Thursday, April 17, 2014

Today's viral video

I caught this on my lunch hour today on the corner of Monroe and Secor (while I was pumping gas at the station next to this lot!). I heard an explosion and panicked.  A nice gentleman next to me reassured me it was "only the tires" and we were ok (because of course I asked if we were a safe distance and whether or not we should be pumping gas).  He told me he was a firefighter and I immediately felt better.

Here is a short clip of the fire.  Station #25 showed up seconds later and had that fire out in a flash!  I couldn't get that on video because of all the on-lookers and gawkers that were NOT at a safe distance. 



video

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Go Fork Yourself

People ask me all the time -

What are you craving?

If you frequent my blog (or if you read one of two posts) you would know that I am a food-a-holic, and as said food lover, I don't need to use that fact that I am growing a human as an excuse to crave food.  It just comes naturally.

Today's hankering was Doc Watson's.  I get the turkey burger with muenster on wheat bread and a side a steamed veggies.   It's a perfect meal - protein, whole grains, dairy and veggies.  Love it!  Plus they have amazing whole grain mustard.

I didn't have a lunch buddy or time for dine-in today so I opted to carry-out.  Included in my sack was "silverware.".  Here is what I found:
So I was forced to eat my broccoli with a spoon.  I would have eaten it with my hands, I'm no princess.  I just thought it was so odd - double knife?  I have never seen this before.  Maybe it's an omen....I'm getting a few scratch offs today.

Let's back up a smidge though to the parking lot of Doc's.  Have you been to this strip mall?  It's interesting.  Other businesses include Bigby's, a liquor store with a really great beer selection, a wig/jewelry store (nice combo), Little Ceasars, Tasty Thai, HOTTT Nails (so hot it needs three Ts) that also sells dishware, a of course a generic pharmacy.   Get the picture?

As I was pulling out with my fork-less meal, I noticed a girl running into Doc's.  Probably late for work.  I saw a banana fall out of her pocket.  Now, if she is like me, she would be SO DEVASTATED to go have her 3pm snack and realize her banana was gone.  So I did what any normal obnoxious hungry person would do.

*Rolls down window* "Excuse me - you dropped your banana!!!!" 

Sometimes I don't realize how loud I can be.  I have been told that it is a gift by some and it does come in handy when I am leading tours outside and also through construction zones and when I need to get someone's attention in another state.  However....
I think I scared the bejezzzus out of this poor girl by screaming to her about her banana like she had dropped a check for a million dollars and it was headed for the cliffs of Niagara Falls rapidly without a barrel.

After her initial shock, she picked up her precious million dollar banana and went hurriedly on her way.  She probably wanted to tell me to go fork myself.  I just drove away and for some reason, started laughing like a crazy person replaying in my head the decibel level and phrase of what I just exclaimed. 



Monday, April 14, 2014

Pizza Tour of Toledo

Two very different places but both good!

5th St. Pub, Perrysburg
Crust - thin and crispy, new york style, edges peeking out but not too much.  Delicious.  One pizza's edges were slightly burnt, but I bet some people like that.
Sauce - great flavor, I am sure homemade.  I would like more on the pizza (because I am saucy that way).
Overall Pizza Score - I give it an A. 
What did ya eat?  Appetizers - Arancini (Goat cheese wrapped in risotto, breaded and flash fried) was incredible and the Fried Polenta?  I need more of that in my life.  Pizza - I honestly cannot remember which ones we ordered but one was more basic with sausage and that was the better of the two.  The other had too many items on it - artichokes sort of over did it for me.  However, everything was excellent and you can tell that they take their time and order top-quality ingredients.
Other items of note -  Great bar area and a gorgeous Mosaic tile brick oven right in the place so the pub smells incredible right when you walk in.  Nice drink menu but also features  PBR in cans and mason jars if you prefer a glass.
Atmosphere - If you had ever been into this location before when it was Peppercorns, you would not think it could possibly be the same space.  Peppercorns was dank and old, and the remake is fantastic with some old charm touches.  However, personally, I hate sitting at high tops and the chairs were incredibly uncomfortable since my feet don't touch the rungs and I am so pregnant that I look like an idiot getting up onto a stool.   Thank God I was wearing pants....Also, there was a magician that approached us while we waited. He was an odd fellow, rumpled suit and carried a leather doctor sort of bag, but I sort of enjoyed his performance.  He lingered a little too long.  Awkward. 
Service - Pretty good.  Our waitress was a girl in her 20s, prompt and knowledgeable but didn't interact that much with us.  Not a lot of menu suggestions but I guess we seemed like we didn't need it (I looked at the menu for two weeks before we went!).

ZaZas, Toledo
Crust - Thin.  Could have been crispier and not a lot of edge (I always like that). 
Sauce - Nothing special.   It was ok.
Overall Pizza Score - I would give it an B.  I would want to maybe give it an A in it's category because it was almost like fast food (and I was impressed), but compared to 5th st and J&Gs, I cannot give it an A. 
What did ya eat?  We ordered the Mediterranean pizza that comes with Fresh ground beef, kalamata olives, Feta cheese, fresh tomato and oregano.  I liked it and one pizza would be fine for two people to split, however you know we have to order other menu items.   We also ordered grape leaves that were decent but the gold standard is Beirut so they did not compare.  Also Fattoush but it was mostly lettuce and the dressing was very lemony so it took some getting used to.  I did like it though and the pita chips in it were perfect.
Other items of note - The smell of wood fire smacks you in the face when you walk in so much so that I was positive I would smell like a campfire when I left.  This is a great pizza for the price.  They also offer desserts which I did not take advantage of.  Maybe next time.
Atmosphere - It's in a strip mall so you cannot expect that much.  Not bad.  Pretty clean but the chili pepper flakes and grated cheese shakers were not really appetizing looking so I skipped those (and I love those!).
Service - Really good here - the person at the counter was friendly and could tell we had never been there before so she suggested a few items and helped us with the large menu. 

Next stop (s) -
Villiage Idiot
Gino's Original
Aimee's
What do you suggest?

Thursday, April 10, 2014

1905 Salad

I have a lot to catch up on and many blog posts to write but I realized that I have not blogged in a week.  What better than to to share my food obsession this week!

When we visited Florida in February, we ate at the Columbia Restaurant, home of the famous "1905" salad.  Now, normally salad does not blow my hair back, but this salad is more like a meal featuring julienned turkey and ham and tons of cheese.  Surprise ingredients that give it extra punch were olives and Worcestershire sauce in the dressing.  My favorite things are the salty ones.

Here's how I have been making it this week at home for a lunch salad.

Salad:
Romaine and Spinach mix
5 sliced cherry tomatoes
Red (if eating at home) or green (if eating at work) onions
6 sliced green olives
Grated Romano or Parmesan cheese (NOT powdered can kind - you know how I feel about that crap)

Dressing:
Olive or canola oil
Fresh lemon juice
Fresh garlic (or powdered if eating at work)
Salt & pepper to taste
Several dashes of Worcestershire sauce (although I have a heavy hand with this ingredient because I adore it)

Seriously - try it.  It's so delicious.  It makes me feel like I'm on vacation again....well, sort of.


Thursday, April 3, 2014

Hospital Tour

Last night we toured labor & delivery and then recovery.  Because we are having a baby.  Next month.  US.  How did that go by so fast?

We checked in at the information desk and before I even got there, the nicest woman said, "Here for the maternity tour?"   She handed me a fistful of pamphlets (that I put in to my pamphlet binder at home) and a pre-registration for the hospital admittance so we can go straight to L&D when the big day comes.  The big day?!  Anxious/nervous/excited.  That's how I feel.

Along with 6 other couples, we headed up to the 3rd floor.  The tour guide asked everyone when they were due and if they were having a boy or a girl.  Everyone answered and out of the group, we were the only "surprise" baby.  Everyone else knew.  I loved that.

On our way down the hall, some woman (girl, lady, person!) came rushing by me with her person (partner, husband, man-friend, daddy!?) in a hurry.  She looked like she was in pain, was sweaty, breathing rapidly and a bit panicked.  Our cheery tour guide said, "Here for the tou....OH!  Right this way," and quickly we all realized what was happening.  "Good example!" our tour guide said.  "When you are in labor, you come up here...right this way everyone!"

I wanted to make a joke (nice plant!) but I didn't.  I just thought it.  But seeing the look on that woman's face really was quite impactful.  However, the fact that she was walking and not in a wheelchair made me feel better.  I wondered, Did she take the class?  Did she take the tour?  Is she having a girl or a boy?  How long will she be in labor?  Why don't they have any bags?  Did they drive here?  Will they drive home?  Do they have the carseat in?  How long have they been driving around with the carseat in?

Next, we went into the room where you actually deliver your baby.  It was a large room with lots of hookups for medical stuff.  There was a bathroom (which I went into and inspected), a bed, and a little bassinet thing with other medical devices that will hold the baby right after it shoots out of your body.  I had so many questions.  I asked some of them but honestly, I was the only one asking questions.  So then my other thoughts were - am I the only one with questions?  Am I the oldest one here?  Am I also the stupidest person here?  Or perhaps the person that reads too much?  Craziest?  Most spazzy?  Why is no one saying anything?  I felt better that I could see a thermostat in that room so to me, that meant that I had direct control over the temperature in the room.  Phew.

Onto the recovery room.  Just like that.  I mean, we were in the labor room for about 4 minutes (and only because I was asking crap like "what year was the hospital built" along the way, just for banter).  The recovery room has a bed, a restroom and a lounge chair for dad.  The double rooms are bigger.  You may have to share (GASP!) with another family, but hopefully not per our tour guide.  You can order off the menu (I abstained from asking to look at the menu) at any time up until 6:30pm.  Visiting hours are 10am-8:30pm but they are not strict about that.  Questions I had - are you hooked up to an IV the whole time?  Do you actually sleep?  Can the baby stay with you in that room? Does the nurse help you go to the bathroom?  What if you have questions?   Does the doctor come and visit you?  Is there wifi?  What if you don't want visitors at a certain time?  Crickets.  No one had any questions!  Maybe the menu is online...


Then we went down to the nursery.  There was one tiny 2 day old baby in there.  Our tour guide went in and showed us the bracelets they tag the baby with and explained that only the mom and dad can come and get the baby - plus the baby has a bracelet on it with a security tag.  I said, oh, like Lindsay Lohan, and everyone laughed.  Which was when I realized I  had said that out loud.   I almost felt bad for our tour guide because she said more than one, BOY you guys are a quite crowd.  I wished with all my might that I had a private tour at that time. She would NOT think we were a quiet crowd if I had brought my family. Good lord!  My nursery questions -I always thought there were rows and rows of babies in here?  Where are all the babies?  Do they get foot and hand printed here?   How do babies sleep when everyone is prodding at them?  How will I know when to feed my baby?  Do I tell you or do you tell me?  Are these normal questions? 

Finally, our tour was complete. The guide thanked us all and wished us luck.  She turned to me and remarked that I looked familiar.  We figured out that she and her husband are Cantina regulars!  Too funny.  Gotta love Toledo.  Now let's just hope she was not annoyed with all my questions!!  Thank you Sherry!  You were a great tour guide and I feel better  having been through the hospital! 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Rock on the Range

Rock on the Range in Columbus is featuring....yes.....

GUNS N' ROSES!

So, naturally, I have to go right?  Wrong.  I will be busy.  Having a baby.  The festival is May 16-18 and my due date is the 18th.  But how perfect would that be?  Going into labor during Sweet Child O' Mine?   

I just feel like someone is daring me.....

Sha-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-knees!!!


Monday, March 31, 2014

HAPPY BIRTHDAY JAMIE

Happy Birthday to my sister Jamie.  Everyone should have an older sister!  I hope this this the best birthday ever and the start to a perfect year.

Love een

Friday, March 28, 2014

People are Hilarious

The cutest older guy at work today finally asked me.  He's been wanting to I can tell.  He says...

Who pumped you up?

I laughed.  Still laughing.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Jim Gaffigan at the Stranahan

Oh boy.  What a treat.

We caught the Monday night Jim Gaffigan show at the Stranahan.  Funny.  Just so funny. 

Plus I was sober.  Well sort of.  I had a diet coke for the first time in MONTHS (since I gave up most soda and all caffeine) but I felt like it was a special occasion and I wanted to party.

Anyway, Jim Gaffigan humor is right up my alley.  He talks about food 90% of the time.  I love it.  I laugh so hard because I totally identify.   There was also a part about overspending on wedding and how brides have to feel like a PRINCESS for the day.  That also made me laugh. 

The last part of his routine, and you waited for it, was the famous Hot Pocket section.  I'm going to be honest - I had heard it before, but that did not stop me from laughing so hard that I was crying and borderline wetting my pants.  Good thing everyone else was laughing because when I say I was laughing, I mean really laughing.  Like a hyena.  I was seeing stars. 

He does this thing with voice that is just so damn funny.  It's as if he's saying something under his breath or it's meant to be internal dialogue, but it's high pitched and just freaking hysterical.  Paired with spurts of yelling and a very deep gruff voice, it perfect. 

Jim, next time you come to Toledo, let me treat to you a Tony Packo's MOAD.   You will love it.  OR better yet, the finest food in the city, the Sundown Cantina. 

Great show!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

March Madness

March Madness - not quite what you were thinking?  My madness is decorating and fixing up the house.  "Nesting," as some call it.  I call it, "I am going to be home with a baby that will require all of my time and I MUST be happy with my house and not wanting to start house projects that I cannot finish or afford."  How's that for a run on sentence?  My life feels a little bit like a run on sentence right now.

I am basically trained at sewing and can follow basic instructions and do straight lines.  What does that mean? Pillows.  I love fabrics and think that can spruce up any space. 

Project 1 - Living Room.  The ceiling in the room is gorgeous.  Vaulted and wood (I should have shown you a pic, huh?).   We just got new carpet too.  Looks, feels, and smells great.  However.  I was noticing that everything was staring to be the same color.  Beige.  Which in a house is no color at all.  I picked out some fabrics and off we go.  I also did add a new lampshade (See it in the corner there- yellow with he print?) and I added some colorful tschotkes to the bookshelf too (of course after this photo).  Easy, fun and cheap ways to change the look.


I love the orange and green pillow.  Both are wild prints!
Here is the living room currently. 
I ran out of yellow.  So I patched some together.  This is the runt pillow, but I like to think it has "character."

Love chevron!  Blue polka dot is super cute.

Project 2 - Baby's room.  I needed some pillows for the gliding chair.  Also a great way to incorporate the grey/white theme.  Color to be added later - Navy if we have a boy, maybe coral or peach if a girl comes our way.  We'll see :)   I will post once we have the room mostly together.  A BIG thank you to the Mustache for crib assembly.

Used corduroy for the back of this one
I said I was BASICALLY skilled.  I just mark with a pen.  They are not perfect, but I think they look good
The back of the finished pillow.  I like the envelope style because it is easy on, easy off.  No zipper required.  Good for washing!
Front and back of finished un-stuffed pillows

 
Finished pillows on the chair.  Time to take a load off!














Monday, March 24, 2014

People are....well, I just don't know....

Speedway Gas station.   Thursday after work.

I was standing there pumping gas.  On the other side of the pump (I'm at 11, she's at 12), there is a woman sitting in a min-van.  Staring at me.  I smiled. 


She started talking to me - well more like talking at me.  Here's how it went, more or less.

"You bout to have yo baby?  {obviously}  I had a baby once, but she dead.  MCO killed her.  Killed my baby.  Just sent her home to me.  She was blue when I got her home."

Oh boy.  What do I say? Should I respond?  Do I engage?  I had my husband's car and it takes as much gas as a mack truck so I was sort of stuck for a minute.  She never got out of her car I noticed.  It was not running and she was not pumping gas either.

"I'm so sorry," I said. 

"She was only 23 when she died.  An' I tol em, she ain't never taken no drugs, but they just sent her on her way bec..HEY!  I'm GONNA SMACK YOU BACK TO JESUS!"

The story of her dead baby/child/adult was interrupted by her threatening a toddler who was in the front seat of the car, tossing projectiles out of the car.  Laughing like a hyena.    Which also made me laugh a little.  She didn't break stride in her horrifying story though.  With both of us {sort of} laughing.

You know where this is going. 

The bottom line was she told me that she had no money, needed some, and so on and so forth, all the while hearing gruesome details about her dead daughter and threats to the grandson.  And I mean gruesome.  I cannot even remember all the stuff she said but I was pretty unnerved by some of it and the fact that she was unloading it on a perfect stranger with no segue. 

I went in and put a few dollars on her pump (WWJD!) and went on my way.  I felt bad for her and wished she had a different situation.  It was just incredible that we had a 10 minute interaction (if you could call it that) and all I said was three words.  I always feel conflicted about giving people money.  When alone and approached, I never do.  Reach into purse?  That's just stupid.  With that many people around in a public place and no exchange in cash?   What's the harm?  My sister keeps cracker packets in her car to give to homeless on the side of the road.

What's your stance?

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Pizza Tour of Toledo

Toledo is famous for a few things - Home of Jamie Farr and Katie Holmes, The Glass City and also having the most restaurants per capita in the USA (we are a test market for fast food even).  Needless to say, we have a ton of restaurants here, but not all are created equal.

So my friend Jeff and I are on a quest for the best pizza.  So far we have toured a few places while on our Pizza Tour 2014.

Jo-Jos on Monroe St, Toledo
(We only sit on the bar side)
Crust - thin and crispy, flavor is good
Sauce - a nice and tangy sauce, not overly salty or sweet
Overall Pizza Score - I give it a B
Other items of note - Always sit on the bar side, there are sure to be shenanigans.  Last time we were there, there was a group of 50ish year old ladies drinking dollar beers (cans) and making a beer-a-myd at the table behind us.  Amazing
Atmosphere - See above.  Also best bartender in the world.  If you frequent Jo-Jos, you know him.
Service - Same.  This is for sure a "regulars" sort of place.  Like Cheers but danker

J&G Pizza Palace on Main, Sylvania
Crust - Best!  Thin and crispy.  Sort of plain so as to compliment the pizza.  A little pokes of of the top but not much, for maximum pizza enjoyment
Sauce - Again, incredible.  Great sauce to pizza ratio.  On the savory size (I'm not a sweet sauce fan).
Overall Pizza Score - I would give it an A.  Just love it this pizza.
Other items of note - They cut their pizza on an angle and in many slices - so if you happen to have 8 slices, that's more like 2 slices so you don't feel bad.  You can strategize and take the edge triangle piece or the middle square piece that has nothing but cheese and no crust.  It's beautiful.   Also, they have a rotating spit with the absolute best gyros in town.  Reminds me of European street food "Doner-kebabs."  A must have to compliment your pizza.
Atmosphere - Nostalgic.  Most people that visit J&Gs are lifers and have been going there for a LONG time.  A small, cozy dining room (their takeout business is heavy) is adored with wallpaper featuring velour and chrome and the red booths are perfect.  No renovations necessary.
Service - Always excellent.  Last time our server gave us some complimentary chocolates to go. 

Inky's Italian Food on N. Detroit, Toledo
Crust - I didn't love it.  I felt like it was the frozen Sofo kind you made in grade school.  Sort of doughy and chewy.
Sauce - I liked the pizza sauce, but we also ordered the lasagna/spaghetti combo and that sauce tasted a lot like it was out of the can.  It didn't have much flavor and was very average.  I liked the meatball though.
Overall Pizza Score - I feel terrible, but I have to give it a C.  Very average.  I think it was built up in my mind because I have been hearing for 35 years that Inky's is the best.
Other items of note - Our server was excellent and the menu was HUGE. I would like to go back and try the sandwiches or the eggplant Parmesan.   I bet this is one of those things that you are loyal to where you know.  Like Packos or Skyline. 
Atmosphere - Classic diner style.  There was a church pew at the front (which I loved) and this statue of an Italian guy greeting you at the front (which I loved).
Service - Amber was friendy and helpful.  Steering us in the right directions.  She was attentive and knowledgeable.

What's next?
On the list is 5th St. Pub, Gino's, Aimee's, Mama LaScola's.  Where do you frequent??


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Camera - Point and Shoot or Big Lens?

Friends -

Do you have a point and shoot camera

OR

Do you lug around a nice quality camera that takes better photos?

Tell me.  I am debating about getting a bigger, nicer camera (for taking more photos of this Baby T coming in May) but I think I will not want to carry it around with me.  Is it a pain?  Are the amazing photos worth it?  Is uploading annoying?

The iPhone makes everything quick and easy, but I am so out of the habit of actually uploading photos and I have not printed any out in forever.    Putting them in a scrapbook?  Puh-leeze!

But I want to.  And I especially want to when it comes to baby.

Moms, are you cracking up at me right now, as if, 
"Honey, you will not have time."
Or is it more like, 
"Yes, take as many as you can.  I did and am so happy I did."

Tell me......

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Carrot Muffins

Last week during our {what I hope is our last level 3 snow emergency of the year} I decided to bake something healthy.   I was looking at some old cookbooks and found one for carrot muffins something like this one below.  Note my substitutions.  These were excellent, especially since they are low fat, low sugar and low carb.  Great for breakfast for a snack.  All they are missing is cream cheese frosting :)


Morning Glory Muffins
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour ( I used 1 cup almond flour and 1/2 cup oats)
  • 1/2 cup oats (not instant or quick cooking)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • Pinch of salt (no salt)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon (1 tsp)
  • 1/2 tsp ginger (1 tsp real grated ginger)
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg (omitted)
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar (omitted)
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup canola oil (2 T. oil)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup fat-free milk (used almond milk unsweetened)
  • 1 8-ounce can crushed pineapple
  • 1 1/2 cups freshly grated carrots (real carrots, not gross baby carrots)
  • 1/4 cup raisins (used dates!)
  • Added 1/4 cup walnuts

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners or spray muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray. Whisk flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg in a large bowl.
In a medium bowl stir brown sugar, egg, oil, vanilla extract, and milk until well combined. Stir in pineapple, carrots and raisins.
Add wet ingredients to dry, and mix until just moist. Fill muffin cups 3/4 full.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean or tops spring back when pressed.
Makes 12 muffins




Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy St. Patty's Day

I hope you are having a great day celebrating all things Irish!  Hope the weekend was equally was fun people watching.  I mean, no judgement.  I have been there and will be again someday.  Although, I am not sure I will be puking in the bathroom at 10am again (unless from morning sickness or the actual flu), but it's so fun.  SO FUN!   However, simply based on what the girls wear now, I must say, I am happy that I am not in college.  Girls wear leggings....for pants.  For real.  It doesn't matter what size you are either.  Leggins for pants.  With t-shirts.  Faith and Begorrah....

For me - a green O'Douls and some Jigg's dinner this year.  I do love a good Jigg's dinner....

I looked back at my posts from today in history and found this one from 4 years ago.  Hilarious.  I still think this is one of the funniest jokes ever.  I have to re-post.  Have a great day! 

For St. Patty's Day

Here is a great joke I received from my friend Sherri. Memorize it and practice your Irish accent so you can tell it this weekend (I did).

Seamus and Murphy fancied a pint or two but didn't have a lot of money between them, they could only raise the staggering sum of one Euro.

Murphy said 'Hang on, I have an idea.'

He went next door to the butcher's shop and came out with one large sausage.

Shamus said 'Are you crazy? Now we don't have any money left at all!'

Murphy replied, 'Don't worry - just follow me.'

He went into the pub where he immediately ordered two pints of Guinness and two glasses of Jamieson Whisky.

Seamus said 'Now you've lost it. Do you know how much trouble we will be in? We haven't got any money!!'

Murphy replied, with a smile. 'Don't worry, I have a plan. Cheers!'

They downed their drinks. Murphy said, 'OK, I'll stick the sausage through my zipper and you go on your knees and put it in your mouth.'

The barman noticed them, went berserk, and threw them out.

They continued this, pub after pub, getting more and more drunk, all for free.

At the tenth pub Seamus said 'Murphy - I don't think I can do any more of this. I'm drunk and me knees are killing me!'

Murphy said, 'How do you think I feel? I can't even remember which pub I lost the sausage in.'

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Time travel

I created an EVITE last week (when was the last time you did that??).  I was reading my profile and it made me laugh;  it was like opening a time capsule to a newly graduated from college me.  Ah!   Here are my answers from 2001 in black and current answers in (blue):

What would you say?  Then and now?

  • Hometown: Toledo (same)
  • If I found $1,000, I'd: Save it (same)
  • TV show I never miss: 24 (with Netflix and DVR, I am not so TV regimented.  But I seriously NEVER missed 24.  Even if someone was like, hey, we are doing this or that on Monday, I would FREAK, and be all, BUT IT'S BAUER HOUR!!!)
  • Song that gets me dancing: Michael Jackson (dancing for me is not that cool currently  - but I still bust it to MJ, you know I can do a mean moonwalk)
  • Go-to cocktail: Vodka Soda (uh, maybe MOCKtail right now.  Pre-bump, I was digging the scotch and whiskey).
  • Alma mater: U of Toledo (same)
  • First concert I ever attended: ICP (hah!  Jugg-a-ho!)
  • Favorite place I've traveled: Germany (still awesome, would love to go back)
  • Childhood hero: The Hulk (yes!)
  • Best season: Autumn (same!)
  • Book I've read over and over: LOTR (now it is Little Pea, thank you Two Pretzels)
  • Last meal on earth: Chili Mac - TONS OF IT! (That's so hard to give one singular answer, but I would still go with this)
  • Movie that makes me cry: The Patriot (ha!  I was so into that movie.  It is a tear-jerker at parts.  Of course, I listed an action movie....)
  • I'm known for: The worm (or falling asleep on the couch at 8pm..... someday, back to the worm, backwards AND forwards!)

Favorite Places to Go

  • Favorite dinner spot: Beirut (yes)
  • Favorite dive bar: Jax (haha, gross, but awesome)

Monday, March 10, 2014

Week 30 update

30 weeks -
Well, ok, here's some crazy lady math for you...

If I am 30 weeks, and 40 is full term, but you really need to get to 34-36 weeks, then I am basically have only a month to really prepare.  What if I'm early....then basically any day now.  Right?  Right!!!?!?!  

Realization:  My apps no longer do me any good.   They all say crap like "Tip of the day:  Get a pedicure, relax and have some time to yourself, talk to your partner about finances."  DUH!  Give me something useful for God's sake - like, well, for example:

  • What do newborns sleep in?  And for how long?
  • How fast should you drive when you have a one day old baby in your car?
  • What kind of diapers are best for baby?  
  • Do babies always need lotion or cream when you change the diaper or only sometimes?
  • What is the exact temperature water of bath for baby?
  • AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAaaand the list goes on and on in my head.....

You feel me?   We have birth classes tomorrow as well as next Tuesday and I think that will be informative.  I can only read so much before my brain starts doing what it's doing right now - overloading.  Doubting.  Stressing. 

I had a terrible cold at the end of last week and over the weekend.  I had to miss two days of work.  I still am recovering but at one point I just didn't think I was going to recover.  In my craziness, here were my thoughts:

  • What if I was this sick and had to deliver?
  • What if I were this sick and had a newborn?
  • Is baby ok in there?
  • Did I crack a rib from coughing?
  • Will I ever feel better?  
  • Is the doctor absolutely sure I can take Tylenol cold?
Moms/Dads - did you feel this way before baby arrived?

I think I need a few days to myself.  When I am well....


Friday, March 7, 2014

Art Project

Because so many of you like my photos on instagram (and thank you!!), I wanted to share my Elephant wall art project with you.

I got the inspiration from Etsy when I saw these cute elephants for something crazy like $40, not even framed.  And I thought, I can totally do this myself.  I just need some time to do it.  Start to finish, I bet it took me a month to complete (because I am like that).

Step one:
I found the cutest possible elephant outline picture and drew one myself.   This took me maybe an hour to draw, re-draw, erase and perfect.  Get a snack, go to the bathroom, perfect and finally cut out the stencil.
Original stencil

Step two:
Trace and cut out the other elephants in contrasting colors.   This took me a LONG time.  It took me a long time at Hobby Lobby picking out the colors.  Should I pick green?  Grey? White?  All print?  I am happy with the result of light grey, dark grey, white and grey/white chevron.  But I sincerely stood in the paper aisle for about 45 minutes.  Sweating.


Step three:
I picked up about 2 weeks later (and after I spilled some water on my light grey, so I needed a replacement).  Did you know Hobby Lobby is not open on Sundays?  Lame!  Anyway, I was deciding which elephant should go on what paper.  Also which ear should go on what elephant.  These are the big decisions people!  I used a basic glue stick to get the elephants to just stick.  I didn't want them smudgy or messy.



Step four:
Now, two more weeks later, I actually found the correct frames (at Jo-Ann Fabric!).  I did hunt for the 12x12 white frames and it was no small task.  Hobby Lobby, no.  Michaels, no.   Kohls, no.  Jo-Ann, YES!
Here is the mostly finished project.  I still have to actually hang them, but here they are in all their 12x12 glory in the room (Sherwin Williams quietude paint).

This project was really fun and easy and extremely cost effective.
10 pieces of paper for 57 cents each - always half off =$2.85
4 frames $19.99 buy one get one free = $42.78 (plus now I have an extra frame)

Scissors and glue I already had.

Excellent!!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Panera

When was the last time you have been to Panera Bread?  For me, it's been a while since I have eaten lunch there - I have stopped in for a coffee or meeting, but not actually eaten lunch.  People are obsessed with Panera and I know they change up their menu quite a bit, so I gave it another try since I forgot to pack my lunch today and didn't really want "fast" food.

Panera is so sneaky - you have to order right in front of all the baked goods that will tempt you.  Not cool!   I love the "pick 2" option - small salad and cup of soup?  Perfect lunch.  I opted for the Chicken Cobb with Avocado and Turkey Chili (no bread, apple instead).  Sounds healthy right?

That lunch was 510 calories and 32 grams of fat.  Now, I omitted the Gorgonzola cheese on the salad and didn't use nearly all the dressing they gave me but 32 grams of fat?  Seems excessive right?

The salad was ok -average at best and I really loathe chicken (cooked, cold chicken, bleach!!  It's just not right!) But I need to eat more protein.  The soup was ok too - not a lot of flavor and I thought it needed some salt.  But according to the nutrition facts, it had 720 mg. of sodium in it already.  Obviously someone is salting it!  Ah!

Next, guess how much this meal was?  I had a bottled San Pellegrino also.  $12.97!  What!  I just think that is such a rip off!  A much healthier, more filling and more exciting meal at Balance Asian Grille would be half the cost of that.  Plus they are all organic there.  I don't get it.  Why are people so obsessed with Panera?  It's not that good!!

The best part of my trip was that there was a customer ahead of me in line wearing a massive furry Russian hat.  Apparently they are called "Ushanka" (yes I had to look it up) and it made me think of that show "The Americans," which I need to catch up on now.   







Tuesday, March 4, 2014

People are....obvious?

At work last week, one of our seasonal staff noticed that I looked different from last year.  Now, this is someone that I love, she is a little older and sort of dingy, but I really do adore her.  She says to me...

Hey, are you gaining weight?  You look bigger...

Why, yes, I replied.  I am having a baby.

Oh, well, I didn't want to ask if you were pregnant.  'Cause that's rude.  I just though you looked kinda fat - especially around the middle.  Well!  Good for you! 

Because that wasn't rude.  I just laughed though, considering the source, and because it was so obvious and funny.     Especially around the middle!  


Saturday, March 1, 2014

PSA for losing your cell phone

WK and TP - thank you for asking.  I did find my cell phone.  Here's what happened.

Basically - I was what you would call "distracted."  I was at the doctor's office and I was getting a Rhogam shot because my blood type is O-.  They just hand you a pamphlet and send you on your way.  I am not a "pamphlet and on your way" kind of gal.  I have questions.  I like to know the answers.  Plus, I am a rule follower, so if there are new rules to be followed, I like clear instructions.  Aaaaand let's just address the fact that the internet is no help at 'tall.  In fact, here is what I have learned in my pregnancy.

The internet is full of crap and {sometimes comical} nonsense.

I conducted a search to see if spray tan was safe and wound up on some board of teenage girls that were pregnant and wanting to get a spray tan for Prom.  They all said it was fine and then went on to discuss footwear.   Of course, you can look up a credible site like WebMD but for God's sake don't read the comments.  You will be convinced that you have multiple sclerosis when you really have carpel tunnel.  To quote Kevin Hart, "it's too much!"

People overshare.

There are so few people that I would actually listen to  (everyone that reads and comments on this blog is, of course, on the listening list), that the rest is all just scary, scary garbage.  Remember the girl that told me she thought her baby was dead insider her?  Overshare.  How about when I just happen to mention work's busy and then I get a 15 minute tirade from the person at the grocery store that I haven't seen in 15 years about how SHE is horribly tired and busy?  Way overshare!  Stop it.  Here's a new rule:  unless we are sitting down to a meal, avoiding some kind of task or on vacation, just keep it to pleasantries. 

So, what does any of this have to do with my phone?  I was just trying to ask more questions/find out about the Rhogam shot and the glucose test and I was kind of upset.  The nurse patted me on the arm and said, relax honey, it's just your hormones. 

I didn't like that. Not. one. bit.

People just assume they know you and know everything based on a 3 minute assessment.

So, in my anxiety and obviously hormonal stage, I simply must have left my phone on the receptionists desk at the doctor's office.  Then, after spending an hour on the phone with Verizon (who just tried to sell me a new phone and were no help at all), some genius at DT's restaurant told me that you can download the find my phone app on any phone and just enter your apple info.  I hadn't turned on the find my phone info on my piece, how could this work.  Guess what?  It did.  Miracle of all miracles!

The next day I called the doc's office and asked if they found a phone.  To my surprise and delight, they did.  Now, the best part is that my case is incredibly awesome to most but scary and weird to some. 

Me:  "Yes, it's uh, brown and has a grey stripe through it like a gun belt." 
Receptionist (to her co-worker):  "Hey, wher'd you put that hairy phone?!"

I was so happy I didn't even bother to explain to her how Wookies come from Kashyyk and that Chewbacca is basically a prince among Wookies.  I just thanked her and said I would be there to get it later.  Welcome home Chewy.



Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Vacation Recap

Ok, well we are back.

Ugh!

Something you will never  hear me say while on vacation...."I'm ready to go back.  I am looking forward to the routine again."

NEVER!

Being on vacation (especially while pregnant) and having that ahhhhh feeling of no schedule, no obligations, no pressure, no stress, is really just priceless.  Plus, going somewhere that does not require you to don your parka is literally so freeing.  The weather is Sarasota was not particularly nice for Florida at this time of the year (and the locals kept apologizing for it!), but for us - it was pure paradise. 

My schedule was something like this:
730a - wake up, no alarm
8-10a - watch Sherlock Holmes on Netflix (have you seen this?  Great show!  Watch immediately)
1030a - bug sleeping husband to ask if he's hungry too
11a - make way to the pool (after squeezing myself into a maternity tankini)
12p - have snack #2
2p - have lunch at a pre-scouted establishment that husband chef found online for us.  Amazing.
3-5pm  general screw around time/local attractions
5pm - take a nap because of my exhausting day
8pm - more food at more amazing places
10pm - go to bed because I'm exhausted and my cankles need a break

Also - please intersperse ice cream breaks, other naps, walks on the beach, and reading Game of Thrones (also really good and CRAZY!  Sex with siblings?!  Blech!).  Another great thing?  I never once checked my work email and don't think I made any phone calls.  Just not necessary.  I felt very unplugged while I was there.  It was wonderful.

Tell me how much you love vacation.


Monday, February 17, 2014

I lost my phone

I lost my phone.  I have never done this before.  Maddening.

If you are trying to get a hold of me it will be almost impossible for the next few hours.  Sorry!

You can call me at work tomorrow if you need to.  AHHHHH!!!!!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

What's cookin

We had a potluck at work last week and I was just thinking how you never make potluck food for your own single consumption.  Why is that?  Maybe because most people would not eat a vat of salad or the mass of soup from a crock pot.

I am not most people.

I love that Asian Cabbage Salad and made it better for you.  Here's what I did.

Salad (or something like this):


1/2 bag coleslaw blend

½ bag purple cabbage
2 cups chopped spinach

1 cup silvered almonds – toasted

1 pkg ramen noodles, broken (or Top Ramen if you grew up with us) or use less

3-5 green onions

I sauteed the onions and ravens in olive oil and did add some of the seasoning package to it.  I think that makes it taste even better!  I would only sprinkle some of the packet on – like ¼ of it - otherwise it will be too salty. 


Dressing (or something like this):


1 cup Seasoned rice wine

½ cup Canola oil (I do know you need a 2:1 ratio on the vinegar to oil)

2 T brown sugar*

1 tsp. sesame oil

1 T low sodium soy sauce

Salt and pepper (salt is not necessary but I just have to out of habit and use just a pinch of kosher)

Dash chili flakes

Brown Sugar note - (this is FAR LESS than the original recipe calls for.  I don't like to use splenda either.  Blech!  Tastes SO BAD!!).  I bet you could use agave or honey even.

I made this up in seperate containers so I could dress it when I was ready to eat it at lunchtime.  I bet I only added about a 1/4 cup of the crunch mixture and it was mostly almonds anyway.  I have made this without the rames, but its better with - especially if you control how much you add with an individual serving.

Voila!   

What is your go-to potluck dish? 



Next item I made recently was sort of a mistake, but it turned out to be really excellent.  I found a wheel of brie on sale at Kroger for $5 (and it was pasteurized! yay!) so of course I bought it.    As I was tearing through Kroger, I dedided that it was a necessity to make brie en croute that very night.  Of course!  It's a random Wednesday - why not make an elaborate holiday dish for yourself?

So, I never bothered to look up the recipe - of course I know how to make this!  However, what you need for this delicious dish is puff pastry.  In my shopping frenzy, I got crescent rolls (I scoured the shelves for low-fat kind and found the LAST ONE ON THE PLANET).   As I made it, they did not look right.  Schnikees.  Is this the wrong pastry?  Sure enough, the inside of the brie container has the recipe ON IT and was laughing at me....puff pastry, you dolt!!!  However, because I know myself, I didn't want to make one big massive brie (for fear of eating it all in one sitting) so I made these cute little brie-ettes (cheese wedges and just enough pastry to surround & seal in the cheeeeeezzzzeeee). 

Hot out of the oven?  They were ok.  I mean, come on - cheese and dough can never be bad.  But I only ate one (and for that I am very proud of myself), and put the rest in the fridge.  The next day I took them out as I was making dinner and forgot about them.  However, I ate one at room temp and they were awesome!  So then, I packed one for lunch and it was equally fantastic out of tin foil at 3pm for a snack.  Who knew!