Some Things

Man. What a week.

After hitting post last Monday, we were blessed one final time with one final trip to urgent care on Tuesday (for a total of five trips!) because Critter developed an ear infection in his OTHER ear while still on antibiotics for the first one.

I don’t even know what to say really. BUT. Everyone finally seems healthy? I hope this plague had passed.

My friend Melissa told me probably a month and a half ago about the camisoles at Old Navy so I ordered a few and they seem…good? Would order again so far? Very inexpensive?

On Saturday we hosted our first non-kids birthday party in our house since we moved in. It was my sorority sisters’ annual Christmas party and we had 20 people plus tiny tots running around and it was a big hoot. We used to host a couple of big parties each year but life has changed and frankly I didn’t realize it until people were coming in and asking where to set things and I was like Honestly I Have No Idea.

On Sunday, Mom and I attended the Lessons & Carols service at our family’s church. For those of you thinking Aren’t you Jewish? Good question! The answer is yes of course I am but also conversion is complex and I had a really nice morning with my Mom.

It has become apparent that the birth control I started two months ago (this is my third pill post-weaning) has terrible side effects when I move on and off the white pill week. This time I got a migraine that ruined the date night we were supposed to go on. So. I get to go back to the doctor again.

If you are at all interested in health/science this podcast episode with Siddhartha Mukherjee (author of The Emperor of All Maladies) is really interesting.

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Friday Food Round-Up!

This week was the return of the crockpot in a major way. Since we didn’t really cook over the weekend, I ran it and batch cooked soups so that we could restock our freezer and feed friends (I am a one woman meal train).

We are going to make this soup next week so feel free to cook along if you want. I will of course, be modifying it for the crockpot.

Sunday – Perfect Instant Ramen

This has just been such a perfect weekend lunch.

Tuesday – Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken, Coleslaw, Cheesy Bacon Jalapeno Cornbread from Cravings

Basic.

Wednesday – Italian Chicken Sausages with Buffalo Smashies from Cravings: Hungry for More and Garlicky Wilted Spinach

I LOVE these potatoes.

Thursday – Easy Slow Cooker Yellow Coconut Curry Chicken with Steamed Rice and Roasted Broccoli

We have not made this meal in a number of months nor have I roasted broccoli in a long time. It was great. We were hosting my brother-in-law and sister-in-law for dinner so this meal came together easily and with a minimum of dishes.

Domestic Lifesavers

I started writing this post in September, then I forgot. But especially with ALL of the holiday gift guides (THIS IS NOT ONE OF THEM), I felt Called to share the two small appliances that have changed our life in the last year. Especially if you’re still debating what you want for a gift or what sales you want to search for on Boxing Day.

Bissell Smartclean 1974

BUY A ROBOT VACUUM. Buy it now. Especially if you don’t have a housekeeper. Even if you do. You still may need to sweep out a corner or two every month or so. You may want to run your regular vacuum over your large area rug now and then. But this will DRASTICALLY cut down on the amount of time you spend on your floors.

Crockpot 5-in-1 Slowcooker

I felt guilty when we bought this because we already owned a slow cooker. And then it arrived and Marcus (truly accidentally) broke the ceramic bowl of the old one.

Why this Crockpot is superior in all ways: it has a browning feature so you don’t need to use two dishes when you’re preparing a slow cooker meal. That extra dish seemed especially like Mount Everest when Glitter was born. We don’t have an instant pot because I either need the food to cook for 4-6-8 hours or I can cook it myself on the stove in 15-30 minutes.

What have you purchased in the last year that you can’t live without?

Some Things

I spoke too soon. After I hit post last Monday, Critter got an ear infection that night and Glitter was diagnosed with croup on Friday. She spent the weekend with a fever. We are going to urgent care again today. I keep telling all of my friends with sick pups that someday the plague will leave their homes. I keep telling myself this too, to no avail.

With that in mind, Mercury retrograde ended on the 6th and honest to God I feel like there is a better energy in the Universe right now. Don’t judge me!

My parents had their annual holiday party on Friday night. I drank three glasses of wine (PARTY!!!), wore my “vegan leather” pants (I am getting my money’s worth out of these!!!) and it was the best of times. We then spent the rest of the weekend celebrating Hanukkah.

An update on retinols and my very basic begrudging skincare routine: I am still washing my face and applying the retinol 1-2x/wk. It is still peeling all of my skin off which is sort of appalling. As a result I have stopped using powder and blush because it looks awful. On the other hand, since I am now moisturizing 2x/day my skin looks positively dewey. So, I don’t know. It’s going?

I increased the temperature on the thermostat by one degree to 72 and it has been a wondrous change. What I realized I despise most about winter is that you never feel fully WARM like you do in the summertime. Having a cozy house resolves that.

At some point in the last week, I saw one of those minimalist decluttering posts where you are encouraged to get rid of the same number of things as the date on the calendar. I decided to skip the plodding nature of that exercise and instead did the following: purged and re-organized our toy closet in the basement. It yielded two brand new toys for Hanukkah gifts, two brand new toys for our local non-profit gift to families in need, one bag of broken toys for the trash, and two bags of toys we never played with/didn’t LOVE that went to Goodwill. I also sent four boxes of diapers my kids have outgrown to the same local non-profit and threw out the bouncer seat Glitter no longer uses that was on probably its fifth or sixth life.

My house is literally a hundred pounds lighter and this gives me ENERGY and MOTIVATION to tackle the decluttering of our back bedroom. After Christmas.

Happy Monday, friends.

Friday Food Round-Up!

I forgot to snap the Hanukkah taco feast we actioned for dinner with our neighbors but I figured we would all survive this mystery.

Sunday – Perfect Instant Ramen

We’re on a kick here.

Monday – Chipotle-Honey Chicken with Mango-Avocado Salsa from Cravings with Sweet and Salty Banana Rice from Cravings: Hungry for More, Garlicky Wilted Spinach

THIS MEAL IS DELIGHTFUL. DEFINITELY MAKE A DOUBLE BATCH OF THE CHIPOTLE BBQ SAUCE TO FREEZE.

Tuesday – Pork Beef Larb from Cravings: Hungry for More

So healthy.

What I’ve Been Reading

I think at this point unless I speed read in an intensive way, this is a practical wrap on my reading tally for 2018.

Total: 36 books.

I’ve read more, I’ve read less.

I real A LOT of non-fiction this year and I would say this year, 2018, was my most intellectual year of reading as an adult?

It was also the year of binge reading the Crazy Rich Asians trilogy so, there is some balance here okay?

What I have read? Is here.

NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity by Steve Silberman

The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy

Over the Edge of the World: Magellan’s Terrifying Circumnavigation of the Globe by Lawrence Bergreen

Bad Blood by John Carreyrou

Some Things

Scene from Chicago. November 2018.

First off I just want to send a shout-out to our new readers, of which we have had a few in the past weeks. Welcome to the squad.

For the grand finale of our pestilence, I finally caught the kids’ plague cold. On Saturday night I was also reminded of what a difference it makes to workout when you’re feeling under the weather. Raising your body temperature and doing some sweating really helps fight the germs. With that in mind I still have this cold so take it with a grain of salt.

At the current moment I also have a great deal of empathy for people who describe a period of days/weeks/months as “lost” because I feel like that is where we are at right now?

But to rewind a bit, on Friday we went to a philanthropic cocktail party where I wore a faux fur vest and vegan leather pants (AKA pleather but with better branding) and….so did like half the party guests. It was 11/10. I failed to take any snaps but this outfit will ride again.

We finally cleaned our whole house, and it just feels good to be back at our equilibrium. I did a good clean before we went to Chicago, knowing that there would not be time when we got back (I was right). It went basically how I expected and when I got back to cleaning again it was cathartic.

Friends continue to tell me that they have already watched or are about to watch The Princess Switch so, keep at it people.

Hanukkah started last night. I finally wheeled out our decorations on Saturday. On Sunday morning, Critter declared he was hoping for “a present of toys.” In addition to our family celebrations, I also invited our Jewish neighbors who live across the street over to light the menorah and join us for dinner on Wednesday night. We will share a festive meal of tacos.

Happy Monday.