I Don’t Mind…

1.  Sorry, Usher.  I have to respectfully disagree.  I’m pretty sure dancing for money on a pole does make you a hoe.

2.  This Thomas the Tank Engine wall poster is still hanging in my living room, more than a week after my son’s 3rd birthday party.  ‘Effing Classy!

3.  I would rather listen to Steve Earle sing Galway Girl than hear anything that Ariana Grande twit squeaks out.  Seriously, who decided she should be a singer?

4.  Sometimes I’m too lazy to remove my nail polish when it chips.  Oh, who am I kidding?  I never remove it.  My nails are in a constant state of half-peeled, “what’s that shit on your nails?”

5.  I print hundreds (if not thousands) of recipes, but always make the same handful of things for dinner.

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Happy Monday To You…

I’m one of the few people in the world who loves Mondays.  Mainly because my husband goes back to work and my son & I can get back on schedule.  I love my husband, but by Sunday evening, I am very ready for him to be out of the house.  Here are some other thoughts I’ve had this weekend:

1.  Having extended family of in-laws thrust upon you, being told to entertain them, and watching them look down their highbrow noses at my small town and local Irish pub – exactly how I enjoy spending my Saturday.

2.  I think parents of teenagers shouldn’t allow them to play in the kids play area of fast-food restaurants.  My tiny child is not only frightened by them, but runs the risk of being mowed down and injured.

3.  My mother-in-law brought me a belated birthday present, and hid cash all over it.  That may have been the sweetest, most endearing thing ever.  It meant much, and it helped even more.

4.  I’m pretty sure my husband has no intention of putting up the Halloween decorations outside.

5.  Today I noticed my son was actually singing along with the ABC’s song on his toys.  He’s now saying A B C D back to me when I sing it to him.  Well, in his adorable “I’m not really talking, yet” way.

6.  I think fast-food should be fast.  My husband waited 10 minutes for french fries at Burger King, and what he was given was ice cold.  I forced him to take them back, and guess what?  The kid took the box of fries AND THREW THEM BACK IN WITH THE REST FOR THE NEXT CUSTOMER!

7.  My Father-In-Law has been ill recently.  What we thought was cleared up (as played up by his wife), apparently is not.  Beside the fact that he’s in his 70’s and has Parkinson’s, I’m genuinely concerned that this may be the beginning of the end.  My husband has never experienced anything like this, and I’m not sure he realizes his parents aren’t immortal.

8.  I’m so pissed off that I went all the way to Target, had a coupon, and a cartwheel offer, to get their organic eggs.  And guess what?  I bought eggs, alright…but they weren’t effing organic!  I’m furious as they were sooo expensive.  I would never pay that much for conventional eggs!

9.  I have never been more excited to open an electric bill.  It was $100 CHEAPER than last month!

10.  My son has recently decided he loves his mommy.  In fact, he won’t leave my side…not while I’m cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, going to the bathroom, even sleeping.  Mommy’s tired.

Sometimes You Can’t Have What You Want

The government shutdown is now in day 16.  Today we received a partial paycheck for working the week before the shutdown.  It was 1/3 of our regular take-home.  (Let’s not even talk about the fact that my husband is still working – for free).  I’ve already mentioned that I cannot buy groceries, and that we’re living off what is in the cabinets and freezer.  But now I am 100% certain that we cannot pay the mortgage on November 1st.

One thing I have always enjoyed was monthly subscription boxes.  I used to get a lot of them.  But in the last 3 or 4 months, I started canceling.  Obviously this was nothing to do with the shutdown, but it had a lot to do with:

1.  poor box curation,

2.  skyrocketing prices,

3.  crappy shipping

In all, I’ve cancelled 20 boxes in the last 6 months.  Each of them for one or more of the above reasons.  I currently only have  5 active subscriptions, and 2 that are finishing out their pre-paid subscriptions.  Today I cancelled Ipsy Glam Bag.  Mainly because I don’t wear makeup, and no matter what I do with my profile, they keep sending me mascara and eyeliner in every bag.  I only subscribed for the cute little bags, but they’ve been quite rubbish, too.

So when the news came out today that the POPSUGAR Must Have box with Neiman Marcus would be $250 (instead of the typical $100 for the luxury boxes), I about died.  Not a fat ass chance in hell could I even budget for that!  It would have been a struggle to come up with $100!  As I commented on Liz’s Blog, I think POPSUGAR plans to increase the prices of all their luxury boxes.  Had it not been for a great October Musthave box, I would have cancelled POPSUGAR as well.

The fact is, we really can’t have everything we want.  Sometimes, we can’t have anything we want.  Right now I’m thankful I have a little bit of food left in the house to feed my son.  I know there are some in my position who don’t.  I don’t need a $250 box.  What I do need is a $5 half-gallon of milk.

Shutdown Dinner: Kale & Goat Cheese Frittata Cups

I was finishing off what was left of the fresh food in the refrigerator when I noticed a huge amount of kale.  Having made an egg/cheese/sausage cup recently, I figured this wouldn’t be too hard.  Here’s what I did:

2 cups chopped kale

1 garlic clove, sliced thin

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

8 large eggs

1/4 teaspoon salt

A few shakes of ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon thyme

Crumbled goat cheese

I removed the kale ribs and cut the leaves into 1/2 inch strips.  

I chopped kale!

I chopped kale!

Then cooked the garlic in the olive oil in a skillet for like a minute.  Then I added the crushed red pepper and kale and cooked it till it wilted.

I love these bamboo utensils

I love these bamboo utensils

Whisked the eggs salt and pepper in a bowl, added the thyme and kale.  

Looks like vomit, doesn't it?

Looks like vomit, doesn’t it?

I sprayed 8 silicone muffin cups with organic olive oil and poured the mix in.  I crumbled goat cheese on the top.  It looked terrible.  I felt as though there was not only too much kale, but that the kale was cut way too big.  

Oh my, I'm terrified this won't work!

Oh my, I’m terrified this won’t work!

Either way, it was too late now…I baked it at 350 for about 20 minutes, which was when I noticed they had popped up.  

How funny is that?

How funny is that?

I’ve never seen this before, but they literally popped up out of the cups, LOL!  This made it real easy to remove them.

I LOVED the goat cheese kick, and felt it would do better with more throughout.  I would also cut the kale very small and put in a little less next time.

My husband ate 5 of them!  But again, who knows if that means it tasted good or not.  I fear he’d eat soup off the floor if I asked him to.  My son wouldn’t eat it, he just screamed.  Then again, he hates eggs.

The finished product

The finished product

So, now I’m down to fingerling potatoes, a single apple, and some grapes for fresh produce.  Will start on the frozen stuff soon.

Shutdown Dinners

Yeah, the government shutdown is causing my kitchen creativity to suffer.  I’ve not purchased any meat because we can’t afford it.  We’re living off of what we have stocked in the house, most of which was purchased for my 18-month-old.

Last night we had Annie’s Homegrown rotini pasta – essentially an organic version of Velveeta Shells & Cheese.

Throw in some peas and kale and you’ve got a meal.  Yum. 

Tonight I threw Mom Made Food’s Chicken & Apple Meatballs into some Organic Turkey Gravy.

Add Organic Quinoa and Organic mixed vegetables, and you’ve got another shutdown meal.

I guess I feel fortunate that I had previously bought so much frozen food.  I wasn’t watching the news and didn’t know the shutdown was even on the table when it happened.  The truth is, we’ve seen the posturing before.  In my many years as a Fed, they did this a lot.  In fact, it got pretty serious a few years ago, but they just kept on with these continuing resolutions.  My husband never came home and said, “Hey, there is a possibility of a shutdown.”  Had he done so , I might have planned our finances better.  But for now, we’re just going to have to survive on Mac & Cheese and frozen meatballs.