Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Living with 7 Different Men at 14 Years Old?!

I liked the "Fifty Shades of Grey" books. Yep. Haul out the rope, burn me at the stake, I liked the books. Were they racy? Indeed. Were they for adult eyes? Absolutely. Did I emerge from reading them wishing that my husband would toss on some jeans and beat me senseless? No. 

I'm a little confused about the sheer ferocity of the outcry against first the books, and now of course, the movie. After all, there's been some racy material to hit the screen before. There was a movie marketed towards children that featured a 14 year old girl living with several unmarried men before being poisoned and taken advantage of by royalty. Yep. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. I plan to have a long, in-depth discussion with my daughter about not living with strange men, taking produce from strangers, and of course, some self-defense moves for when a Prince tries to plant one on you when you're unconscious. 

Here's my take on it: You don't need to tell your 5 year old about 50 Shades of Grey. Seriously. Did your parents talk to you about 9 1/2 Weeks? No? Mine either. Guess what? I've still never seen it. Wild Orchid? Nope. I didn't even know that last one existed until I hit up Google. 

If you want to read it, see it, experience it - go for it. Don't drag your kids into it. 

Friday, November 28, 2014

StitchFix: Round Two

My second StitchFix box arrived today, and I darted towards the front door, grabbed it, and ran like a kid back to my room to try it on.

I switched stylists from the last one, and decided to try one who styles a friend of mine and I've loved what I've seen. How'd it go?

So.. I kept one out of five, but that doesn't really tell the true tale. 

The good: A lot of what was sent was "my style". She also specifically sent me a shirt I had pinned to my StitchFix board on Pinterest but in a different color.

The bad: I'm allergic to angora and it's listed on my SF profile. One of the items was 60% angora so that was our from the get-go. Ironically because most of it was my style - I felt like it looked like a lot of stuff I already owned. I can't really decide if that's truly a bad. I mean, she got my style - damn her? ;) I also felt like nearly every item was a little expensive, except of course the top I didn't pick! 

Let's dive in.

Piece #1 - Kut from the Kloth skinny jeans. 

 These jeans were fine. And therein lies the true problem, right? They're fine. They were comfortable, they fit well, but I really liked my last jeans so I wasn't really in need of any more, and not a massive fan of the contrast stitching. My husband again busted out the "Those look fine." which since was pretty much what I felt about them, they were doomed. ;) 

Price: $78. Verdict: Sent back. 

Piece #2 - Andrew Marc - Dark Pink Envelope Collar Dress

I admit it. I sneaked a peek at the style sheet and was really intrigued when I saw it. The color was pretty, but had it been black I would have been drooling. I liked the style and the slightly edgy collar, and the length and fit were perfect. However, the fabric was a little in between - too dressy really for my office but not dressy enough for a dinner date or a holiday party in this shade of pink. For the record, my husband loved it and gave it a "wow!" when he saw me in it which was nice but I was waffling and the price... 

Price: $128. Ouch. Verdict: Sent back.

Piece #3 - Grey Patch Pocket Cardigan

This looked cozy. Or really, would have had my Benedryl-fueled Spidey senses not known immediately that it contained something that I was hideously allergic to. It did have a bit of an odd edgy faux-leather type trim on the pockets, and some inside-out seams that I'm not a big fan of as I feel like they make an outfit a little more casual then I enjoy. Anyway, this piece annoyed me in that my SF profile says I'm allergic to wool, cashmere, and angora, which makes sweater season only slightly more enjoyable than a visit to the OB. 

Price: $68 Verdict: Sent back. 

Piece #4 - Green/Cream/Black Striped Cotton Top

Aside from the Kelly green, this looks both like something I would buy and something I sort of already have. It fit really well, was really soft, and had it not hugged my muffintop like they were long lost friends, I probably would have kept it. All in all, since I already own a few like it, I didn't. 

Price: $38. Verdict: Sent back. 

Piece #5 - 41Hawthorn - Black 3/4 Sleeve Shirt with Studded Detail


This is the top I had pinned, so I was excited to receive it. In black, which of course, I adore. ;) Even though I had pinned it online, I was a little hesitant when I saw it in person... Was the person wearing it when I pinned it a size 2? Was this going to be one of those tops where I was super disappointed? Nope. I ended up liking it, and the husband gave it two thumbs up. It originally looked a little sheer when I held it up but wasn't seethrough at all when I tried it on, thank goodness. 

Price: $58 Verdict: Kept. 

Overall: I was a little disappointed in this shipment. Mainly I think because there's a lot of build up to them and to only keep one out of five was a bit of a bummer. That being said - it wasn't like I received another totally hideous shirt like that one in the last shipment. A lot of it I really liked, but I guess I was expecting to be totally wowed this time and I wasn't. Not only that - I was a little surprised at a few of the price points but that could also be because I've been online black friday shopping and everything is like $4 with free shipping. ;) 

All in all, I'm excited for my next StitchFix but also sort of wishing they offered a "every six weeks option" because 4 weeks lands basically on Christmas but 2 months is just too darn long to wait! ;) 

Check it out or support my StitchFix habit here. ;) 

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Stitch Fix - My Experience

So, I ordered my first Stitch Fix box about six weeks ago, and it arrived yesterday. Now, there was a bit of a wait, so if you're like me and a big fan of instant gratification - it can be a little rough, but I took it as an opportunity to buff up my Pinterest board and be brutally honest with my Stitch Fix stylist about what I wanted/like/think works on me.

For those of you who don't know how Stitch Fix works - I'll explain a bit more. Essentially, it's a personal stylist who looks at your Facebook/Pinterest board/whatever you want to supply access to to pick out five things monthly and send them to you to try. You fill out a profile, answer a lengthy list of questions about what you like, rank some pictures, etc and they run with it. When your box of items arrives, you have the opportunity to take three days to try them on, select what you like, and send back what you don't. You pay $20 for a styling fee, and it's applied to whatever you decide to purchase. Purchase nothing and you're out the $20 fee. Purchase one to four things and it's applied to the purchase. Purchase all five and you get a 25% discount and then your $20 styling fee is applied as well to the purchase. Well.. it seemed simple until I typed all that out. Hopefully you get it. If not, more here.

Step 1 - Your style profile. Be honest. Do not claim Jessica Rabbit if you are more Elmer Fudd. Be specific. "I like dresses" is a little helpful. "I like dresses that go to my knees or longer" is more helpful. "I'm allergic to wool, hate my upper arms, and like dresses that go to my knees but not maxi dresses" seems picky but is really helpful. Who wants to pay $20 each month to hate every single thing that they receive? Not this girl. Want to know just how much? Here's how brutally honest I was in my "anything else we should know?" section:

I've got a bit of a pooch from having my daughter, i won't wear any dresses that are too short unless they're special occasion (i put a toddler in a carseat daily, no one needs to see that). Allergic to wool, cashmere & angora. 

They ask age, if you're pregnant, do you have kids, how do you like your clothes to fit on different areas of your body, do you want to receive certain types of clothing - how much are you willing to spend on each piece, how often do you want to receive them, etc etc. Be honest. Take the time you'd normally spend cursing over jeans at the mall and apply it here. One and done folks.

Step 2 - Get your Pinterest on. Hate pinterest? Who cares? Take 30 mins and find outfits that you like or styles/colors/ANYTHING that you like and pin it to a Stitch Fix board and put that link in your profile. Mine's here. Be specific. If there's a dress, boots, and a cardigan and you'd rather sit through a conversation with your boss completely naked than wear that damn cardigan - say "Love the dress, love the boots, HATE that cardigan" so your stylist doesn't look at that and think you love the whole shebang.

Step 3 - You wait. Not good at waiting? Me either. WHERE THE HELL IS MY FIX? Now you get the name.

Step 4 - The package arrives. You grab it, scamper inside like a squirrel and tear it open anxiously. When the box arrived, and I first opened it, I was really nervous. I know myself better than anyone, and I still will pick some things for myself that I question later, so how will a total stranger "get" me?

Let's dive in.

Piece #1 - A fuschia roll-sleeve top.
I was a little torn when I saw this. I normally love hot pink. I really wanted a shirt just like this... but I wasn't sure I wanted them together. In fact, I was pretty sure I didn't. Still, I promised myself I'd try them all on, and break out of my comfort zone. I also decided I'd rope my husband in on this and give him a fashion show to see his opinion of the pieces. He thought the idea was a little nuts in general, but was a good sport. He's actually the reason I kept this shirt. I waffled, but he loved it and my uncertainty was really only the color in terms of this shirt and a brief hiccup wonder over the price. I can be really stingy when it comes to myself yet I'll plunk down money all over the place for others.
Price: $48. Status: Kept.

Piece 2 - A short sleeved, floral and striped top.
I hate this shirt. I can't even explain quite how much I hate this shirt. I like stripes. I even occasionally like floral but this shirt was a nightmare of epic floral and stripey proportions. This shirt never had a chance with me. I tried it on, the fit was fine, but I wouldn't wear this shirt even if I was guaranteed that no one would ever see me. I would see me and I would hate it.
Price: $34. Status: Sent back.

Piece 3 - A short sleeved, grey top with a banded waist.

I was iffy on this shirt right out of the box. It was super soft, which was lovely, but I'm high-waisted and my "pooch" is really more of a muffin top so this is the type of shirt that doesn't generally work on me. Add to it the fact that it reminded me a lot of a maternity dress that I had and this one wasn't doing so hot. Still, I tried it on and charged forward. My husband declared it "fine", which really sealed the "no thanks!" for me, combined with the price.

Price: $58. Seriously. Status: Sent back quickly. 

Piece 4 - A two-pack of gold earrings.

 I loved these pear-shaped studs. LOVED them. They're simple and elegant and I absolutely would have picked them out for myself. The other earrings, I wasn't really in love with. They weren't bad, but when that's the sentence that you write about them, you don't have any business buying them. The problem here was that these were a 2-pack and I couldn't keep just one, which led me to do the "If they're under $XX then I'll keep them". They weren't. At least I know that they're out there and I can find them sometime.

Price: $32. Status: Sent back.

Piece 5 - JEANS. Skinny jeans.
The words that strike fear into the heart of 99% of women. Skinny jeans. I was sure I would hate these. Skinny jeans? I have legs like a turkey. Big thighs from years of soccer and Hot Tamales. A white girl ghetto booty doesn't help with this as it adds that element of "I don't want plumber's crack" and it's no wonder that denim shopping is only slightly below "Brazilian bikini wax" on my pain scale. So imagine my surprise when a) they fit b) I liked them and c) I decided to keep them! 
Price: $88. Status: KEPT!

So there it is. Stitch Fix #1. I went back and edited my profile a bit after this box - rejecting floral altogether, and adding a few more things to my Stitch Fix board.

All in all, I'm going to try it again. It was a good eye opener and I love the little card of style ideas that they send to show you how each piece can work a few different ways. 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

This Week's Recipes

I will admit.. I am not always successful. For example, this week, I got stuck at work and we ate leftovers.. and then I realized - when my weeks are insane, I am not going to come home, chop up veggies and then thread them onto shish kabobs. This led to me not even using the shish kabob meat I made and marinated because I get weird about chicken and how many days it's been since I bought it, etc. I can't help it. I've got poultry problems.

Meatball Nirvana was amazing as always, and the new marinade was REALLY good on chicken and browned up really nicely on the grill. 

This week I'm making tuna salad for some lunches, I've cut up red bell peppers, and mixed them in baggies with baby carrots and celery. I've premade bacon (For easy cleanup, put three sheets of foil for extra coverage, space them out over the baking sheet, pre-oil with a spray of PAM or whatever you use to avoid sticking, 400 degrees for roughly 20-25 minutes). We prefer our bacon crispy so sometimes we end up at 30 minutes but I start checking it around 20-25 and sometimes rotate the pans from top to bottom, etc). The benefit is that I can pre-make bacon for the week (we eat a lot of bacon. a lot.) and there's no hot grease flying around my kitchen with a toddler AND my stovetop is free to do other things. I can chop veggies. I can prep tuna salad, because my oven is doing all the work. Score! 

Tonight - Pasta with delicious,delicious meat sauce (which is pretty similar to this, sans mushrooms.)

Monday - Filet mignon is back on the menu, with these amazing brussels sprouts

Tuesday - Ironically, I'm trying another chicken kabob... Tuesdays generally aren't insane and it's earlier in the week so I'm hopeful. 

Wednesday - Salmon with caesar salad. (I'll probably do my fallback salmon recipe which isn't written down anywhere. Pat the salmon dry, add a little butter to the pan over medium heat, sprinkle your spice rub of choice liberally over the salmon - and plunk that baby in and listen to the sizzle).

Thursday - Kung Pao chicken makes a triumphant return at the request of the hubby so it must have been pretty good ;) 

Friday - Leftovers! 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Week 2

Recap of last week's recipes:

- Kung Pao chicken was marinated for days instead of the suggested 30 mins in the recipe - and my husband said it was amazing. I thought it was good but as a non-kung pao eating girl normally, I could have taken it or left it. For make at home Chinese that didnt take me long day of? Sold! Word of warning: That recipe only fed two of us and my husband ate 60% of it and still wanted more! I'd double that recipe if I were feeding two or more!

- Unbelievable chicken was AMAZINGLY good. I'm not a big fan of the fact that sugar is an ingredient in it so it won't make the regular rotation but it really was unbelievably good.

This week:

- Steak is back on the menu with some grilled asparagus. Tips on the green: Get the fattest ones you can find. Sheet pan. Drizzle olive oil. Salt. Pepper. Toss it all together. 8 minutes at 400 degrees. That's it. The key to good, crispy, asparagus. Don't buy those pencil thin ones and then blast them for 15 minutes. It's gross. 

- I'm attempting a new one with Hawaiian Chicken Kabobs. Chicken's already marinating. I tweaked it a little and left the pineapple juice in. We'll see how it goes.

- Another newbie up on the menu with this marinade. Not actually the one I meant to make but I was really tired after a weekend of Potty Training bootcamp so the chicken's in it and I bet it will be delicious.

Tonight, I made the best meatball recipe ever. Friends, meet Meatball Nirvana. I use half ground beef, half sweet italian sausage. You'll be glad you did. These are freaking amazing. 

Leftovers are of course also on the menu. Didn't get to chop up veggies or fruits today after a crazy weekend so that's on the calendar for tomorrow. Good luck this week! 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

A week of recipes!

Meals for this week

Here's what I've prepped this week (these recipes are not mine, just ones that I'm trying out. Bolded means they're a favorite, regular fond means I'm testing them out this week and I'll keep you posted!)

  • Sunday - Filet Mignon on the cast iron skillet, steamed broccoli, baby peas, and Caesar salad. For this one, I preheat the oven to 450 degrees and warm the skillet up to high or one notch below (electric stovetop, sorry!) and while it's coming up to sizzling - pat the steaks dry on both sides, rub with olive oil, and apply kosher salt and ground pepper liberally to both sides.  As we're medium rare folks in this casa, we get some thick filets (3-4") and brown them for 2-3 minutes on each side. Grab a potholder and transfer the entire pan into the oven. I generally do this for about 4-5 minutes. When it's been that long, pull them out, remove the steaks from the skillet to a plate, and cover them with tinfoil for five minutes to let the juices redistribute and the steaks rest. Trust me, worth it. For our Caesar salads, I take one heart of romaine, chop it up, add a dash of salt and pepper and some grated Parmesan, and toss it all together with this amazing Caesar dressing. Yep, it's bottled. No, it's not healthy. It's Caesar dressing, not a rice cake. Own it or leave it.

So, I am a big fan of marinade. Big. Huge. Think Beatle-mania but for marinating things. I've got a toddler, and a serious lack of free time. A win is shaving my legs two or three times a week - I don't have time to mess around - especially during the week. So, I prep things on Sunday. I cut up veggies for bagged veggies during the week (celery, bell peppers, baby carrots, etc.), sometimes I make tuna salad to bring to work 1-2 days a week for lunch, sometimes I hardboil eggs - generally, I do things that I can do at the same time. Today, I cooked bacon in the oven, hardboiled eggs on the stove, and mixed up three marinades at the same time. Yes, I'm freaking amazing but no, that's not why. It's all in the name of making my life easier during the week. So, when I'm referencing a marinade in one of these recipes - I probably made it Sunday, and likely marinated the meat longer than they recommended in the name of making my life easier. Back to the game plan.

  • Monday - I'm making Unbelievable Chicken. It's a new one in my repartee but it's a riff on one that I've made before and really enjoyed - this one. I don't use dry mustard. I pull out the bottle of French's and use that instead. It works and I don't have to run to the store for a spice that I don't have. I've ever swapped out plain white vinegar for the apple cider when I didn't have it. I've used bottled lemon juice. See where I'm going here? Ina Garten would be horrified - but it gets the food on the table and it's been GOOD. Yes, I've already made the marinade and the chicken is hanging out in it in my fridge as I type. Bonus - I make 2x the marinade and save some for next time = less prep for me. I also put in 4 chicken breasts or more so I've got leftovers.

  • Tuesday - Tuesday is a newbie! I'm excited to try Kung Pao Chicken at home. Listen, I love chicken. Love it. Don't get tired of it, but the Mr. does - and therefore I'm spicing it up in the kitchen. Nuff said. I'll keep you posted. Again, the marinade is already in the fridge, kickin' with the chicken. (Sorry.) I've even got everything for the sauce ready and pre-mixed in the fridge. It's a lot of the same ingredients as the marinade so my house is only destroyed once (well, at least for that...)

  • Wednesday - It's FAJITA TIME! I take my Mexican food seriously - and after being betrayed by marinades before - I've committed to this one. We're pretty serious. I've used this with chicken, beef skirt steak - it's amazing with both. I'm not a huge fan of jalapenos in my fajitas, so I just cut up a few bell peppers (red and green) and a sweet onion into strips. Split the marinade into baggies with the chicken and the veggies I separate them because... ew.) and let them hang out in the fridge.

  • Thursday - Salmon for Aaron, and chicken leftovers for this salmon hater. I'll probably chop up a few peppers, squash, zucchini and toss it together with a little olive oil, garlic salt and pepper and maybe bust out a frozen vegetable steamer package. Again, I'm down for simple. This one's one of my favorite salmon recipes - bonus? You may have already cut up a lemon, some bell peppers, and an onion for the earlier recipes. Score. Foil packet = no cleanup. Eeeexcellent.

  • Friday - Leftovers for both of us - fajita salad? Likely. Fajita bowl? Sure. I've made the food - we're eating it.

It may seem strange that we're rocking leftovers two days in a row but there's a few really simple reasons. #1 - I do grocery shopping on Sundays. By Friday - I wouldn't want to eat any uncooked meat hanging out in my fridge. In fact, I may even switch that Salmon for Aaron to a different day because seriously, who wants stinky salmon in the fridge? But #2 - I've made the food - we're eating it. Most importantly, my schedule can shift around, and I'm prepared to shift with it with some meal prep. Usually there's another simple night in there - a kielbasa and some veggies, or something relatively simple. Roast chicken. Something in the slow cooker. It balances out my steak night and makes my life... well, you know..

Thursday, October 13, 2011

It's a...uh...

Well, it's happened. I am having a baby. Affectionately referred to as 'nugget' when I'm in a good mood, and cheekily called 'dreamkiller' when I'm craving sushi, or missing my old food habits. Needless to say, most of my time at the moment is spent sleeping - and very little blogging is happening, but mostly because my body is in a state of complete and utter rejection of the healthy paleo eating that I had been doing up to this point. Want me to prove it? Here are my pregnancy cravings so far.
Weeks 4-6: Mint and Chip Ice Cream which up to this point in my life, I had never liked and eaten maybe twice.
Week 6-7: Out with Mint and Chip and up with sourdough (morning sickness hello!) and PBnJ sandwiches.
Week 7: Coca-cola slurpees (this one is still a little ongoing but I've got it mostly in check)
Week 8: Cinnabon. Seriously.
Week 9: Nestle Drumsticks.
Week 10: Chicken fingers (and I can finally eat eggs again!)
Food Aversions:
Coffee (all kinds, all the time)
Soda (no desire at all for any)
Chicken that is not in chicken finger form
Beef Jerky and Turkey jerky :(
Steak (seriously!)
Eggs up until Week 10
Chocolate (unless it's ice cream!)
You see how this might be a little limiting to paleo, yes? Hope to be back on the wagon soon.