January 23rd, 2015 9:22 PM GMT+5

When Dan asked me if I wanted a Roku last year, I declined.  Why would I want that when I can just DVR shows I want to see?  And why do these whippersnappers use the Snapchitchat anyway?

Then, tragedy struck.  Our cable died over the New Year holiday.  Faced with a long weekend of forced boob tube weaning, I made a rare trip to Best Buy for my fix: an HDMI plus-in Roku.

It. is. awesome.

After Emme arrived, my desire to keep up with must-see-TV disappeared.  I spent three years clueless as my Facebook feed filled with gasps over this show and threatened spoilers for that show.   As each year passed, I figured my chances of catching up were nil.   When you have a tiny person in your life, the idea of spending a weekend in pajamas watching shows and surviving on takeout is a pipe dream, akin to fitting into college clothes and waking up to something other than the jarring sounds of a human alarm clock.

The Roku gave me hope.  I had incentive to rejoin couch potato civilization in a casual and gradual manner.

Yeah, screw that.  I soon realized that if kiddo went down at 7:00pm, I could watch 3-4 hour-long episodes per night and sneak in extras when cleaning.  It took me one week to watch four seasons of “Downton Abbey” and another week to watch three seasons of “Orange is the New Black.”   Translation: I can now politely and most prodigiously employ a wireless to shank a rat-mouthed bitch.

Tonight, I started “The Mindy Project.”  There are 57 24-minute episodes.  That should take me 2 weeks to get through.

Or less.

Serendipity Mac!

January 22nd, 2015 9:13 PM GMT+5

Yesterday morning, I got a call from kiddo’s school saying they suspected she had pink eye.  Within 10 minutes, I had a doctor’s appointment booked and was in her classroom.

Realizing that her late afternoon appointment would make cooking dinner difficult, I opted to make it before leaving   The pre-planned menu meant I’d make Spinach Fettuccine with Meat Sauce, the spiffified traditional spaghetti dinner.  Yes, spiffified is too a word.  Work with me!

I sauteed diced onions and minced garlic before browning some spicy turkey sausage and tossing in various Italian spices….only to remember we had no fresh tomatoes and only one small can of diced tomatoes.  Oops.

No problem!  I decided to enhance the sauce with red wine and beef stock…only to realize that the meaty-soupy sauce was gross.  I have texture issues.  Oops.

Then, it hit me.  I knew exactly what to do:  meaty alfredo sauce.   I stirrred in heavy cream and reached for a bag of Italian mixed cheese (asagio, parmesan, mozzarella)…only to realize it had molded.  Three weeks before its expiration date.  Oocrap!

I knew the universe was telling me to order Chinese, but I’d come too far.  I’d invested 30 minutes into this sauce and if it were a movie, I’d hang on until the end.   And that’s when I made a pivotal decision…

Forget fettuccine.

Voila…err, velato!  Hamburger Helper-style Beefy Mac!

When I explained the process to Dan, he looked horrified.

But then he ate three bowls.

Move over, Giada!


A Really Useful Party

August 10th, 2014 10:01 PM GMT+5

Last Monday was kiddo’s third birthday, so we had her party on Saturday, August 2nd.

For the past two years, I’ve busted my bootie trying to put together the perfect party elements.  I spent weeks scouring various sites and stores looking for the right decorations.  As guests would arrive, I’d be scurrying about trying to do 500 last-minute things.  It was exhausting.

This year was totally different.  Having a theme like Thomas the Train made everything so much easier.  I stocked up on Thomas goodies at Party City and bought her a Thomas dress via etsy (because stores with Thomaswear don’t offer girl selections grrrrr).

Normally, the food is a big ordeal.  Instead of ordering food from a handful of places while still making dishes of my own, I kept it super simple.  Save the cupcakes, I got all the snacks at HEB (hummus, guacamole, cheese, fruit).  Rather than using my white servware platters, I put everything in aluminum tins made to look like train cars.   I spent far more time printing out the DIY cupcake toppers than I did putting out the food (damn you, printer jams!)

This was the first party ever that I was completely done before all the guests arrived.  It was Calgontastic.  Everything was in place.  Well, except for the serving spoons I forgot to put out until the shindig was almost over… oops.   And then there was the cute little sign I put on the water dispenser with arrows indicating how to turn the spout on and off.  Yeah, only I reversed them.  Special, huh?  But, eh, it was still good times.

We loved watching Em play about with her friends and cousins.  At her past two parties, our little introvert has stayed fairly quiet, observing the activity around her.  This year, she was an active participant.  I have to give her major kudos for being such a trooper.  After watching Dan and I prep for the party all morning, she awoke from nap to find a display of cupcakes she couldn’t eat followed by a houseful of kiddos playing with her stuff.  I expected meltdowns o’ rama and dreaded bedtime.

But she was fabulous.  And though it took an hour for her to fall asleep that night, she spent the entire time clapping and singing.

Lesson learned.  K.I.S.S.

The Post Before It’s August Already

July 30th, 2014 10:51 PM GMT+5

July: a month in bullet points!

  • Planning 20th 10th high school class reunion with two friends.  It’s been challenging at times, but we’re a good team!
  • Assembling Em’s room.   We just need to paint the dresser, install the chandelier, assemble the dollhouse bookcase, paint and install bookshelves and affix the wall decals.  That’s all. ;)
  • Working. Working.  And more working.  Especially on piddly projects that take way too much time and effort.
  • Getting ready for Em’s 3rd birthday party this weekend, but that’ll get it’s own post.

The other day, Dan was getting stoked over the holiday season.  It sounded odd, because it seems so far off.  But it really isn’t.

I’ll probably get around to posting Em’s party wrap-up just about then. ;)

Caught on Tape

June 29th, 2014 8:40 PM GMT+5

This week, I decided to lay out Em’s room using painter’s tape.  This would be the last step before buying everything.  I’m so glad I did it, because it made me realize one particular thing…

Everything was wrong.

The scale was completely off.  With her room being on the small side, I saw just how large and blocky IKEA furniture would be.   I decided to nix the Kallax, opting for a dollhouse bookcase.  Pottery Barn Kids discontinued my dream model, but Land of Nod and Target have comparable ones.  I’m even toying with the idea of building my own.


I was ready to scrap the 6-drawer Tarva Dresser for a 3-drawer, but Dan thinks that would be a mistake.  The more I think about it, the more I’m leaning towards my initial decision.  Second-guessing is kind of an issue of mine.   As you think “No! Really!?! You!?!”

Assembling a girl’s toddler room is more difficult than I assumed.  The challenge rests in planning a threenager-prooffriendly room that can grow with her in a relatively short period of time.  For example, I’m planning around a crib now, but the room layout will need to accommodate a twin bed in 1-2 years without having to move everything around.

But I’m not going to think about it for the next few days.  I’ll place my Pottery Barn Kids order for the drapes and chandelier before my coupon expires Tuesday; I’ll order the Tarva and buy the paint before Sherwin-Williams paint sale ends next Sunday; and I’ll stalk the furniture dude who’s supposed to refinish my grandmother’s old telephone table.  The other stuff?  I’m just going to wait for the Mercury Retrograde fog to lift.

And if that doesn’t work, I’m calling in professionals.

I wonder what size straight jacket I wear…