Monday, February 28, 2011


Lately I've found myself really focusing on simplicity, especially in my house.  Simple.  Clean. Uncluttered.  Soothing.  This morning I donated boxes and bags of unwanted things, which felt so great to get the extra stuff out of my house.  Maybe it's just me, but I tend to breathe more easily when clutter isn't clogging up every corner and closet of our home.

As a side note, I wanted to take a picture of the donation pile with a bunch of Craig's stuff on top and then post it just for fun.  Then I thought about taking Caroline's picture as she sat on top of the pile, suggesting she was going out with her too small clothes and our unwanted household goods.  But then I decided that someone might not get my joke and call Child Protective Services on me.  No joke is worth going to jail for.

Anyway, my focus has been on simplicity lately.  Not minimalism, though.  There are way too many clothes in my closet to ever suggest I could be a minimalist. 

My first order of business was to replace our old (and patterned) dishes with clean, crisp white dishes.  Something to provide contrast to the vivid colors of my big stupid  rooster bowl and decorative plates.

You'd think this would have been an easy task, and to most people, it probably would have been, but because I'm not so good at making up my mind, I assure this was anything but easy.   The ones I liked were either too expensive, out of stock or came with outrageous shipping charges. 

I had my heart set upon square white dishes.  I even found the PERFECT ones, but wouldn't you know, they were the ones that came with astronomical shipping charges.  The cheapskate in me couldn't do it.

As luck would have it, I stumbled upon an add for Pier 1, who had nice, sturdy, crisp white dinnerware on sale.  After I brought Caroline to a birthday party on Saturday, I went to Pier 1 and snatched up dinner plates, dessert plates and these big honkin pasta bowls, which are perfect for salads, soups and, oh yeah, pasta.

They're not square, but they're sturdy and substantial and I like them.

I know it seems utterly ridiculous to get all excited about dinnerware and I'm not exactly proud of this, but what can I say?  My life is uneventful.  Finding what you want at a reduced price is cause for celebration.  It is in my book, anyway.

Believe me, I've beaten myself up enough about my unhealthy attachment to material things.  I know 'things' don't make you happy and having crisp white dinner plates won't fix all the problems in my life or in the lives of others, but at least when I open my cabinets, my eyes will be delighted by the sight of clean, simple dishes.

And there you have it, reason #457 why I'm the shallowest person in the world.

I hope I win a prize. 

Preferably one without a rooster on it!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Thoughts While Drying My Hair

Good Sunday morning to you.

Just a few minutes ago, I was drying my hair and doing some deep thinking.  Well, that's a lie because 1)  I rarely have deep thoughts and 2) I wasn't REALLY drying my hair.  I was just drying my bangs, so that once the rest air dries, I can put my hair up in pigtails.  Yes, I'm 34 and yes, I wear my hair in pigtails.  Usually, it's my go-to workout hairstyle, but sometimes, when I have a lazy weekend day planned, I go for the pigtail look. 

Anyway,  as I fixed my hair, I realized that I no longer care about celebrity news.  Shocking, no?  I used to be up on all the latest gossip, watched the award shows, knew who was who and who was dating who, but now, I just don't really care.

These days, when I see the cover of US Weekly or People, I have no clue who is on the cover. 

Is it because I'm getting old?  Or is it because it's all so superfluous?

Let's face it, I'm not exactly the Queen of Deep Thinking, and 34 isn't that old, so who knows why I've eschewed my love for celebrity gossip and award show red carpet shows.

Of course, it's also important to note that I still watch ridiculous reality television shows and read snarky television recaps.   Not THAT much has changed; I'm certainly not about to go off the grid and start grinding my own wheat and milking my own cows. 

Speaking of deep thinking, there are a few blogs I read with authors who write beautiful, thoughtful, articulate posts.  I read these words and am often amazed that people think these things and can then write them down in a coherent fashion for others to read.  It's a gift I don't have.  I realize that this shouldn't be a comparison game, but sometimes I wish I had an easier time expressing myself on subjects other than baking, searching for the right dishes or bedsheets and my love for coffee and coupons.  Heck, sometimes I wish I  had thoughts on subjects other than baking, searching for the right dishes or bedsheets and my love for coffee and coupons.

Sometimes I surprise myself and find that I do have thoughts on real thought-provoking topics, but then I get distracted by a sale on housewares or a hankering for a cup of coffee.  Actually though, the other day I found myself on the verge of a major rant.  I felt it brewing; my fingers were jittery and all geared up to type up a rant filled blog post.  But, I stopped myself.   I stopped myself because I figured if I was going to rant about something someone said that I find self righteous, in the end, I'd appear just as self righteous for ranting about it.  Which would certainly defeat the purpose of the rant.

So, in the interest of not appearing petty and self righteous, I quelled my brewing rant. 

And then went to Pier 1 and bought some dishes.


Friday, February 25, 2011

Behind the Scenes

It's SUPER windy today.

Like, hold-on-to-your-little-children-so-they-don't-fly-away, windy.  Keep-your mouth-closed-so-sand-doesn't-blow-in, windy.  Needless to say, it's a super bad hair day.  I hope the power stays on.  Having bad hair is one thing,  but bad hair and no tv is beyond tragic.

In other news, I did a little behind the scenes blog work and added a bar under the title, which includes a "Meet the Neurotic Housewife" page.  That way, as the title suggests, you can learn more about me.  As if I haven't shared enough, already.

I suppose it'll be handy in the event that any new readers show up and want to know 'what's up with that girl?'

Now they'll know.

In the future, I'd like to add some more pages, but I have no idea what they might be.  Let's face it, I'm informationally useless.

I also make up words.

Anyway, the weekend is upon us.  For many of you, that means you'll do something fun.  I, on the other hand, have little on tap.  As per usual.  Basketball in the morning and then Caroline is going to a birthday party in the afternoon.  They're getting pedicures and eating at Mike's American Grill.  So fancy.

I plan on staying home and probably cleaning the shower.  Since Craig, who is not a fan of the caustic fumes, is gone, I can now spray bleachy cleaner until my heart is content.

Happy Friday, everyone!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

A Retraction


I'm a fraud.

Yesterday I wrote:  "I bought a pitcher with a rooster on it yesterday, which is kind of baffling because I'm not really a rooster person. I don't fancy myself a rooster lover or collector, nor have I ever set out to intentionally buy rooster embossed kitchenware.  I honestly couldn't care less about roosters."

After I wrote this, I looked up, opened my eyes, for what appears to be the first time in two and a half years, and realized I'm surrounded by roosters.

In bowl form, which sits in the middle of our breakfast table,

on my wall, hung on a plate rack,

on my counter

and WAY up high in my kitchen cabinets.

Sorry, everyone.    I lied.

I'm issuing a retraction.

What kills me (besides the fact that I've owned these items since we moved here in July 2008) is that from where I sit to blog,

all I need to do is look up and to my left to see the big orange platter on my kitchen counter.

The big orange platter with a big rooster in the middle.


Clearly, I bought these items because I liked the vibrant colors and not because I like roosters.  For if I did like roosters, I probably would have noticed and remembered that there are roosters on the plates and bowls.

I quit.

In other news, I couldn't bear to look at the rooster on my pitcher, so I turned it around again.

I need help.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


I bought a pitcher with a rooster on it yesterday, which is kind of baffling because I'm not really a rooster person. I don't fancy myself a rooster lover or collector, nor have I ever set out to intentionally buy rooster embossed kitchenware. 

I honestly couldn't care less about roosters. 

Which begs the question:  why did I buy a yellow pitcher with a rooster on it?

I bought the pitcher because I got it in my thick little head that I NEEDED something to fill the space on one of the shelves in my kitchen.  And when my thick little head is presented with a new idea, I don't rest until the mission has been accomplished.  Previously, I had two bowls in the place where the rooster pitcher now sits.  Is perched?   I like the two bowls very much, which I bought on super duper clearance at the PX when we lived in Georgia, but their colors (sage green and a warm cranberry red), while lovely and eye soothing, did not go with the vibrant color scheme I envision for my kitchen.

I don't LOVE the rooster on the front, because it's perhaps a bit too country for my tastes, but I was drawn to the yellow color. And, it was only $7.99 at Marshalls.

FYI:  I put a '1960's' wash on my pictures during the editing process, so the true color is not properly represented in the pictures.

I actually tried to turn the pitcher around so that the rooster faced the back of the shelf it rests upon, but that made the handle go the wrong way, which made my brain hurt. 

I'm sure I'll continue to fiddle with the pitcher until I drive myself to the brink of insanity, but at least the green and red bowls have been replaced with a more vibrant color, which was my mission all along.

I probably should have waited until I found something I truly love, love, LOVED, but unfortunately, that's not how I operate.  I did, however, stuff the receipt inside the pitcher so that in the event that I find something I love more, within the next 30 days, I'll simply return it.

You know, it's times like these, when I spend an embarrassingly large chunk of time obsessing about finding the perfect accessory for my kitchen, I realize how uncomplicated and easy my life is.  Even though I'm a neurotic, pessimistic worrier and face the problems and struggles that generally come along with adulthood, when all I have to worry about is a yellow rooster pitcher, I suppose I should consider myself pretty lucky.

And hopelessly shallow.

And, we haven't even scratched the surface of my newest obsession:  finding the perfect white dinnerware set.  Which is reminiscent of last summer's search for the perfect bedsheets. 

Maybe I'll tell you about that tomorrow.  Just after I donate some items to charity, help an old lady walk across the street and say a few Hail Mary prayers to hopefully absolve some of my egregious shallowness.

Who knew Catholic guilt could affect a non-Catholic girl?

Monday, February 21, 2011

A Good Day

It's gloomy, which many people would consider a bad thing, but I'm one of those weirdos who happens to love cloudy, gloomy, drizzly, dreary days.  I also like when it gets dark at 5pm, which really puts me in the minority.

Weather aside, it's been a good day for a multitude of reasons.  Reason one being that the kids are in school today.  And, even though it's a Monday, which is usually a half day in these parts, it's a full day of school today.  It's Presidents Day and while many are off today and out shopping the White Sales at Macy's or perhaps buying a sale priced mattress, the kids are in school to make up for one of the snow days we had last month.  What is it with mattress and towel sales on President's Day?  How is it that celebrating such historic names as George Washington and Abe Lincoln makes people want to buy new bedding?

I'm sure the founding fathers might think we're insane, but, on the other hand, they might not frown upon the glory of free market capitalism.

It's also a good day because my couch, which was on back order yesterday, is now available for delivery.  I'm waiting on a call back from the delivery people to arrange a date.  So much for having ample time to second guess my purchase.   After I bought the couch yesterday, I did experience a bit of buyer's remorse, but this morning I woke up feeling positive about my decision.

I wonder what I'll  think tomorrow morning?

Capricious should be my middle name.  Alison Kathleen Capricious Kennedy Smith.  It has a nice ring to it, no?

Because this whole 'stay out of the stores and shop less' idea I had is a complete bust, I bought some pillows for my new couch yesterday.  (Here's what the couch looks like)   I have to somehow gently incorporate my green walls into the warmth of the couch upholstery I chose.  As much as I like the green walls, sometimes I pretend I don't have them so I can buy things I like without worrying about the clashing potential.  And then when I do, I freak out and second guess my decision.

Somebody smack me, please.

I'm not sure the pillows will work, but if they don't I'll just return them and frantically search for a replacement, not resting until I'm totally satisfied...which will be never.

And to top off my good day, I had a great workout this morning, including the Kangoo Jumps class (I didn't fall and bust my tailbone, hooray!) followed by a good lunch.

I like a good lunch.

Now it's time for tea (Bigelow white chocolate kisses) and mindless Internet perusal until it's time to get Caroline from school.

Hooray for a good day!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Guilt and Couches

I woke up early this morning,  for one thing because quality sleep has become quite elusive lately, but also because I wanted to blog.  I meant to blog yesterday, but I somehow ran out of time.  Or, more accurately, I was running low on brain power.

Instead of blogging early this morning, like I intended, I bought a couch.

I've been wanting a couch for my bare living room for quite some time and this morning, while sipping hot tea in my pajamas, I bought one.  Don't you just love modern technology?  Clicking 'buy now' before you've even showered.  After much deliberation and after requesting expert design opinions from Craig, Caroline and her friend, Rachel, I took the plunge.  To make matters more interesting, I bought a couch I have never seen in person. 

Holy uncharacteristically hasty decision, Batman.
Talk about living on the edge!

At the moment, I'm happy with my purchase.  The big bummer is that the couch is on back order and won't be delivered until after March 16th.  As I told Craig, 'great, this gives me plenty of time to second guess my purchase.'

Craig, who loves to spend money more than he loves cheese (and believe me, the boy loves cheese), was appropriately thrilled. 

I, on the other hand, am, as always, cautiously optimistic.  Don't get me wrong, I love the couch, I'm just fearful of how everything will look together in my living room. 

When it arrives, I'll be sure to post pictures.

As I mentioned above, quality sleep has been rather elusive lately.  From previous experience, this tends to happen in the first few weeks after Craig departs.  It's kind of baffling, if you ask me, because I generally sleep better alone.  For reasons I've yet to determine, this most recent separation has left my sleep more out of sorts than I'd like. 

And, to top it off, on Friday and Saturday nights, Caroline is my bed mate.  It started during the last deployment; Caroline would sleep on my bedroom floor and then usually join me in my bed sometime during the night.   As much as I don't like sharing a bed with her, when she slept on the floor, she rolled all over the place and would bang into the foot board of our sleigh bed repeatedly. 

That got kind of annoying.

After Craig left, our weekend slumber party picked back up.  Unfortunately for me, this means my sleep, which is okay at best during the week, takes a nosedive on Friday and Saturday nights.  Even the pillow I place in the middle of the bed to separate us does not prevent Caroline from rolling into my territory.  Last night I was woken up by a cold toe digging into the small of my back.  And Friday night?  Ugh. Horrible sleep.  I distinctly remember waking after a restless little 30 minute snooze around 12:30 and just wishing it was morning already so I could get up.


But, you see, I can't say no to Caroline's request.  She really doesn't ask for much and she really loves doing this.  It's just one of those 'your dad's deployed and you really like it so I'll just suck it up' kind of things.

Guilt.  Mom guilt. 

Deployment guilt.

What's deployment guilt, you might ask?  Well, deployment guilt is something I've coined.  It's not only indulging your child a little extra because her dad is gone again,  but also, it's the act of feeling guilty for having fun while your deployed spouse is clearly not having fun.

Going out to lunch.  Spending time with friends.  Taking your kid to Florida to visit family.
It eats me up sometimes.

Since Craig is just in Texas right now and not in the sandbox, I don't feel super guilty yet.  It's coming, though.

Oh is it coming.
Am I a ray of hope and sunshine today, or what?  It's the lack of sleep, I tell you. 

Hey, maybe my new couch will be the perfect nap couch.  I can't wait to find out.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Only an Addict

Only an addict would plan her running route to end right near Starbucks, even though the Starbucks is two miles from where her car is parked. 

A venti toffee nut cafe misto makes walking much more enjoyable.

It was time to say hello to the Mt. Vernon Trail again this morning; my feet haven't pounded the trail's pavement since my final 20 mile run back on Christmas day.

I was excited to run this morning, which is good, because if you're not feeling the run, it's going to be murder.

I laced up my shoes,

fired up my Garmin and ran

Nope, not 26 miles.  I haven't used my Garmin since the marathon and this is what I was greeted with this morning.

Time to hit the reset button, Alison.

I ran ten miles this morning, which is much more doable than 26.

Ten is a good number and the run was enjoyable, as long as you don't count the always painful first two miles.

I ended my run in Old Town Alexandria right by a conveniently located Starbucks.  I purchased a drink, refilled my water bottle and walked two miles back to my car.  I love Old Town.  In fact, when I grow up, that's where I'd love to live.  The idea of living in a walkable city, and one so rich in history,  is really appealing to me.

I wish I had my camera with me on my walk so I could take pictures of the beautiful homes and old buildings.  But, alas, I left it in the car, not wanting to run with too much extra junk.

When I got back to my car I took few pictures; too bad the sky was so overcast.

This (horrible) picture is of the Gaylord National Hotel, where we went to see ICE! back in December.

Here's what it looked like on the inside.

And here's the view across the Potomac, which is where I took today's pictures.

By the looks of the grey water, barren trees and thick blanket of clouds you might be inclined to think it was cold outside.

On the contrary, we're experiencing a warming trend right now and I ran in capris and short sleeves.

In February!

On this day last year, we were still buried in snow; today it's going to be in the mid 70s. The temperatures won't last, I'm sure, but it's nice to get the kids outside to play.

It felt great to get out and run this morning.  In a strange sort of way I kind of miss the long runs Craig and  I ran on Fridays during our marathon training.  I'm not sure why, though.  I mean, most of the runs were painful, none of them ended with a Starbucks drink and a leisurely walk to the car, and a few of them included me calling Craig a few many bad names.  You can't blame me though, he deserved it I'm a hot head. 

No.  I may be a hot head, but it was his fault.

No really.  It was.

Would I ever lie to you?


Thursday, February 17, 2011


I'm kind of embarrassed to show you some of today's commissary impulse purchases. 

Oh, who am I kidding?  I'm shameless.  As evidenced by the cornucopia of chocolate you're about to see; all of which we shall eat judiciously.

Discounted Valentine candy

My favorite Easter candy

six if them!

I realize Easter isn't until the end of April, and it's only the middle of February, but if you don't buy these early, they'll run out.   Believe me, I speak from experience.

 An Easter without Cadbury eggs would be tragic.

Finally, we can't forget the dark chocolate for all those necessary antioxidants.


I encountered the discounted Valentine candy at the end of my shopping trip, after I had already put the dark chocolate and Cadbury eggs in my cart.  By then it was too late to put the other candy back because it was buried under all the healthy stuff I bought: fruits, veggies tortilla chips, macaroni and cheese, chocolate teddy grahams and yogurt...and I'm certainly not passing up clearance candy. 

I'm pretty sure that's a sin.
We don't want to incourage sinful behavior, right?


Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Oops, I didn't blog this afternoon.  Not that I always blog everyday. 

But anyway, this will be short because I have to be upstairs at 9pm to watch TV with Caroline.  She's mighty demanding, that girl.  And she's a bed hog.  A bed hog with icicle feet (like her mother) which she is entirely too happy to touch me with.

I've been busy today.  Mostly busy fighting with the computer.  Once again, I was reminded of how technologically unsavvy I truly am.  It's frightening how incompetent I can be.

To add insult to injury idiocy,  after I think I conquered my computer woes, I was then reminded of how hard (and stupid) new math is.  I mean really?  I'm sure educators have their reasons for teaching math the way they do now, but COME ON. 

I seriously could not help Caroline with her home work tonight.

Actually, it wasn't 'homework' it was a tricky multiplication bonus question on last week's test that she got wrong.  I couldn't explain to her why she got it wrong because I couldn't figure out how the teachers want them to arrive at the answer.  I know how to multiply, but the normal way I learned to do it, apparently isn't the norm any more.

In other news, I scored free Powerade and sandwich thins at Safeway today. 

That's something happy and non-frustrating.

Also, I discovered how much I love the mascara mini-brush.


The mini brush totally eliminated lash clumping. Love.

Eep, it's almost 9.  If I don't make my way upstairs soon, Caroline will start hollering for me.  Ha!  As soon as I typed this, Caroline came downstairs and said 'I thought you were coming up at 9?'

Did I mention she's kind of demanding?

Oh well....on the bright side, computers and math are not necessary for laying in bed and kicking away my kid's icy feet watching TV.

Amen to that.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Did I Mention?

Did I mention I'm running a half marathon next month?


Honestly, I cannot remember if I mentioned it on the blog.

Anyway, because I like to do things backwards, I'm running my first half marathon AFTER running my first marathon.  One things for sure, after you've run a full marathon, the half marathon distance seems downright enjoyable.

Craig ran the national half in 2009; since I want to keep up with his medal count, it's now my turn.  Of course, he ran the race in an hour and 33 minutes.  That part most definitely won't happen, but at least we'll have matching medals.
I was going to run the race with my sister, except last week she flaked out on me.  ;)  She has been training, but doesn't feel ready to conquer the 13.1 distance yet.  I can understand her trepidation; feeling confident and well trained is certainly important.   However, she is citing old age as one of her problems.  Did I mention she's my little sister?  I'd understand if she wasn't 7 years younger than me, but at this time I have no sympathy for a 27 year old.  A sprightly, energetic 27 year old without cellulite or an extra seven years of wear and tear on her body.  Did I mention I'm writing this post with my 34 year old leg propped up on a chair with a bag of frozen peas icing my sore knee?
Oh, I'm just teasing.  But not about the peas; they're my favorite knee icing tool.

I think Laura and I will run a different race later in the spring, or perhaps in the fall.

Anyway, I haven't run more than 6.5 miles since the marathon five weeks ago, which probably isn't ideal for training.  This week I plan to conquer a long run, which is great because the weather is unseasonably warm right now.  To be honest, after my frigid Christmas Day 20 miler, I was kind of over winter running; Friday's projected high of 68 degrees (in February!) is most welcome.

Otherwise, there isn't much happening.

Ooh, except Caroline's friend Bailey invited us both over for dinner last night.  Her mom made pasta Milano, which is a copy cat recipe for the dish made at Macaroni Grill.  Thankfully Bailey's mom is health conscious and made a few healthful substitutions to the recipe, particularly with the called for 1 cup of heavy cream.  Yowzers, that's a lot of heavy cream.  

It was a delicious, unexpected meal with lovely company, to boot.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Be Mine

It's that time again. 

The day of lurve.  Pinky, flowery, chocolatey, mushy-gushy lurve.

If you've been reading for any length of time, you'll know by now that this Neurotic Housewife hasn't one single solitary mushy-gushy, lovey-dovey cell in her entire body.

Even though my expectations are low (pretty much non existent) I don't loathe Valentine's Day at all.  I love pink and flowers and chocolate just as much as the next girl; I just simply don't care one way or another if I'm given anything on February 14th. 

Candy. GOOD.

Sappy card.  BAD.

I tried on two separate occasions to find a good Valentine card for Craig, but failed miserably both times.  They were all sappy, stupid, mushy, non-applicable or poetic.  I hate poetry.  ESPECIALLY sappy poetry.

Caroline's class held their party today.

I wore my festive socks to mark the occasion. 

There were SO MANY cookies in that classroom, but that is what being a kid is all about, right?  What could be better than feasting on fruit punch and cookies an hour before lunch time while passing out Valentines and Candy Grams. I'm sure sooner or later Michelle Obama will work her magic and ban all sugar from school classrooms, so until then, I say let them eat cookies.

I wish I could eat that many cookies without suffering any waistline increasing consequences.

Since my funny valentine is in Texas, and also because I couldn't care less about celebrating, Caroline got the Valentine prize today.

A cheeky little monkey.

Isn't he cute? 

And so smiley, too.

Obviously, this monkey is relieved that he doesn't have a girl back in the jungle who is fully expecting him to bring her a bouquet of palm fronds and a bunch of chocolate covered bananas to prove how much he loves her.

Even primates have high expectations.

Anyway, if you like the sap, the heartfelt words and candle lit dinners, I hope you have a wonderful Valentine's Day.

And if you're like me and would much rather your husband throw away his used dental floss than give you  a bunch of overpriced roses, have a great day, too!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

So Much For Staying Out of the Stores

Staying out of the stores and curbing my shopping habits seemed like a good idea. 

For that one day.

Clearly, I do not possess impeccable self control.

After Caroline's basketball game yesterday, I said to her  'next week we'll go out to lunch after the game.'  To which Caroline replied, 'why not today?'  Since I didn't have a good answer to the question she posed, and my stomach was growling, I agreed.  Caroline chose Firehouse Subs, which proved to be a great choice  because I had a coupon for a free sandwich.  In total, our meal cost under $7.

Since we were already out, we swung by Kohls to look for running shoes for Caroline.  Her current shoes have frayed laces and have been beaten up in usual third grade fashion; they had definitely seen better days.  Besides, the spring season of Girls on the Run is right around the corner, so new shoes are a necessity.

Yep, she wears a ladies size 7.5!!

  Those are some sturdy feet.

Honestly, the shoes were needed AND I used a gift card my very generous neighbor gave us for shoveling her driveway when it snowed a few weeks ago, so I shouldn't feel too badly about the purchase.  However, because I'm completely incapable of leaving a store without first perusing the sales racks,  I also snatched up the only remaining  pair of jeans in my size, which were on sale.

Here's the thing:  I have short legs and must wear short jeans.  It's hard to find short jeans and sometimes even the short jeans are still too long, but this Sonoma brand fits me well.  As a plus, they have a 'slimming hidden panel' which I adore.  I mean, really?  Who doesn't love a little slimming action?

Also, even though they contain a little bit of stretch, these jeans do not totally lose their shape half an hour after you put them on.

Don't you just hate that?! 

I have some stretch jeans that fit perfectly first thing in the morning but then I find myself hiking them up all day long because they lose their shape.  I must admit, constant blue jeans readjustment isn't the most lady like thing you've ever seen.

I know this shopping excursing could have been worse; I could have done a lot more damage. 

I have to go back to the store today to get napkins for Caroline's class Valentine party.  Up until about 30 minutes ago, I didn't think they were having an actual party.  It's a good thing I said something because otherwise Caroline would have showed up to school without the napkins she signed up to bring, and forgot to tell me about.

As I was making lunch for Caroline and her friend, the subject of Valentine parties came up.  I think I said something like 'you're not having a real party' and Caroline said 'yes we are.'  'There will be cupcakes and cookies and a veggie platter; oh and we have to bring napkins.' 

'Napkins?' I said.  'Did the teachers tell you to bring napkins?'

'No, I signed up,' she said.

'Thanks for telling me,' I said in a somewhat snarky manner.

'Sorry, I forgot,' Caroline replied.

And then I said, 'why didn't you sign me up for cookies?'

So now I have to buy red and pink napkins.  I'd rather make cookies, but apparently some other kid signed their parents up for cookies.

I hope he or she had the decency to let them know.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Return of the Chickpeas

I love chickpeas.  They're my favorite legume. 

Craig likes kidney beans; I like chickpeas.  When he was deployed last year, I went through a lot of chickpeas; always dried and cooked on my stove top (and sometimes my crock pot), never canned.  I once had a bad experience with canned chickpeas and I cannot bring myself to eat them again.  And this was a long time ago.  Like 11 years ago, when we lived in Hawaii.   When we first moved to Virginia I  bought a can of chickpeas thinking I was over this issue, but they sat in my pantry for a very long time, collecting a thick layer of dust, before I donated them to the canned food drive. 

Clearly, I have trouble forgetting.

Oddly enough,  I also have trouble remembering things.  But, that's beside the point.

Anyway, when Craig returned from his deployment at the end of August, I sort of forgot about my beloved chickpeas.  Craig continued to eat his kidney beans, but I didn't cook any more chickpeas.  I'm not sure why?  It wasn't intentional.  Perhaps I was busy cooking other things and, not to mention, baking up a storm.  My mind, which was once occupied with thoughts of the myriad of chickpea applications out there, became focused on butter, sugar and chocolate. 

Can you blame me?

Since Craig is once again not here, and probably eating his kidney beans while living the 'geographical bachelor' (that's what the Army calls it) life deep in the heart of Texas, I've become reacquainted with chickpeas. 

While I reunite with my legume love, Craig, the ever unfortunate soul, is sharing a trailer with two other dudes, eating kidney beans and watching TV on his new 32' high definition flat screen TV.  Priorities, y'all.  Priorities.  Actually, the cable hasn't been turned on yet, so by Wednesday he'll be watching TV whilst eating kidney beans.  Don't worry, he eats other things, too.  But, we're talking beans here, there's no need to go on and on about pointless stuff.


I have to be honest, chickpeas aren't very photogenic. Or, at least the ones I cooked aren't.  But, I discovered this picnik site which allows you to edit your photos, free of charge.  And, best of all, you can put a stamp on it, like the 'The Neurotic Housewife' stamp on the bottom right corner of these pictures.  I thought that was solely a Photoshop feature, so you could only  imagine my delight when I found out it wasn't.  Oh, happy day.

I don't typically do much photo editing, as evidenced by my amateurish photos, but this was fun.  Even if I still couldn't make chickpeas look pretty.

See, I told you so.


Ugly picture.  Tasty dinner.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Exercise > Shopping (Maybe?)

I love exercise.  I love (non-bathing suit) shopping, too.  Honestly, I probably love shopping more than I love going to the gym, but gym time is so much better for the body and the checkbook than shopping time will ever be.

When I'm bored I shop.  Lately, I've been pretty bored.  The holidays are over.  The marathon is over.  Caroline's birthday is over.  Craig is gone.  I have nothing to plan.  I have nothing to look forward to.  I have nothing to bake. I have a lot of free time. 

For the most part, I'm okay with that, because, let's face it, I'm not exactly a go-go-go, go-getter type of person. Timid is my middle name.   I suppose I could get a job or something, but, then I wouldn't be able to spend three hours at the gym every day. 

Yes, I'm a big princess and don't worry, I'm not really complaining.

What I'm getting at is this:  I've been shopping too much.  The shopping I've done hasn't been damaging to the finances;I'm not buying diamond rings and designer jeans, purses and shoes.  All I'm doing is occupying my time. Examining items on display, scouring the Internet for the 'perfect' dinnerware set, playing the coupon game and coming home with things I probably don't need, even if they had rock bottom clearance prices.

It's a bad habit; retail therapy at its finest.  My mom calls it recreational shopping.  I think it's her fault.   :)

So today, I stayed later at the gym.  If I'm not finished with my workout and showered until 12:30, when I'm STARVING for lunch, I don't have any desire to swing by the store.  I want to go home and eat. 

My muscles and over used debit card will thank me.

A couple of years ago I put myself on a shopping diet.  This was when we lived in Georgia and I had Target, Michaels and Old Navy across the street from my gym.  Sheesh almighty, I spent a lot of money back then.  Talk about temptation.

But this really isn't about money. It's about filling a void. Oh, and also my weakness in the presence of a red clearance sticker.

Perhaps staying at the gym a little longer a few days a week will be the best solution to my shopping habit.  Heck, if I end up a faster runner and a little buffer, I definitely won't complain.

And then I can blow all the money I saved, by exercising and not shopping, on smaller pants.  :)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Delicious Liquid Chemical Death

And I'm not talking about Diet Pepsi.  Not this time, anyway.

I'm talking about this stuff:

Now, don't be judging my surplus supply of Coffee Mate; I scored them in a double coupon bonanza deal.  Otherwise, I might have two bottles on hand, but surely not six.

Let's face it, Coffee Mate is liquid chemical death.  There isn't a redeeming nutrient to be found inside that bottle of creamy, flavored deliciousness and for the most part, I don't care.  I mean, I care a little bit, because I do try to eat healthfully, but evidently I don't care enough to quit the habit.

My current flavor obsession is cinnamon bun. 

Holy heck, this stuff makes coffee taste so good.

I just avoid reading the label as I dump it in my coffee.

My other new obsession is the coconut flavoring for coffee at Dunkin Donuts.  I'm sure, like the Coffee Mate, it's a squirt of coconut flavored chemicals of death, but it's just so good.    Why are all the tasty things so bad for you?  I like whole foods and eat lots of fruits and vegetables and Nutella whole grains, but it seems like I only get addicted to the things that are zapping my innards with their chemical laden deliciousness.

On the other hand, perhaps these liquid chemicals of death are actually preserving my insides.  That's what preservatives do, right?  They preserve. 

I know.....I'm shameful.