS, smile and be proud of your work. However, now would be a good time to text all your girl friends the same message: "Remind me to never highlight my own effing hair again."

13. Go seek compliments from your husband about your amazing new highlights. If he doesn't notice, doesn't compliment them, or doesn't like them, then mix up some more bleach later that night and bleach his hair in his sleep. This will be even more awesome if your husband, like mine, has extremely dark hair, for two reasons: one, it would probably be orangey or at least golden, and two, his thick dark eyebrows won't match at all and he will look ridiculous.

Fortunately, my husband liked my highlights very much and made sure to tell me so. So his head of soft, lovely, dark brown (with some grays...heh) is safe. For now.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Taco Soup

So, since I promised there would be some recipes on here, I made sure to take pictures while I was making my taco soup the other night.

Note: I do not give a shit about taking fancy pictures of food or anything else I might be making like most cooking and crafty blogs do. I take pictures on my iPhone as I go, if I remember to, and all I care about is whether or not they're in focus. So if you're looking for fancy pictures of food, then visit someone else's blog. I do not have the time, patience, or even the desire, to try to impress anyone with pretty, neat pictures of all my spices and herbs poured out onto a flat surface next to the nicely minced garlic and already chopped onion, arranged neatly around whatever meat or "main ingredient"the recipe calls for. Who's got the f*ing time for that? Not this gal.

End rant.

This recipe is actually (mostly) the way my mom makes her taco soup, and one day I asked her to write the recipe down for me so I could make it. I don't do it exactly the way she does every time, but it's almost exactly like hers. It's REALLY easy to make and I often have most of the ingredients I need already on hand. If you know how to brown beef, then you can probably handle the rest. It's one of those foods that's just perfect to make on really cold nights.

Anyway, here's a few pictures and brief descriptions of the steps (and some self deprecating comments about my picture taking), but don't worry, the full recipe is at the bottom. Oh, and if you're wondering why I used such an enormous pot when clearly I am not going to be filling even half of it, it's because I just freaking can.

Not that anyone doesn't really know what browning beef looks like, but hey, I remembered to take pictures as I was cooking, which is impressive enough on its own. After browning the beef you simply add some onion, garlic, taco seasoning, water and beef bouillon cubes...

This doesn't look attractive at all. But I promise, the smell is amazing, and you'll thank me for the wonderful aroma that fills your kitchen (or at least masks the scent of dirty diapers in the trash, whatever), especially when you move on to the next two steps.

Here it looks much better, unless you don't like corn or pinto beans or tomatoes. In which case I suggest you not even bother making this dish.

Ahh, this is really my favorite part, besides devouring it. This is where you add the cilantro! If I could put cilantro in everything...I probably would. 

The final product, topped with sour cream and shredded cheddar cheese.

Once it's all mixed up and ready to be stuffed into my mouth, it looks like this, and I like to break a few tortilla chips into it for some crunch. Also, aren't you just loving the fact that I've still got my Christmas tablecloth on my dining room table?

Taco Soup
Servings: I have no idea the exact number of servings, I can tell you it makes plenty for my family and we've still got a lot left.
Prep/cook time: It literally took me over two hours to make this dish ONLY BECAUSE of all the times I had to stop what I was doing and kiss bo-bo's and change diapers and deal with homework and whiny kids. But if I didn't have to do all that, it would've probably taken about 30 minutes total.

  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 2 tbsp chili powder, or more/less as desired
  • 1/2 white onion, chopped (you can do a whole onion if you prefer, but I don't have the patience to chop an entire onion unless I absolutely have to)
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 cups water*
  • 2 packets taco seasoning mix**
  • 2 beef bouillon cubes
  • 4 cans Rotel (Mild or Original)
  • 1 can whole kernel corn
  • 2 cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • Chopped fresh cilantro, to taste (I like a lot of cilantro so I used 2 cups of cilantro leaves - which turns into much less once you actually chop them up)
  • Sour cream (optional)
  • Shredded cheddar OR Mexican Blend cheese (optional)
  • Tortilla chips (optional)
*The amount of water is totally up to you - if you want more soup and want it to be a bit more liquidy, then 4 cups or even more would probably suit you better. If you want more veggies and meat than soup, than 2 or 3 cups would work fine.
**When I made it this time, I only had one packet of taco seasoning mix, so I added a tad bit more chili powder and a little cumin, and it came out just fine.

  1. Brown the beef in a deep pot. Drain grease and return beef to the pot.
  2. Add the onion, garlic, chili powder, taco seasoning, water and beef bouillon cubes. If you're adding any cumin or other spices, dump those in too. Stir until the taco seasoning and spices are dissolved into the mixture. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally.
  3. Once it's boiling, add the Rotel, pinto beans and corn, and stir them all into the beef mixture. Cover and turn the heat down to medium-low; let it simmer for as long as you want (I usually let it simmer for about 10-15 minutes or so, or however long it takes me to chop my cilantro and get kids rounded up at the table). Stir occasionally.
  4. Uncover, mix in the cilantro and remove from heat.
  5. Ladle soup into bowls and top with the shredded cheese and sour cream. Serve with tortilla chips for dipping or breaking up/adding to the soup.
  6. Also, if you generally like jalapenos on your tacos or at all, you could try adding some chopped up and seeded jalapenos on top with the cheese and sour cream!

Friday, January 18, 2013

An Introduction.

Here's the thing. Anyone who knows me (or at least sees the stuff I put on my Facebook) probably thinks I'm rather June Cleaver-esque (compared to the me a few years ago, especially), because I do actually enjoy cooking, doing a little baking occasionally, and SOME crafty things (I recently discovered I'm pretty good at making tulle wreaths--and I really like making them). The irony of my blog title is not lost on me. But, for the most part, I am definitely no June Cleaver.

I don't decorate cakes (although I probably would if I could--but I don't have the time or the expertise to do so), hell I'm not even a very good baker. I don't garden, I don't keep a spotless and immaculate household, I don't wear dresses or fancy clothes every day, I don't wear pearls all the time (although now that I think about it, I may start...), I'm not always happy with my husband or my children, and I am definitely not ladylike, mild mannered, soft spoken or even very polite. Dinners at my house are never a big, fancy affair--the only thing "big" about dinner time is the mess made by my kids or the scary, angry vein protruding from my neck. I have never really hosted a party, I've never been to a PTA meeting, and I don't bake cupcakes for my kids' classmates on birthdays or any other occasions (I prefer to buy them at the store and tell everyone they're homemade). I also suck at wrapping presents, although I can coordinate tissue paper with gift bags like it's nobody's business.

The four things I CAN bake (as far as things made from scratch) surprisingly well: blueberry muffins, cobbler (my favorite is blackberry), sugar cookies and brownies. I am actually a pretty good cook, and I do enjoy cooking, but I don't get to do it very often now that my husband works nights. There are even a handful of foods I make that I am actually extremely proud of and totally fine with bragging about: lasagna, burgers (my burgers are actually very popular, to the point that I refuse to share the recipe because, well, they're mine), salsa, pork tenderloin with cilantro pesto, and seafood chowder. My house may not be spotless, but I clean every single day and I try to at least keep it "neat." I love my husband and my children very much and I would honestly be lost without them (maybe a little more relaxed...but lost nonetheless).

I'm loud, hot tempered, often quite angry, and I cuss like a sailor. I prefer beer over wine any day of the week and I am a cigarette smoker who is constantly trying to quit and constantly failing to do so. I do enjoy dressing up and looking nice but I don't often have a reason to--cleaning and lounging around my house with grubby, sticky kids are definitely not reasons to look my best, in my opinion. Not that there's ever really time for lounging...

So, in case you still cannot tell the difference between the ultra feminine, polite, loving, wholesome matriarch of Leave It To Beaver and myself, I'll make it perfectly clear: this is DEFINITELY not June Cleaver's blog. There will be profanity, angry rants about kids misbehaving, sad pity-parties about the condition my body was left in after having children, woes about bills, husbands, pets, cleaning, etc., etc...

But, on a more positive note, there might also OCCASIONALLY be some recipes, some crafty type posts, some fun-with-the-family stories/pictures, and perhaps even some kind words (or at least humorous anecdotes) to uplift other tired and annoyed stay-at-home-mothers out there. So, enjoy, and don't say you weren't warned.

Question (and annoyance) of the day: Am I the only one who gets really annoyed reading posts on parenting sites/forums when people use those ridiculous DH, DS, etc., abbreviations?