Monday, April 29, 2013

Yum! A few recipes I've tried

Taco Pasta
 This is the recipe as pinned: 3/4 bag ziti noodles,1 lb of ground beef, 1 pkg taco seasoning, 1cup water, 1/2 pkg cream cheese, 1 1/2 cup shredded cheese -- boil pasta until just cooked, brown ground beef & drain, mix taco seasoning & 1 cup water w/ ground beef for 5 min, add cream cheese to beef mixture, stir until melted & remove from heat, put pasta in casserole dish, mix in 1 cup cheese, top pasta/cheese with beef mixture & gently mix, top w/ remaining cheese, bake at 350* uncovered for 30 min

Instead of putting in a casserole dish, though, I stir cooked pasta and cheese into the meat mixture and stir until cheese is melted. The whole family loves this!

 Creamy garlic pasta

From the original website (linked in recipe name):
2 tsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp butter
¼  tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
3 cups chicken stock
½ lb spaghetti or angel hair pasta
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
¾ cup heavy cream
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

In a pot, bring the olive oil to medium-low heat. Add the garlic and stir, allowing it to cook for 1-2 minutes. Mix in the butter until melted. Add the salt, pepper and chicken stock. Raise the heat to high and let it come to a boil. 
Once it is at a rolling boil, add the pasta and cook for as long as the box’s directions indicate. Reduce the stove to medium heat and mix in the Parmesan until completely melted. Turn off the heat and stir in the cream and parsley. Serve immediately.

This is SO freaking amazing. Seriously, I would eat this every day if I could. 
1/2 c Parmesan cheese,1 c Greek yogurt, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 1/2 tsp seasoning salt 1/2 tsp pepper,spread mix over 4 chicken breasts, bake at 375 45 minutes

This one was better than I expected! 

This is a long recipe, with many steps, so instead of copying here I linked the original post in the recipe name. This is a little more work than I usually like for a weeknight dinner, but it is SO worth it. I don't follow the exact list for spices in the flour mixture and just use whatever is on hand. The honey garlic soy sauce is fantastic. Seriously. This would be equally as delicious on chicken, too, if you don't eat pork.

(All photos from Pinterest)

Sunday, April 28, 2013


Xrays performed on our family:

Teeth - all but Sophie
Arm - me, Em
Elbow - me
Hip - me (and OMG that hurt!)
Knee - husband
Foot - me
Intestines - me
Back - Em
Wrist - me
Both girls have had CT scans.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Writer's block

So it's no secret I've been working on a story since NaNoWriMo two years ago. I get spurts when I work on it, then months go by without me looking at it. The story and the characters are always in my head, though, working themselves out.

Today I realized why I have such a hard time continuing: fear. I am petrified at the thought of letting anyone else read what I've written. I resolve to make time, though. I need to finish this for myself. I need to show myself that I CAN do it. If I never show another soul the completed product, so be it. But I need to know that I'm capable.

I WILL write again.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Virtual vision board

I used to make collages in college (ha!) then years later saw the idea of vision boards. That is what I was doing in college - images that spoke to me, that showed my dreams and thoughts. Now we have Pinterest, and it's easier but not quite the same. I have a lot of pin boards. I don't, however, have a vision board.

So here it is (all images from Pinterest)

I want this kind of house someday
A reminder.
Where I come from
I need to learn to clear my head and be at peace.
Sugar is a BIG problem for me.
Not going to lie, I would love a body like this again.
Travel dreams

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


Today was a very frustrating day. Sophie is sick, and a trip to the pediatrician confirmed strep. She prescribed an antibiotic for Sophie, which is pink.

Guess what makes it pink.

Right - Red 40. The pharmacist was patient and understanding enough to check for me. There is not a dye-free version. The pharmacist said she was at risk for anaphylasis. The pediatrician said she would only get a rash, nothing more. I am stuck in the middle, unsure of what to do. Both say "It's up to you" but I just don't know. Will she only have a rash? Likely (and she does, in fact, have one around her mouth). But I am constantly afraid of the "what ifs?" of the next time, or whatever time in the future she has a worse reaction. Because I've done my research; it IS possible.

Then, I needed to pick up a new tube of toothpaste for Sophie. She does NOT like the Tom's kids toothpaste at all, and she brushed her teeth all by herself over the weekend and used all the remaining training toothpaste she had. Her dentist recommends switching to toothpaste with fluoride since she spits well now, and she had a couple spots to watch at her checkup. Not yet cavities, but spots that could become cavities. The fluoride should help prevent that. I stopped at Walgreens, thinking surely a pharmacy would have safe toothpaste, right?  No. So I went to Target. Same choices as Walgreens, but at least they had her old training toothpaste. I guess willing participation and therefore thoroughly brushed teeth is better than a quick, hit-or-miss-through-tears session.

The worst thing, though, is that artificial dyes are completely unnecessary. They add no nutritional value to anything, and cause documented harm. This post from last year lists several sources of information about food dyes. Artificial colors have been banned in many countries, yet the FDA still has no problem allowing or even encouraging these petroleum-based additives into our foods, especially foods targeting children.


Tuesday, April 23, 2013


I just made this to take to work tomorrow for lunch. I was inspired by my friend Amy's recipe for veggie fried "rice" using quinoa, but at the same time I was also cooking our dinner & didn't want to look up the recipe. So I improvised.

I cut a small zucchini and two small yellow squash into half-inch slices then quartered the slices. Then I cut 3 or 4 bigger broccoli florets into similarly sized pieces. Finally, I cut up a small handful of baby carrots into little pieces.

I sautéed the veggies in a combination of Wildtree lemon and garlic flavored grapeseed oils. Then I added maybe 1/4 c chicken broth and put the lid on the pan and let them cook a few minutes longer. Finally I stirred in leftover cooked quinoa. (I cooked with chicken broth instead of water, and made extra for this purpose. I estimate I used the equivalent of a third of a 2 c package of dry quinoa.)

I had planned on adding some Wildtree Outrageous Orange sauce, but after tasting the dish I thought it was perfect as it was. I can't wait to eat it!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


Back and forth, back and forth
"I want circles!" So I turn the swing round and round, twisting the ropes together. I pull her to me. "One, two, three, kiss, WHEE!" I let go and she's off, swinging and spinning and laughing hard, shrieking with joy. We hear dogs barking. Wave at the neighbor. "What's that moosik?" Icee truck coming down our street, but she doesn't need to know that. "Just a truck, sweetie." "Bye, truck! Push me again, Mommy!"

Neighborhood is quietly active. Cars going by, helicopter in the sky, kids playing basketball on the other street. Birds chirping. Dogs barking. Swinging calmly, gently now. Breeze blowing through the trees. She won't admit it, but she's getting tired. It's soon time to go in, time to make dinner, clean up, give bath, prepare to return to work in the morning.

But for this moment, we are swinging.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, April 22, 2013

R is for randomness

I know that technically it's early Monday morning, but since I'm just now going to bed lets pretend its still the weekend, ok?
Our 3 year old has been very sick this weekend, hence my R post of randomness. She seemed better tonight, so I'm hopeful she's over the worst of it. Last night she was heartbreakingly miserable. She has a sore throat, but throws up easily. The second round of vomiting I noticed blood - the blisters in her throat were bleeding! Poor baby just laid in my arms and cried. Today she had pain, but not as severe. She even dressed herself today, and played more.

I made beer bread in the crock pot tonight. It is SO good! I sprayed the crock with cooking spray and preheated it on high for a little while. I mixed the bread dough and put it directly in the pot. Lid on, and leave it alone. I started checking it after an hour. It was closer to an hour and a half before it was totally done. Golden top, chewy crust - perfection!

To ease Sophie's throat, I made peach pops. Frozen sliced peaches broken up in food processor, then put in blender with vanilla yogurt & a little apple juice. I didn't measure anything. Smoothie setting, and blend until it looks good! I filled 4 Popsicle mold holes (all I could find handles for) and put the rest in a cup for her as a "milkshake." Very soothing, and extra vitamins since she wasn't eating much.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, April 19, 2013

Questions to answer!

I was given the Leibster award! Thanks to Madeline at Reincarnated as a Writer for the honor. She is another participant in the A to Z challenge and is definitely worth a visit.

I'm supposed to list 11 facts about myself, and answer her questions. I'll start with the questions first, since today is the Q day.

1) How much do you like your steak cooked? (If you don't eat steak, what is your favourite equivalent?)
I seriously do not like steak. But any meat I do eat must be well-done. If I can see pink, I just cannot eat it. Ugh.
2) Tea coffee or something else? Both! Iced sweet tea (I am Southern, after all) and lots of coffee. Not plain coffee - iced, cappuccino, latte, heavily flavoured for sure.
3) How much was your first pay -packet for, and what was the job? I made $100/week working at a summer camp the summers after my senior year of high school and first year of college
4) Favourite film, and why? The Whole Nine Yards because it makes me laugh every single time. Rent, because I love it so much.
5) How long does it take you to read an average length novel? A few  hours.
6) Was your school co-educational or single sex, and do you think that was the better option? All co-ed schools. And honestly, I don't think it matters either way. Kids are kids, and the peer pressure, cliques, and all the usual teenage drama will happen either way.
7) Which emotion do you feel the most easily/most often? Do you enjoy it? Happy. Stressed out. Love. Tired. I enjoy the happiness and love. I bring the tiredness on myself, and I'm accustomed to the stress. I don't enjoy it though.
8) Has anything out-of-the-ordinary wonderful ever happened to you? Can you tell us about it? Too many to list.
9) Left or right handed? Right handed
10) What's your favourite kind of holiday? A holiday with lots of togetherness and family time.
11) Do you have a pet, what is it, or if not, why not? We have two dogs, Daisy and Tucker.

Now for 11 random facts.
1. I watch too much TV.
2. But I don't get into reality TV or the competition shows.
3. I just might read too much.
4. I don't get the whole zombie apocalypse thing.
5. I try drinking lots of water during the day.
6. I definitely drink too much caffeine, though.
7. I still have no problem going to sleep.
8. I prefer dark chocolate
9. Except in Toblerone. That must be milk chocolate.
10. I've never been camping.
11. I get very nervous on bridges.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

I don't have a P post.

I had planned on writing about prejudice today, of all kinds. From the teacher in Texas whose alibi for not being a pedophile is that she would never touch a black child to everyday crap we see everywhere, including our little town. But I can't create links from my computer at work or from my phone, and if I'm going to do that post I'm going to do it properly.

Then I started thinking about other P topics. Possibilities. Parenting. Patriotism. Politics. Poop. Okay, I would have spared you the poop one. But I'm tired. I had a long day, then after dinner my teen & I went to the park and walked for exercise. And Sophie is in this clingy to mommy, not wanting to sleep phase. So I'm sitting in her room in the dark so she'll go to sleep, then I'm going to bed. I'll try to come up with a great Q post tomorrow & revisit my planned post another time.

The good news is tomorrow is Friday. Thank goodness.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

O, the musical

(Ok, not really. But if you sing the words instead of reading this could be a musical!)

Once upon a time lived an orphaned owl, Ollie. He lived in an oak tree in Oklahoma. Ollie ogled other owls from his Oklahoman oak as they flew by. He observed Owen and Onita Owl and their owlets. Ollie listened to records of his favorite band, the Oneders, and imagined he was friends with Owen and Onita.
One day Ollie was at home watching One Tree Hill when Owen stopped by. "Onita & I are going to Outback for dinner, would you like to join us? We'll have a blooming onion." Ollie was overjoyed. Owen, Onita, & Ollie flew to Outback, opened the door, and obviously ordered onions. They chatted about the neighborhood, Owen & Onita's owlets Octavia and Oscar. Ollie told them about his job as an orthodontist and his recent visit to the ophthalmologist. Onita discussed organizing Owl Scouts and Owen offered his assistance in repairing Ollie's ongoing leak.

Once they returned home, Ollie was obviously thrilled. He made new friends!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


How many times do parents say "no" in a day?

No, you can't have fruit snacks for breakfast.
No, you can't have soda for breakfast.
No, I'm not stopping at McDonald's
No, you don't need a new whatchamacalit (insert any electronic gadget here).
No, we are not going out for dinner.
No, not ordering pizza.
No, you can't play outside in the rain.
No, don't hit the dog (or draw on him, or chase him, or ride him).
No more tv. No chocolate. No you can't stay home by yourself. No zoo today, I have to work.
No, no, no.

Then, there are the "I can't believe I just had to say that" nos:

Don't lick the dog.
Don't lick your sister.
Don't lick the floor.
Don't lick the walls.
(Notice a theme here?)
Stay out of the dryer.
Don't eat rocks.
Don't watch your videos on my phone when we're not at home on wifi.
Don't write on your furniture.

What are some things you've had to say "no" to that you didn't expect?

Monday, April 15, 2013

Is Mondayness a myth?

You feel it, right? I do, too. The "Monday, ugh" feeling. And everything seems to go wrong on Mondays, too. Last week, we woke up late because the power had gone off overnight & the alarm clock didn't work. Then I realized that I had forgotten to turn on the dryer and all my dress clothes for work were still wet. Today, I could NOT make myself wake up and Sophie had a huuuuuuge meltdown because I wanted to brush her teeth. Seriously.
But oddly enough, my normal "Mondayness" is on Tuesday. Monday just gets a bad rep because the weekend has ended. We're tired, we had fun, and we don't want to go back to work.
I think Mondays aren't usually terrible for me because I prepare in anticipation of terribleness. I'll set up the coffee. I'll pre-pack my lunch. I'll choose what to wear. That way I'm ready if something does go wrong. Tuesday morning? I've done none of that.
Maybe I need to extend my disaster prep throughout the week. Hmm...
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, April 13, 2013

L is for love

Happy Saturday!
We have a full day today, so this is going to be a fun photo post. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, right?
Have a great weekend!

Friday, April 12, 2013



In kid-speak, these are basketball, music, swimsuit, pretzels, makeup, please, suitcase, and exercise (courtesy my oldest when she was little). I love the little mixed-up words!

Then last night, I was on the phone to my mom and Sophie was playing peekaboo with a dress on her bed. My mom heard, and I put the phone on speakerphone. Then this happened (read entire exchange in a sing-songy tone):
Mom: Where's Sophie?
S: Peekaboo!
Mom: I see you!
S: No you do-on't, I at my mama's house!

We get gems like that all the time. Kids are hilarious.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Judgy McJudgersons

Today's post is inspired by this post from The Mom Pledge blog.

I'm so tired of moms judging each other for being different. You know what? Every family is different. Just because something is right for one mom and child doesn't mean it's the right thing for another. I truly think that moms who judge others so harshly are trying to hide their own insecurities. So here's my little bit to counteract that:

Dear Mom,
Yes, you. I know we likely don't know each other. But we understand each other. You may parent differently than I do, but as long as your kids are taken care of, that's okay. We are different people and our families are different, so of course we'll do things differently.

You've got this. You can do it. Keep believing in yourself, even at midnight when you're putting your three year old back in bed for the 20th time, or when you just give up and let her fall asleep in your bed (oh wait, that was me). Trust your instincts.  Don't be so hard on yourself.

We all make mistakes. Parenting is the hardest job to learn as we go. It doesn't matter if we are working moms, at-home moms, helicopter moms, laid-back moms, tigers or house cats. Our kids still love us. Simple mistakes won't screw up our kids or sentence them to a lifetime of therapy sessions.

Relax, mom. You're doing fine.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Indecent exposure

I heard about this story on the radio this morning:

     Former vice mayor 'exposed himself to women motorists through his car window -
 while driving at 90mph'
A former vice mayor exposed himself and masturbated in the direction of at least three different women while driving his car at 90mph, it emerged today.
The women testified against former Mount Carmel Vice-Mayor William Blakely in Tennessee court last week and all described in graphic detail how he would get their attention while they were driving and then hang his penis out the car window.
Victim Kelly Street testified: 'After the waving, it turned into a lot of beeping, him grabbing his chest area, and asking me going "please, please" [clasping hands together] with his hands, may I… show me yours.'
Another woman Deborah Sturgill said: 'He was taking his hand, wetting his mouth, and masturbating. I was scared that I was gonna wreck, he was gonna cause me to wreck.
'At over 90 miles per hour, he had his penis out [the window]. He was masturbating… and that’s when it got really, really bad.
'I wouldn’t look over any more, and I wrote his tag number down on my hand, which I believe he noticed, and he exited very quickly.'
Police believe that Blakely has been pulling the disturbing stunt for years as they have received dozens of complaints from different women about a man doing lewd acts on the road.
Kingsport Police Detective Terry Christian told News Channel 11: 'It’s important to make that report because if you don’t, they’re gonna feel that they can continue that offense and continue victimizing more females.
'And that might be your best friend, your daughter, your mother, your aunt, your niece. And you need to make that report because that’s what’s going to eventually stop that type of behavior.'.
Blakely was elected Mount Carmel alderman in 2008, and was later appointed vice mayor in 2010 before resigning in June of 2011.
He is facing charges of indecent and reckless endangerment, and criminal attempt to commit aggravated assault as well as reckless driving.
Detective Christian told News Channel 11 several more cases involving Blakely are getting ready to be presented to a grand jury.

Read more:

Um.... Wow.
First of all, how on Earth is that physically possible? How could he contort himself to keep driving while doing that out the window? And going 90 mph at the same time - how is he not dead??
I know there are many different sexual practices, including those bordering on dangerous. But this?
This just tops them all.

And isn't it just *lovely* that our state is being represented internationally by this story? Sigh.
It makes me want to write to the Daily Mail: We're not all like this!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Happiness is...

Unsolicited hugs
A kiss on my head
Windows open on a beautiful day
Surprisingly light traffic at rush hour
Warm weather
A cool breeze
Ice cream
A really good book
Good music
Family time
Flowers in bloom

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Sunday, April 7, 2013

Getting around to it

I should have a great G post for today. But I don't feel great. I actually feel kinda gross. I'm sick and my back hurts. So I'm not getting as much done as I need.

I haven't done *nothing* however. I've made split pea soup for lunch at work during the week. I've made hummus and tzatziki sauce for fake gyros (I use hummus instead of meat) also for lunch later this week. And some laundry.

But today is not a productive day. In fact, I'm still in my pjs. And that's okay. I'll get around to the rest of it eventually.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Facebook - What's annoying about it, part 2

Two years ago I wrote this post about ten things on Facebook that annoyed me. It's still one of my most popular posts ever, and is the reason for the "featured on BlogHer" over on the right. Things change, though, and now there are different reasons Facebook annoys me.

1. Begging for help with games. Any game. They are just stupid games, nothing important. I have most game apps blocked on Facebook anyway, but all the posts asking for extra help from others get on my nerves.

2. Allllllll the animal posts. Lost dog locally? I'll share that, no problem. A photo of a terribly abused animal just because? No. "Share if you're against cruelty to animals?" No. Of course I am, and everyone on my friends list should know that without  being subjected to the photos. Please rescue these animals from shelters in other states? No, sorry. If someone has the urge to rescue pets from shelters, there are several locally with animals just as cute, just as loving, just as endangered. I'll put you in touch with them, gladly.

3. Political ranting. "Your endless Facebook ranting and reposting of inflammatory memes totally changed my political views" said no one, ever. And while we're on this subject- do some fact-checking before reposting, please.

4. Endless direct sales. How many online "parties" can one person have at a time? Seriously!

5. "Just ate lunch" "Bathroom break" "Ugh I hate my job" "OMG I hate Mondaysssss" - and that's the adults.

I try to ignore all these, though, because more than anything else, Facebook is a great way to keep in touch with long-distance family and friends. For that, I'll put up with almost anything.

Thursday, April 4, 2013


(I was shocked to open my blog tonight to see that yesterday's post is missing! I honestly posted yesterday, the title was Choices. It was there, now it's not. I'll repost if I can remember it.)

I'm easily distracted. I joke sometimes that I have the attention span of a four year old. What distracts me?


My phone. Games. The internet. Facebook. Pinterest.

When I'm driving? Everything. I need scenery to look at. If there is nothing to see, my mind wanders and I zone out - I don't like doing that while I'm driving. But then I get distracted looking at what's around! Houses, people, businesses, whatever.

Books distract me badly. Television distracts me. Doodling. My thoughts even distract me.

It's bad.

However, I'm rarely bored!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

But... But...

We're hearing this a lot lately. But... But... I LIKE chokit. (Still can't have candy for breakfast.)
But... But... I'm still pwaying! (Sorry, kiddo, it's bedtime.)
But... But... I LUFF(love) it! (Sorry, babydoll. You can't have whatever it is right now.)
But... But... I just want to watch my show!

You get the idea. This is life with a three year old.

On another note, I read somewhere recently that an average 3 year old asks a thousand questions a day. I think whoever was counting missed a few hundred.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, April 1, 2013

All about me

I'm participating in the A to Z blog challenge this month, for the first time. Since I'm new to this challenge, I thought my A post should be about me, kind of an introduction.


My name is Christine. I'm thirtysomething, married, with two daughters. I'm really tall, but no I never played basketball because I suck at sports. Seriously.
I love books, coffee, tea, and being outside. I'm a procrastinator. I'm impatient. I'm an only child - read that as you will. I feel 21 and 45 at the same time. I'm a little freaked out by the fact that our oldest daughter is old enough to practice driving (okay, a lot freaked out by that). I'm a little bit of a smartass. I love to write but I don't let myself have enough time to do it seriously. I hate messiness but I also hate cleaning. I prefer dark chocolate over milk chocolate. I've lived in the south my entire life even though I don't sound like it. I work full time outside the home, although if we could afford it I'd really rather not (I do enjoy my job, though, that's not the problem at all). And that is a completely opposite view than five years ago. Somehow when my oldest started middle school she finally seemed to need me around more, and then two years later her little sister was born and I had two babies wanting their mommy... it really tugs at my heart! I'm not a Martha Stewart or Rachel Ray wanna-be, I don't have the time or energy to do either. I don't sew. I'm slightlly addicted to Pinterest. Oh, I'm also pro-breastfeeding (not anti-formula, there's a difference) and support gay marriage. I do blog about those subjects occasionally, along with other serious topics. I don't have a particular theme for my blog - just myself and what's important to me or what I need to work out in writing.

If I haven't scared you off - welcome! Glad to have you along for the ride!