Category: Martha-esque

Serendipity Mac!

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015

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!


Let Me See What You’re Workin’ With

Saturday, June 14th, 2014

I am a visual person.  I’m that girl who has to move the couch around five times before knowing where I want it.

To avoid the hassle of buying and returning things that may not work for Em’s toddler room, I drew a scale model using Illustrator.  This raised several unexpected questions:

  • Should I place her bed facing the door, even though that’s the death position in Feng Shui?  Sure, Em knows nothing about Feng Shui.  But her paranoid, superstitious mom does.  Bed will face another direction.

  • Dresser: 3 or 6 drawers?  I hadn’t even entertained a 6-drawer dresser until I re-read this Young House Love post.  The more I thought about it, the more I realized we’d make great use of the extra drawers.

  • Desk or Table?  I wanted to get her a desk, but I really enjoy sitting with her while coloring/reading.  I briefly considered getting her a small vanity, but paranoid premonitions of fostering self-image issues helped me nix that idea fairly quickly.

  • Round or Rectangle Table?  I really like the look of a 29″ round table, but I think the smaller 29″ x 19″ rectangular Sundvik table will work better.  We already have one in our living room, so I’ll hold off buying a second one until everything’s in the room.  Once that happens, I may sneak a round back in.

Five hundred gazillion mom hours and second guesses later, I think I’ve found the most optimal configuration, complete with sleep, dressing and play zones as well as a cozy reading corner:

Of course, it’s Mercury Retrograde, so I could easily toss this out once I purchase everything this week.

Next weekend, I paint the walls.  I haven’t painted a room in a LONG time.  Please wish me lots of luck.

And feel free to bring me margaritas. 😉

Stem Sale

Saturday, May 3rd, 2014

You know those things you have just to have but never use?  I want those out of my house.

All of them.

Pressed for storage space, I started scouring cabinets for purge potential.  This was my stemware cabinet this afternoon:

When Dan and I combined households, we had the Brady Bunch of barware; his and hers martini, wine, champagne and various other glasses.  Rather than pare down in 2009 when we bought the house, we moved everything.   The more the merrier right?

Fastforward five years and our priorities have changed.  Our sippy cup stash outnumbers our shot glass collection.  I decided it was time to make room for baby toddler.   Well, namely her easily accessed toddler craft obsessions that have caused way too many tantrums.  We’ve barely touched most of these glasses.   I took the ones we do use (Dan’s high balls and sniffers…ha!) and moved them closer to our everyday glasses.

This is my brand spankin’ new stemware/craft supplies/vitamins cabinet:

So now I have three boxes of barware ready to find a new home.  I considered putting them in our annual garage sale stash, but we’d be lucky to get $20 from our frugal shoppers.  I’d rather they be gone.  Now.

Tomorrow morning, I’ll put them on the curb with sign that reads “FREE.”

Followed by an “ing” written in invisible ink.

Update (05/04/2014):  This morning, as I planned to drag my now plague-ridden self outside to curb the glassed, the hubs said he would prefer we donate them to Goodwill.   It being Sunday, I stashed them in the garage until I can drag my plague-ridden self to a drop off location.   But they’re out of the house, and that totally counts.  😉

Your Mama’s on Craft Rock

Sunday, April 13th, 2014

I have DIY envy.

I’d love to be able to whip out my husband’s sewing machine and slap together something fabulous.  Yeah, my husband’s machine. He’s tall, frugal and industrious, so he decided to teach himself how to hem pants.  He’s a pro.  I have no clue how to turn the damn machine on.

I look longingly at Silhouette Cameo and Cricut machines even though I have no idea what the eff they really do.

I’m obsessed with paper punches.  It started when I  fashioned some ghetto cupcake toppers for Emme’s 2nd birthday using a flower punch, round labels and lollipop sticks:

After seeing how easy (and cheap) the Gymboree art projects were, I called shenanigans on their $80 monthly class fee.  I began stockpiling kiddo art essentials (poms, pipe cleaners, googly eyes, tempera paint, cheap paper plates, craft sticks, foam pieces, etc…)

Yeah…I didn’t consider how nice it was to having Gymboree clean up the mess or being able to say “Oh we only use paint at art class.”  Having craft supplies in the house means I have a toddler who will throw tantrums when I deny her “ALL THE GOOGLY EYES!”  She is not a fan of the term “some.”    She will awake from a nap screaming two words that make me shudder: “WANT GLUE!”   I may have been premature in my purchases…  But we’ll get to that point soon enough.  We’ll bond over cotton ball Santas and construction paper jack-o-lanterns.   Ya know, when she’s 18 and stoned on Vicodin following wisdom tooth extraction.

Still, I won’t let the lack of ability or kiddo willingness stop me.  If some Modge Podge hodgepodge grabs my eye online, I pin it.  I have a Pinterest board, Sew You Think You Can Craft, that’s 95% comprised of to projects beyond  my current capabilities.  A Sharpie-painted ceramic mug?  Easy breezy.  Crochet baby espadrilles? Ummm…etsy!

I hold hope that I’ll have the time to gain the Martha level know-how I seek.  It will happen one day, dammit.

Even if it’s during Arts & Crafts hour at my old folks home.


Sunday, October 13th, 2013

Today, I…

  • Did penance for laundry slacking last week by washing and folding 7 of 8 loads.  I’m saving one for tomorrow – Bath Mat Monday!  Yeah, I know.  Try to contain your excitement.
  • Went to Babies R Us for a super quick trip for miracle worker Diaper Boosters.  Instead, I spent 30 minutes testing potential Christmas toys.   The mom already annoyed with her grab-happy kids whining for some Disney pirate toys was not thrilled with me pushing the buttons on various Wiggles toys.  She gave me a look similar to one with constipation.   Looks like someone needs to eat more fiber-rich fruit salad…

  • Disassembled the kiddo’s Austin Air Baby’s Breath machine only to realize we needed the $21 replacement pre-filter and not the $250 permanent one.  Whew.
  • Registered the kiddo for her winter music class session.
  • Cooked a dinner even the kiddo liked.  I’m getting better at following recipe instructions… Sort of.  Last night, I baked Smitten Kitchen chocolate chip cookies .  The recipe said to remove the cookies from the oven after 18 minutes.  The cookies were ginormous.  Clearly, they meant 25-30 minutes right?   No, they meant 18.  Need a hockey puck? Or a dozen?
  • Renewed my vehicle registration.
  • Gave hubs all the info he needs to get me a car insurance quote from his carrier.  After checking his new rates after having bought a new car, we discovered I pay twice as much as he does annually.  That is not cool with me.  Time to switch!
  • Cleaned out the kiddo’s closet, replacing her 12-18 month clothes with the 18-24/2T clothes that had been housed in her “Too Big Bin.”  Apparently, I bought her some great clearance stuff at last winter’s end.  I have no memory of doing so.   Merry Christmas, me!
  • But my biggest accomplishment of all…   I showered, put on makeup and wore something other than yoga pants (for a few hours) on a Sunday.