Friday, November 30, 2012

December Goals

Okay, let's try this again, hopefully with more success than November.

  • Come reasonably close to completing 30 Day Shred (Ugh...This is technically a 2012 goal and this is the last month to do it.  If the hip and/or knee start hurting, change this goal to "work out 5 times")
  • Read 3 books 
  • Go on one date with Justin 
  • Bake Justin's birthday cake from scratch 
  • Order and send Christmas cards
  • Find Elf on the Shelf book and read to Adriana; remember to move the stupid elf most days
  • Plan and execute 3 Christmas / winter activites with the girls (it's okay to delegate) (I have no freaking clue how some of you do 25 activities.  Seriously.)
  • Declutter the kitchen
  • Develop and implement family cleaning schedule
  • Buy and send my great aunt's present
  • Visit my grandma  
  • Sell at least one baby item
  • Find and reinstall Photoshop Elements 10
  • Blog about Couch to 5K, the Race Around the Park, and my reviews of C25K apps
  • Send out delinquent package

November Goals Update; NaBlewItAgain

Well, my November wasn't exactly the wild success I was hoping for, but some things got done.  

  • Come reasonably close to succeeding at NaBloPoMo.  Ehhh, I wouldn't say I came reasonably close.  Looks like I NaBlewIt again.  I was deathly ill on the 5th and 6th, I missed the 8th-11th due to not being able to blog on iPad while traveling, I missed a bunch over Thanksgiving, and then I kind of gave up after that.  I only hit 21 posts, compared to 23 in 2011.  Better luck next year!
  • Come reasonably close to succeeding at Other Laura's 30 Days of Fitness Challenge.  Ummmm, no.  I failed pretty spectacularly on this one, only working out a grand total of four times.  I did have my first experience working out over lunch and then showering at work, which is something I'd like to do more often.    
  • Finish my book club book before the actual book club meeting (Some Girls: My Life in a Harem by Jillian Lauren) Completed 11/8/12.  But then I skipped book club.  SIGH.  
  • Take the girls to the aquarium.  Completed 11/3/12
  • Go on one date with Justin.  Completed 11/28/12.  We went to Olive Garden, which used to be a regular date for us pre-kids.  I got tipsy off two Italian Margaritas and gorged myself on the Braised Beef and Tortelloni.  We sat on the same side of the bench like a couple of dorks and made ridiculous predictions about what the girls would be like when they are teenagers.  It was awesome. 

  • Declutter the dining room.  Not yet, but the day is young and I'm having the in-laws over for dinner tomorrow.  This needs to happen.  
  • Call my great aunt.  Completed 11/30/12, because I am a procrastinator.  
  • Visit my grandma.  Ugh, another fail.  I WILL do this in December.  And every month in 2013.  
  • Sell at least one baby item.  No, but we cleaned up several big ticket items.  I just need to photograph and put on my company's portal.  
  • Beat my race around the park time at the Blathering 5K.  Nope.  I ran for mayyyyyyyybe 20 minutes before my hip crapped out and I had to go find the walkers. 
Soooo, I'm up to 4/10, which will be upgraded to 5/10 tonight if I get my shit together and clean the dining room.  Not too hot, but, if you don't already know, my policy for goal setting is to try to push myself into stuff that I wouldn't necessarily do otherwise.  I figure that if my goals were all 100% realistic I may as well go back to the lists I used to make as a kid, which had stuff like "Wake up.  Shower.  Put in contacts." on them.  I knew that I wouldn't likely complete the 30 days of fitness, but I worked out 4 more days than I would have if it wasn't on my list.  And the failures make me that much more determined to get my act together and cross it off my list next month.  If at first you don't succeed, right?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Little Girl Christmas Gift Ideas; "Problems"

Now that I've completed my (ridiculous) wish list, it's time to start shopping for the kidlets.  For those here via google, I have two girls, ages 3 and 15 months.  We tend to not distinguish whose toys are whose unless it's small enough to choke on.  

My mom goes over the top every year, so I gave my biggest gift idea to her.  I am a little bit obsessed with the Fisher Price Loving Family Dollhouse, and am SO EXCITED that she bought it for the girls.  They will probably have to fight me for a turn.  She said she got a deal on the fully loaded one and picked up the van too.  Lucky girls.  

I stole this one from A'Dell...I got the Hedstrom Hoppy ball with Fairies for Adriana, and the Spiderman one for Colin (my 4 year old nephew).  These were my favorite, favorite, favorite things in our preschool gym.  Clearly my present strategy is to buy all of the things I wish I could play with today.  

A motherflipping parachute.  Another childhood favorite of mine.  So exciting.  

Kinectimals.  I was going to wait a little longer before introducing Adriana to the wonderful world of video games, but I'd rather have her playing the Kinect and potentially moving than vegging on the couch, watching the 11 millionth Diego rerun.  Plus Justin is dying to play video games with her.  

Educational Insights Colors and Shapes Bean Bags.  This one is more for Lucy but I'm sure Adriana won't be able to keep her hands off them either.  I am starting to feel like a crappy mom since Lucy doesn't know as many things as Adriana did at this age.  I'm hoping this will remind me that second children need intellectual stimulation too.  

Counting Bears.  This one is more for Adriana - they look like they are too small for Lucy right now.  Adriana has a touch of my OCD-like tendencies, so I think she will have fun sorting and counting.  

I am a sucker for the Melissa and Doug annual sale.  Picked the Magnetic Farm Hide and Seek up for $10.  Lucy doesn't really know animals or animal sounds yet - she just kind of growls for everything.  

I also got the Melissa and Doug Floor Puzzle Bundle for hella cheap - $12.50!  We have one of these already and they are AWESOME for preschoolers.  Huge, sturdy pieces.  Love.  

I think this is all I'm doing, toy-wise.  There will probably be new tennis shoes, jeans, and jammies for the girls.  I follow my grandma's tradition of filling the stocking with chocolate, an orange, a ton of quarters, socks, and underwear.  I might also throw in some fun bandaids for Adriana or a new sippy cup for Lucy.  You know, stuff they need anyway.  Oh and I'll probably throw in Brave and the new Tinkerbell because we were also going to buy those anyway.  I can't watch the Scooby Doo movie one more time.  

Please forgive me for what I'm about to say...I realize that, much like my whining about my too big pants, this is an awesome "problem" to have and I'm SO VERY LUCKY.

I always have a hard time with Christmas because my parents spoiled us (and still do) and I want to do the same for my girls.  Part of me feels like, as their parents, the stuff Justin and I get them for Christmas should be their very! favorite! things they get.  We should also get them the most things.  Basically, we should win at Christmas. 

But then it seems so wasteful because they get SO MANY THINGS from the rest of the family.   Grandparents, aunts, uncles, great aunts, great uncles, cousins...lots of people buy for my kids.  After Christmases and birthdays I tend to put a bunch of stuff away, unopened, until we are ready for more new toys.  I also saved all of Adriana's outgrown toys for Lucy, and have yet to sell or donate the stuff Lucy has grown out of (but I WILL, dammit).  This has resulted in a ridiculous amount of STUFF in our house.

We have tried to tell people not to buy for them, but that's not happening.  They have one aunt who awesomely donates to their college funds instead, but that's it.

Given the situation, am I doing way, way, way too much for my kids?  Is it totally ridiculous that I continue to buy them things, knowing that they will get more presents than they possibly know what to do with?  If anyone is in the same (very fortunate!) situation, I'd love to hear how you deal with it.  

Monday, November 26, 2012

Christmas Wish List

One of my favorite parts of Christmas is the family gift exchange.  My brothers, their wives, Justin and I all pick names and send out our wish lists to each other (and to my mom, since we have yet to convince her to not get us anything).  The exchange itself isn't all that exciting (we are working off lists, kind of hard to screw it up), but the list making and list reading are so interesting to me.  I love spending forever perusing the various gift guides and making up my list.  I also love reading everyone else's list to see what they picked.  I think I learn more about my family members in the 5 minutes I spend reading their Christmas list than I do the entire rest of the year.  

Here is what I picked this year - hope you get some ideas for your loved ones (or yourself)!

  • Lorac Pro Palette
  • GAP city flats in black 
  • GAP always skinny jeans 
  • Dressy pants from Limited or LOFT
  • Plain black T shirts 
  • Target C9 by Champion workout clothes
  • Black leggings
  • 2 extra iPhone chargers and 1 extra cable
  • Bath salts (I didn't specify what kind - bath and body works stopped making the orange ginger bath soak, which makes me SO VERY SAD.  They make it in every other aromatherapy scent.  Boo.)
  • Uniball jetstream pens (BEST PENS EVER)
  • Photoshop Elements 10 for Dummies
  • This GAP scarf
  • Any scarf, really (I like scarves)
  • Fun, colorful, warm socks
  • This Jototes camera bag
  • MAC studio fix powder in NW 20
  • MAC studio fix foundation in NW 20
  • MAC pro longwear concealer in NW 20
  • Euro-Pro Shark S3501 Deluxe Steam Pocket Mop
  • Fossil vintage revival handbag – I like the brighter red one but I don’t know if it’s considered brick red or cordovan 
  • Fossil wallet – the kind that holds the checkbook too
  • Electric blanket 
  • Tree jewelry holder like this, but not so ridiculously expensive
  • Ceramic bird jewelry dish
  • west elm owl salt and pepper shakers, mug, and/or speaker
 Gift Cards
  • LOFT
  • GAP
  • Victoria’s Secret
  • Target
  • iTunes
  • Massage envy
  • Nail place 
My list is really clothes oriented this year because nothing I own fits.  I am starting to look ridiculous, especially my pants.  Which I realize is not the worst problem in the world to have, but I really can't afford an all new wardrobe right now.  

What is on your list?  

Thursday, November 22, 2012


I have so much to be thankful for in life, but when I reflect on the past year, I am mostly just thankful that my little family made it intact.  No one ever tells you that marriage or having two closely spaced kids is going to be so hard.  I think about everything my family has been through in the past year, and I am so incredibly thankful we made it through the hardest parts and it's only going to get better from here.  

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Division of Labor, Diniwilk Style

I have wanted to do a division of labor post forever, because I am always so fascinated by how other people run their households.  I like the categories listed here, so that's where I'll start.  

Child care: I am definitely the one who plans all aspects of childcare.  And I'm okay with that.  I researched every last item that we bought while pregnant, I'm the one who makes all of their food choices, I'm the one who notices when we need new diapers or more big girl underwear, or a winter coat.  I chose the girls' daycare, and I'm the one who takes them back and forth the two days a week they go there.  Justin takes them back and forth the three days they go to my parents' (they live right by his work, so it's really convenient).  I am in charge of bathing the girls and getting them dressed and doing their hair (I often outsource the bathing to my mom).  We are both totally on the same page as far as discipline goes.  We more or less take turns with potty training / diaper duties.  We each have to put one girl to bed at night (no real rhyme or reason as to who gets which kid).  

Newborn care (bonus historical category):   I took almost 4 months of maternity leave (partially unpaid) each; Justin took 6 weeks with Adriana and 8 weeks with Lucia (unpaid).  If you can save up enough money to do this, I can't recommend it enough.  FMLA is awesome.     When Adriana was new, I was a bit more of a natural but Justin learned quickly and was always willing to jump in (especially if it involved a swaddle - he is the swaddle master).  When Lucia was new, Justin was in charge of Adriana and I was in charge of Lucia.  I am definitely better with newborns, and Justin is better with toddlers, so it worked.  I was (obviously) the one who breastfed, pumped, and performed most of the night duties for the babies (Justin helped with Adriana, but not so much with Lucia). 

Time off (bonus category): Saturday is Justin's day to sleep in, Sunday is mine.  During the week I am a solo parent the two days a week Justin works second shift, so I'm working on getting one night a week "off" too.  That hasn't so much happened, but it WILL.  Whenever one of us has a social event, the other one stays home and babysits.  We use up a lot of our babysitting goodwill when we are working, so we don't get babysitters for date nights too often.  I go away two big weekends a year, so does Justin.  Justin has solo childcare duties when I travel for work.  

Work: We both work full time.  I more or less work 8-5 M-F, Justin works second shift two days and first shift the other three.  I have a lot more flexibility as a salaried employee, so I'm the one who works from home if a kid is sick, or takes them to doctor appointments.  When my work is busy, I put in extra hours and am expected to travel with little notice.  Justin has to work over on occasion, but he gets paid for it if he does (JEALOUS!!)

Food: Whoever is free does the grocery shopping.  If I give him a specific list, this is a task Justin likes to do with Adriana just to get her out of the house and give me a bit of a break.  I cook most of the meals, but if we are just heating something up, Justin does the microwaving.  I think feeding the girls is split about equally between us.  No real rhyme or reason as to who feeds which kid.  

Housecleaning: I think Justin is technically doing a bit more right now, since he has those two kid free days.  Either one of us will pick up the living room or kitchen, but I'm the only one who deep cleans or deals with the bedrooms.  I'm the only only one who touches the bathrooms, washes sheets and towels, or mops the floors; he's the only one who touches the mail, vacuums, and steam cleans the carpets.  Justin does his laundry, I do all the rest (I wish he'd give sole laundry duties back to me).  We both gather trash about equally, he's the only one who takes the barrels in and out.   For the last four years, Justin was the sole cat caregiver, but now that I'm not pregnant or breastfeeding and he reached the end of his cat rope, that torch has been passed on to me.  Yay.  

House decorating (bonus category): All me.  Justin has veto power but he rarely exercises it.  We picked out our big furniture together, and were totally on the same page.  The only thing we disagree on that we both feel strongly about are decorative pillows (I am pro (in moderation), he is not).  

Yard work: We outsourced most of the yard work this year, but usually he mows / blows leaves /  uses the snow blower and I weed and am in charge of flowers.  I once mulched the entire yard by myself, will never make that mistake again.  I'm the one who schedules any paid yard help.  

Communications: I'm the one who is in charge of all kid photo sessions, distributing the pictures, sending Christmas cards, etc.  I used to also be the birthday reminder person, but I have slacked on that duty this year.  As far as holiday togetherness planning goes, he contacts his family and I contact mine, then we compare notes, make decisions together, and call our respective families back.

Finances: We have a joint account and we each have our own individual account.  We deposit an equal amount into the joint account each month for house bills and food.  Our own accounts are used for our own car and credit card (and, in my case, student loan) payments, lunches, and discretionary spend.  We both love this system and we never fight about money.  I pay for the girls' health care and vision and dental for the whole family, in addition to my own; Justin pays for his own health care.  I'm the only one currently contributing to the girls' 529 accounts.  Sometimes I pay for the girls' clothes, sometimes it comes from the joint account.  I'm okay with taking on these extra expenses, as I make more money.  I pay the house bills, but Justin would LOVE to take this over.  I should probably let him - we would never have any late payments if he were in charge.  He is much more organized and financially responsible than I am.  He operates on a tight budget for his personal expenses and wants to get our family on a budget as well.  This is a major goal for next year.  

Activities: I am generally the one who plans the family activities, but Justin has surprised me on occasion.  He wants to use his Christmas bonus to take the girls back to Great Wolf Lodge (or maybe try out a different water park) this winter, which makes me super happy.  We try to do at least one big activity per weekend (zoo, aquarium, movie, etc.), and Justin is usually on board with whatever I decide.  He packs the diaper / snack bag while I get the girls moving.  

Who wears the pants (bonus category): Definitely me.  Justin freely admits this and is okay with it.  I am in charge of all of our major life decisions and a lot of the minor ones, and Justin vetoes when he feels strongly about something.  He is usually pretty okay with whatever I decide.  

Generally, I am pretty happy with how we run our household.  I felt really overwhelmed when the girls were small (like I was taking on the majority of the responsibilities), but that has evened out now that everyone is sleeping through the night and the girls are a bit older.  I coped with feeling overwhelmed by letting A LOT of shit slide, and Justin and I are finally working as a team to get our house back in shape again.           

So, are we normal?  What strikes you as odd?  How does it work in your house?  If you blog or have blogged about this, please link below!     

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

December 2012 Julep Maven Preview

Squeeeeee, it's time to pick December's Julep Maven box!  You can see all of the shiny pretty colors here.  

For the second month in a row, I was tempted to buy the whole damn set but exercised restraint (sort of...I did get all three add-ons).  For the zillionth month in a row, I'm sticking to my profile, American Beauty.  So weird that the little quiz nailed my style dead on. 

I am definitely feeling the coppers, golds, and purples lately.  It is apparently my mission to get them in every finish possible.  But whatever, it makes me happy.  

I am very excited about this month's product - I am using up the last bits of my Olay warming foot scrub as part of Project 10 Pan, so this is perfect timing.  Can't wait to see how Julep's compares!

Spill it, fellow mavens!  What did you guys pick?  Did anyone go with the Glitter and Glow collection for $19.99?  It looks like similar sets go for $34 in the shop, so I'm regretting passing it up (especially since I burned 2250 Jules on my 3 add-ons, compared to just 2000 for the set of 5).  I'll get waaaaaay more use out of the three I picked though, so I'm sticking to it. 

Update:  I'm a lying liar who lies...

Basically, I realized that the 2250 Jules for $15 of stuff is a ripoff, so I decided to use 2000 Jules for the $20 box and just pay the $15 cash.  But there is no option to do that, which is dumb because that's how the program worked before Julep changed it up (my box was free and I paid for the add-ons).  Now you can only use Jules on add-ons, not the box.  

So then I decided to just pay for this month and save the Jules until so many people complain that Julep fixes the program. But then I realized I was paying for the box and another $15 to only get 3 extras, when another $30 would get me the entire collection.  And THEN I realized all of this craziness meant my Jules were free to use on the Glitter and Glow collection, because you are getting $20 worth of stuff for 2000 Jules, same as the box and therefore not a rip-off.

So, uh, that happened.  SHINY SHINY SHINY.  Christmas present to myself!!!

***UPDATE: See my review HERE and enter my Julep giveaway HERE!

At least I'm getting 450 extra Jules from this craziness.

[Like what you see?  Learn more here.  If you want to use my referral link or enter code 2669282 and contribute to my nail polish addiction, I would be forever grateful.  I don't know if COLOR2012 or MAVENINTRO will still get you your box for a penny, but I know MAVEN50 will definitely get you half off.]  

Monday, November 19, 2012

Project 10 Pan

I mentioned in my sample storage post that I would be sharing a couple of strategies for using up my makeup and samples in an orderly fashion.  You may already be familiar with Project 10 Pan...I think it originated with the former YouTube guru Lollipop26, but she went private long before I started watching makeup tutorials.  I'm pretty sure this is her blog though, which I am now adding to my reader because I'm loving her style.  She had me at Sausage Dog Ring Holder (but who doesn't call that a weiner dog???)

Anyway, the premise is simple.  You evaluate your makeup / beauty collection, pick 10 things that are close to being used up (or "hitting pan"), and you go on a makeup no buy until they are done.  I like this concept because it reminds me of when I'd line up my pens and find the one with the least amount of ink to use up first, or the "first in, first out" mentality that was beat into my head in my McDonald's days.  There is definitely something satisfying about getting that last bit out of the bottle and then throwing it out.  BOOM!  

I am not so concerned about the makeup no buy aspect of it, as I really do think I got all of the makeup buying out of my system and am not planning on adding any new subscriptions.  It's more about trying to use up what I have and reducing the clutter.  But, in the spirit of the project, I commit to not buying anything new until 10 things are crossed off unless a) it's a subscription I already paid for b) it's purchased through gift cards or reward points, or c) something runs out and I don't have any replacements.  I'm not going to not wear deodorant just because of this project.        

What I'd like to do is keep this as a running list and add a new item whenever one gets crossed off, so I'm always trying to use up 10 things.  I also plan to write my thoughts on a product as it is used up, so I can remember if it was worth buying or not.  

I was originally going to post this back in August and never got around to it, so some of these products are a little more used up than the picture would suggest.  In fact, I have already used up this guy right here:

1. The Body Shop Satsuma Body Butter

Here are the 10 I'm working on right now:

2. Neutrogena Healthy Shine Lip Gloss - Healthy Blush 120
3.  fresh Sugar Rose Lip Treatment
4. Pangea Organics Lip Balm, Egyptian Fennel Grapefruit and Sweet Orange
5. benefit BAD gal lash
6. Clinique superpowder double face makeup in Matte Ivory
7. Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Cleansing Pads
8. Aveeno Positively Ageless Lifting and Firming Night Cream
9. Julep Age Defying Hand Brightener
10. Missha Perfect Cover B.B. Cream in No. 21
11. Olay Thermal Pedicure 
1.  The Body Shop Satsuma Body Butter - Completed 9/12.  I love this stuff, would definitely repurchase after all of my other gazillion lotions are cashed.  I am a big fan of citrus scents, and Satsuma is AMAZING.  
2. Neutrogena Healthy Shine Lip Gloss, Healthy Blush 120
3. fresh Sugar Rose Lip Treatment (March 2012 Birchbox)
4. Pangea Organics Lip Balm, Egyptian Fennel Grapefruit and Sweet Orange (April 2012 Birchbox)
5. benefit BAD gal lash
6. Clinique superpowder double face makeup in Matte Ivory
7. Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Cleansing Pads
8. Aveeno Positively Ageless Lifting and Firming Night Cream
9. Julep Age Defying Hand Brightener
10. Missha Perfect Cover B.B. Cream in No. 21
11. Olay Thermal Pedicure

Since I have been doing this a while, I will give you a couple of tips if you plan to join me on this project:

When deciding what to include...
  • I generally start with stuff that clearly is on its last legs and is just taking up space in the hall closet where we store our bathroom goodies.  If I'm tired of looking at it, it's a candidate.
  • If the product is expired, toss it (or at least make sure it's still usable and doesn't smell weird).  It's really tempting for me to force myself into using something that's gross just because it's there and I paid money for it.  Meanwhile, all of my non-expired products are getting older by the minute as they wait for me to use something I'm not even enjoying.  It's a never-ending cycle.
  • If the product isn't for you, try to give it away.  There is no need to torture yourself with something that isn't working for you. 
  • Try to only have one item per category.  There is no reason for me to have 3 lip products but no eyeliner on here.  
  • If you are using a balm, make sure it has a pretty good dent in it already or it will be on your list FOREVER.
  • Same goes for eyeshadows.  I have yet to get close to hitting pan on any of mine, because I have too many and I wear it too rarely.  Even if I were to just focus on one color, it takes me way too long to get through it.
  • I like to use Project 10 Pan to force myself into beauty routines that aren't automatically ingrained into my system.  For example, I never remember to moisturize my hands, and I feel like that's something I need to focus on as I'm getting older - they say the hands give away a woman's true age, right?  So putting a hand lotion on my list ensures that I'm keeping up with it.  
After you've started Project 10 Pan...
  • Put the items where you think you'll reach for them the most.  I made a little space on my work desk for all of my manicure products (including the hand lotion) because I get bored on conference calls and I use the time to pretty up my hands.  I also keep a little pouch in my purse for the Project 10 Pan lip glosses.  
  • It's okay to take a break from something and swap it out of your rotation.  Makeup is still supposed to be fun, and as long as you are using SOMETHING up and not buying anything new, you are on track!

So, what do you think?  Care to join me on a Project 10 Pan  and/or a makeup no buy?  Feel free to link in the comments if you do this!  

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Sample Storage

So, a few of you have asked how I store my gazillions of samples I collected during the great Beauty Box Subscription Addiction of 2012.  

Once I realized that I was gaining samples waaaaaay faster than I could possibly use them (and that it was quickly turning into a beauty hoarder situation), I went to target to get some containers.  These guys were 3 for $1 in the dollar spot.  

I started off with a separate bin for each of the following categories: Nail, Perfume, Lip, Face, Eye, Hair, Anti-Aging, Cleanser, Mask, Moisturizer, Packets, and Body.

I cleared out an eye-level shelf in the hall closet...I think I can fit 10 in and the other 2 have to stack on top.

Any time my incoming samples start piling up, I line the hallway with the bins and add the new stuff in.  You can see that I gained quite a bit in the few weeks between the first picture and this one.  

I have cancelled all but Birchbox (annual subscription, expires in December), ipsy (annual subscription, expires in May), Julep Maven (still using up my free points from referrals), and QVC Test Tube (I can't remember how many I committed to, but I did one of those auto-pay things).  I think I would have kept the others a lot longer if I hadn't put all of the samples in one place like this.  

Basically, this system works for me because the open containers make it easy to see how much crap I have.  Any time I'm tempted to buy something because of a huge! sale! I think of my bins of insanity and then it's a lot easier to pass.  I will have to put a serious dent in these bad boys before I'd even consider adding another sample box into the mix.  

Once I have my collection whittled down to a more reasonable size, I would love to get these muji boxes. If I had unlimited funds and space, I'd go for the Hayworth set from Pier One.  Both ideas stolen from every YouTube guru ever.  

Later this week, I will be telling you about two strategies for actually using up my samples.  The third doesn't get it's own post - basically it involves gifting the stuff that I'm not crazy about or can't use or have duplicates of to my friends and family.  Stay tuned!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Hawaiian Chicken Recipe

Thought I'd post an easy dinner recipe for those of us who are cooking-impaired.

I just take a pack of boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut them in half, season with salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper, then add colorful bell peppers and onion slices to a baking sheet.  Open up a can of pineapple slices and dump it on top, juice and all.  I also like to add chicken broth to keep it nice and moist.  I stick it in the oven at 350 for some period of time (I suck at timing things.  45 min to an hour?  Perhaps you should get a meat thermometer if you don't want to poison your family).  

I personally like this on the King's Hawaiian rolls with some provolone or mozzarella, but you can just eat as is if you want.  The chicken is really tender and juicy and delicious.  Adriana kept saying "Oh my God.  I love this!!!" in her teenager voice, so I assume that's a good sign.

Raw chicken, ewwwww.
I asked Justin to get a bunch of Hostess goodies for dessert, so the girls could have their first Twinkies and Hostess cupcakes before they are no longer available.  He brought home this instead:

Swiss Rolls != Hohos
Reading comprehension fail.  But that's okay, I am not going to turn down Fudge Rounds and Nutty Bars.  Yum.  

What is your go to easy dinner?  I need ideas!

Friday, November 16, 2012

11 Questions, Part 2

I was nominated for a Liebster Award over at Not Insane...Promise! right before I left for New Orleans.  Did you know that The Diniwilks is the vampire father of Not Insane...Promise?  Who knew that my ramblings would actually inspire someone else to blog!  Thanks, K!

I actually did this once before, but I don't think people had a fancy name or called it an award back then.  

The Rules: 
1. List 11 facts about yourself.
2. Answer the 11 questions given to you.
3. Create 11 new questions for the bloggers you nominate for the award.
4. Choose 5 bloggers with 200 or less followers to nominate.
5. Go to each blogger's page and let them know they are nominated.
6. Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog

11 Facts about me:

1) Since the last time I wrote this, I have added a tattoo.  Also? I'm 33 years old, and I just wondered what my mom is going to think when she reads that. 

2) Despite the fact that I love to try out new makeup and always know where the amazing deals are, my ability to SHOP for makeup does not translate into an ability to WEAR makeup.  I usually only slap on enough to cover up the rosacea and call it good, and I still can't do a smoky eye to save my life.  

3) I took an Enneagram test, since Maggie makes it sound like fun.  I scored equally on Types 1, 2, and 7, but 7 is the one that really sounds like me, especially after reading the long version (although I do have a healthy amount of type 2 I just wanna be loooooooooved in me too).  

Type Seven 
The Enthusiast
The busy, productive type. Sevens are extroverted, optimistic, versatile, and spontaneous. Playful, high-spirited, and practical, they can also misapply their many talents, becoming over-extended, scattered, and undisciplined. They constantly seek new and exciting experiences, but can become distracted and exhausted by staying on the go. They typically have problems with impatience and impulsiveness. At their Best: they focus their talents on worthwhile goals, becoming appreciative, joyous, and satisfied.

4) I love these types of personality tests...I'm also a Myers-Briggs ENTP.  I think the two tests are in agreement - I have the attention span of a goldfish.  

ENTP: Quick, ingenious, stimulating, alert, and outspoken. Resourceful in solving new and challenging problems. Adept at generating conceptual possibilities and then analyzing them strategically. Good at reading other people. Bored by routine, will seldom do the same thing the same way, apt to turn to one new interest after another.

5)  Even though I relate to Enneagram Type 7 and consistently score as a ENTP, I think I'm becoming more of an introvert as I get older.  Maybe it's just that I didn't feel well, but I kept having to leave the room at the Saturday Blathering dinner because it was just Too! Much! Stimulation!  Then again, while I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED spending time with Lacey and Heather, I kept feeling like I was missing the party by not getting to know a bunch of other people too.  So, I don't know.  I guess I am both at different times, sometimes even in the same weekend.  

6) I just wrote a whole bunch of stuff about my education and job history, but I think that warrants its own post (or 5).  So consider this bullet a placeholder.

7) I pretty much always order both a hot and cold drink at the same time, and alternate sips.  Much like my nugget dipping sauces.  I might be a little OCD about food.  

8) I am a jeans and black t-shirt kind of girl, likely with mismatched stripey socks.  

9) I love cheese.  To the point that my mom thought it would be funny to have the doctor tell me I had a cheese allergy when I was a kid.  I got a million shots in my arm to determine which things I had a bad allergic reaction to.  He pointed to the biggest, puffiest, pinkest one (likely the one for "outdoors") and said it was the one for cheese.  And then I almost cried.  THANKS, MOM!

10) I am one of those people who never knows where their keys are.  I may be locked out of my house as we speak (read?).  For the second day in a row.

11) I was too sick this year to vote, and I still feel really guilty about that.  Because I COULD have gone anyway, and carried a barf bag or something.  And I could have early voted.  I miss the 2004 Laura who was so politically motivated that she shed actual tears as Ohio voted for Bush and against gay marriage.  I feel like I have been so wrapped up in my own shit this year that I am losing sight of what is really important, and I don't like that.  

Questions from Not Insane...Promise!

1) What is your favorite food?  It changes all of the time.  Indian lunch buffet, currently.

2) If you could live anywhere in the world (money/unrest not an issue), where would you live?  I want to say Seattle, but I have only been there when the weather was beautiful and Ranier was out.  The rain would probably get to me after a while.  But I'd like to at least give it a try, in this money-free alternate universe. 

3) If you run, what's your favorite distance?  I think about 2 miles is perfect for me, after that my hip hurts and my body is tired.  

4) What would your ideal adventure be?  I really wish I had done the whole backpacking across Europe thing in my early 20's.

5) What's your favorite thing to shop for?  Either shoes or makeup.  I would say shopping for the girls, but that always comes with SO MUCH GUILT because they already have SO MANY THINGS and I feel like it's wasteful.  But apparently more freaking makeup isn't?  I don't know.    

6) What are your favorite pair of shoes?  This is hard, for some reason.  I don't feel particularly attached to any of my shoes right now and that makes me sad.  I generally like anything with a kitten heel or t-strap.

7) What's your favorite kind of drink?  Diet coke, preferably in a can that is so cold that there are wee ice crystals.

8) Who does more housework, you or your husband?  Generally me, but lately Justin.  He gets a lot more kid-free time because he works 3-11 two days a week, and the girls are in daycare those days.  

9) Do you have any pets?  We still have our cat, Leo.  We did end up having to give up Mohinder, as the peeing was getting out of control :(

10) What's your favorite song?  I have a lot of fond memories attached to U2's One.  The most recent one being on our honeymoon, driving in the limo on the way to the airport, champagne in hand, while the driver sang it in his accent and Justin and I tried not to giggle from the backseat.  

11) Why do you blog?  To capture snippets of our lives that my swiss cheese brain would forget otherwise.  And as a way to interact with all of you.  

I nominate Shauna, Misty, Erin, Erica, and Susie.  You can answer the questions I asked last time.  Or don't, I really won't be offended.  

And if the rest of you want to talk about Enneagrams and Myers-Briggs in the comments, that would be awesome.