Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Watermelon In My Salad

I wasn't going to blog today.  Mostly because I don't have anything to report.  As per usual.

But then I decided I'd tell you that I put watermelon in my salad.  I planned to mention that I see watermelon salads on restaurant menus often.  I don't eat at any of those restaurants, or any restaurants, really, unless of course, they have a large menu board hanging above a counter from which you place your order.  I do, however, read many food related blogs.  And on those food related blogs, you'll often see watermelon salads.  Usually with basil and maybe a strong cheese like feta or goat cheese.

It seems like an odd combination, fruit and a savory based salad, but it's really quite delicious. And refreshing on a warm day.

Craig is adamantly opposed to fruit in salad.  Unless it's fruit salad.  The sweet/savory combination does nothing to tempt him.  I did not marry him for his adventurous palate. ;)

Anyway, I was going to mention all of this and post a picture, because everything is better with a picture.  I took some shots, but none of them turned out very well and I was too hungry to keep snapping photos of the subject.  So, I ate my lunch, the evidence, if you will, and have no proof.

You'll have to just trust me.  Because really?  Who would lie about something like this?

I've been adding watermelon to my salad quite frequently and I sort of figured most people would find it odd and perhaps a little off putting, but yesterday at the pool, my neighbor pulled out a salad and it had watermelon on it!  Go figure.

You know,  it might have been better if I didn't blog at all because this watermelon drivel is turning into one hot mess. 

But, I shall carry on and also tell you that I scored eight boxes of pasta for free today.  I have no idea what I'll do with eight boxes of free pasta or the six boxes I already had in my pantry, or the thirteen other boxes of pasta I plan to get for free the next time I go to the store.  The pasta was on sale for $1 and there was a $1/1 coupon in the newspaper a couple of weeks ago.  Naturally, I purchased 20 more coupons so I can conquer the bargain shopping worldadd to my pasta stash.  I'm Italian and all, and Caroline is carbivore, but not even the two of us can eat that much pasta. 

I think I'll save most of it for a food drive and give it away.

For me, it's the thrill of the hunt, anyway.  But, NO, you won't find me on one of those extreme couponing shows any time soon.

Tomorrow is super double coupon day and if I'm really lucky, I think I'll be able to score some free chocolate. 

Free chocolate is way better than free pasta. 


Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day

I hope you're having a nice weekend.  As expected, we've spent the majority of ours at the pool.  Caroline and friends have been swimming, building tents with beach towels and pool chairs and scarfing down copious amounts of  snacks during break time; I've been reading and running my mouth. 

It's what I do best of all.

My marketable skills are limited, but my ability to shoot the breeze is at an all time high.

With the temperatures threatening to rise into the high 90s today, I assume day three of our three day weekend shall be spent at the pool once, as well.

If it wasn't supposed to be so hot, it would be nice to go into DC for their Memorial Day festivities and parade.  Alas, sweating profusely in a swarm of people isn't the slightest bit enjoyable.  Racing aside, of course.

The good thing about living near Washington DC is that we can visit the war memorial sites any time of year to pay our respects to the fallen.

With Craig's deployment imminent, I'm feeling a bit touchy about this subject this morning.   Last night we spoke on the phone, which isn't a regular occurrence because to me, email > talking on the phone, but as it were, I was reminded that his time here on US soil is limited.  Usually it's all okay, but sometimes I reminded of the gravity of the situation.  Our conversation wasn't deep or anything.   I poked fun at his jeans (long story!) and we discussed his ever changing post deployment plans and money and logistics and I complained about my horrible lot in life (!) but looming in the background, I knew that Craig is gearing up for what will no doubt be a very long, very hard year.

In an email yesterday, before we spoke on the phone, I was telling him about something undoubtedly tragic happening in my life, but I was quick to say that even though my life, and all the trials and tribulations of not having (and not needing) a job and spending two hours at the gym every day and being able to buy $50 garbage cans and new TV stands on a whim, is treacherous and tragic at times, he wins the 'my life sucks' award.

He's okay with it, though.  As he said, he's learned to 'embrace the suck.'

So have I, Craig.  So have I.


Sacrifice is a strange thing.  I mean, we all sacrifice in some way or another, usually because we HAVE to.  Not necessarily because we WANT to.   Moms sacrifice a lot. Especially me! We sacrifice our time, our sleep and our sanity to rear our kids.  Moms worry obsessively, chaperone noisy field trips and let their cover hogging children sleep in their beds.  Moms even make their 9 year old children grilled cheese sandwiches with the crusts cut off for breakfast (!) when it's requested.  Even though said child could pour herself a bowl of cereal in 10 seconds, flat.

But to willingly sacrifice your body for your country? 

To sacrifice your life so your fellow man can live safely and freely is more awesome and more powerful than I can even begin to comprehend.

Definitely more powerful than a grilled cheese sandwich with the crusts cut off.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

I Bought A $50 Garbage Can

What has gotten into me lately?

Who in their right mind would pay$50 for a garbage can?!  It's kind of cool, though; it has a motion sensor that automatically lifts the lid when your hand is near.  It's supposed to eliminate cross contamination, or something like that.

It was sort of impulsive.

I hope it's magical.

I think I'm losing my marbles.

We went to the pool earlier; Caroline and Rachel were the first two to set foot in the water this season.  This thrilled them beyond measure.  We stayed for a while; they swam and ate fruit snacks during the break; I read under an umbrella and ate another big orange.  This orange was much juicier than yesterday's.

Since it was only about 80 degrees, and I'm allergic to bathing suits and sun-shriveled skin, I took up residence under a big umbrella and read 'Body Surfing' by Anita Shreve.  I checked this book out last week, only to discover three paragraphs in that I've read it before. 

I read it again.  It's good.

I've read a few of her books, including The Pilot's Wife, which was great, even though it was an Oprah book.  I tend to shy away from those, as I'm apparently the only chick in America who doesn't fawn all over Oprah.  Anita Shreve is a great writer.  Except, I read one of her novels 'All He Ever Wanted' which I found depressing and disturbing.  So much, in fact, that it haunted me for days after.  I hate when that happens.

I finished up 'Body Surfing' and moved on to a Jodi Picoult book my mom brought me when she visited in April.  I do my best reading in the summer at the pool.  There aren't any household distractions like dusty furniture or laundry waiting to be folded.  Also, no comfy chairs to fall asleep in, either.  If I read at home during the day, I almost always end up napping.

We're supposed to go back to the pool later because Caroline's other friend, Alayna, will be there.  I'm debating whether or not I should put my bathing suit on for part two of our two-a-day pool visitation.   Allergic or not, it has to be worn sometime.  It's cloudy and not that hot, so  I may wait until Monday because it's supposed to be 95 degrees. 

Aside from the bountiful produce summer offers, I can do without the rest of it.   Berries and watermelon, juicy peaches and cool fruit smoothies are great, but wearing bathing suits and sweating profusely leaves a bit to be desired.

I'm feeling a bit melancholy today.  I thought perhaps the purchase of a new trash can would shake me out of my funk, but it didn't.  Now I feel dumb for buying a $50 trash can. 

It appears it's almost time to return to the pool.  Or so I'm told.  Time to pack up the snack bag and shuttle the troops to round two of pool time fun.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Big Orange Update

Remember my big oranges?

How could you forget?  I mean, big oranges are exciting news around here.

Anyway, I peeled one this afternoon  to eat with my lunch and was pleasantly surprised to find that the peel was of average thickness and not three inches thick like I had previously predicted.

However, the fruit itself was a little dried out in some areas.

Tragic, no?

I still ate it. 

Because my standards are low.

In other news, school got out early today, supposedly to kick off the Memorial Day weekend.  I personally think holidays are best celebrated while children are IN school, but I may be in the minority there.  I mean, it's not like we're going anywhere for the weekend; so why not let them stay in school until 3:20?

Our weekend plans will not be spent in traffic along I-95, but will most likely involve multiple trips to the pool since it opens tomorrow.  Usually the pool water is still too cold on opening weekend, but it's been rather hot the past few days, which should help warm the water up significantly.

So long as the kids don't complain, it'll be all good. 

I have a book and new sunscreen (BOGO + $1 off coupons!) and a new cooler to pack snacks and water in. 

I'm set.

Also, but appropos of nothing, it is important that I note that my gym got new exercise mats today.  Jeanne, one of my fellow gym rats, said she fully expected a blog post about these new mats.  I hate to disappoint anyone, so here you go: the mats are so clean and shiny and communicable disease free.  Honestly, the idea of community mats is a little gross, but I try not to think about it too much.  I suppose I could bring my own mat to class, but it's just one more thing to carry.  Besides, I had to cut a piece of our yoga mat off to use for another purpose.  Don't ask.  It would take too much time to explain.  And it's really not all that interesting, anyway.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

White Girl Problems

One of my favorite hash tags/trending topics on Twitter is white girl problems.  For instance, "I want Starbucks, but they're all too far from my house,"  is a white girl problem.  So is, "I wish I was tan and at the beach"  and "Dunkin Donuts didn't put enough sugar in my vanilla iced coffee."  Or "I want a hot dog and I think my brain is bleeding; I really need to drink less caffeine."

I have white girl problems.

My brain may not be bleeding and I never want a hot dog, but I've spent the last three days mulling over the potential purchase of a tv stand for the tv in my bedroom.  You'd think it would be easy to pick one. 

You'd think.

Au contraire. 

The one I like, which happens to be the most affordable, has a finish that may be too dark to fit with our current bedroom furniture.  I'm not huge on matchy-matchy, but it all has to work.  And  I fear this one won't.

So, I found another one.  But it's pricier.  And then I think, maybe I'll go completely off course and find a black finish tv stand.  But then I'd need to get rid of this table I have (in a darkish wood finish) because it would be out of place next to a black tv stand and the rest of my furniture.  And then I'd need to replace the table with something in a black finish because then the room would be off balanced.

Oh. My. Life.

Of course Craig doesn't care about the price or the aesthetics; he says just buy one.    Most people enjoy having free reign and a (within reason) unlimited budget and yet, I'm acting like I'm participating in nuclear arms negotiations. 

Finding a tv stand should not be this hard.

And I'm not going to even discuss my newest obsession with finding a better kitchen trash can.

Have I mentioned I have white girl problems?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

My, What Big Oranges You Have

I swung by the commissary after the gym to pick up some essentials:  fresh berries, protein powder and chocolate.  Right next to the blackberries was a huge display promoting a 'Wacky Wednesday' deal on some very large navel oranges.

Far be it from me to pass up a wacky deal on fruit.  Especially big fruit.

For lack of a better word, these babies are ginormous.  Although, it's hard to accurately portray the size of the oranges in pictures.  Perhaps I should have put it next to something smaller for comparison's sake?

Even my man hands are dwarfed by the size of the orange.

Watch, I'll peel one and find that the peel is three inches thick, leaving nothing but a puny bit of fruit.

In other news, I went bathing suit shopping yesterday.  Oh the horror!  I didn't intend to buy myself a new bathing suit this summer, but upon inspection, the top I wear most often is looking a little dingy, so I set out yesterday to find a new one.  Since I have bottoms (in black) that fit, I wasn't filled with the normal fear a woman faces when going to try on bathing suits.  Most of my figure flaws are located below the equator, so searching for a top isn't nearly as traumatizing.   Those florescent lights and three way mirrors are unforgiving; they're the stuff nightmares and big ugly cries are made of. 

I went to Kohls and came home with a top, which was on sale for $19.99.  Score!

The pattern is a little busy, something I'm not normally drawn to, but I liked this one for some reason.   

Perhaps because it was fit for me?

If only.....


Monday, May 23, 2011

Getting Crafty

Depending on your definition of crafty, that is.  If your definition of crafty involves pre-made felt flowers and things that clip on or fasten with twist ties, then crafty we shall call it.

Caroline and I went to Michaels yesterday; we went for one thing, which I didn't end up buying, and ended up bring home so much more. 

I found this lime green (although it looks more sage-y green in the pictures) message board  for $5 and these felt embellishments, which were 50% off.

I figured even I was capable of doctoring up a message board with clip on dragonflies (butterflies?)

and twist tie felt flowers.

Eight dollars and five minutes later, we have something cute to hang on Caroline's bedroom wall.

I also bought some plain acrylic picture frames to replace two frames in Caroline's room that are falling apart.  They're affordable and virtually indestructible, but the pictures looked a little stark in the clear frames with white mat boards.  An opportunity to make the frames pretty presented itself, but because my hand is unsteady and my craftiness is sorely limited, I opted for the quick and easy approach.


and a pencil eraser

make cute polka dots

It ain't Pottery Barn Kids, but these decorations are cheap and easy.

And honestly, Caroline doesn't care one bit.  Her interest in room decor, much like her interest in fashion (and making her bed neatly), is non existent.  Which, for me, is great (except for the bed making part), because then I can do whatever I want without any suggestions from the peanut gallery.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Good Clean Fun

Despite my fervent protest, warm weather is upon us.  It actually hasn't been THAT hot lately, but if the temperature rises above 75, Caroline and friends immediately feel the need to pull out the hose.

Caroline and Rachel had a ball outside on Thursday playing with the hose; I grabbed my camera and tried to capture a few shots.

I'd love to include pictures of Rachel's face, but I'm not comfortable posting pictures of other people's children on the Internet without permission.  Also?  Rachel's dad is an attorney.  And he's a bit intense.  Honestly, I'm kind of scared of him.


The temperature really crept up this afternoon, which made for a sweaty soccer game.  After a stop for a post-soccer smoothie, Caroline joined several of her friends at the neighbor's house for an epic water battle.

Can't go wrong with good clean fun.

Happy Saturday!

Oh, and Happy Judgement Day!  As of 5:28 pm, the world has not ended.  We have a little bit of time before sundown, so we'll see how things go.

Friday, May 20, 2011

True Story

True story:  I was doing laundry earlier and noticed how light my detergent bottle was feeling.  "Oh no," I said to myself.  "I'm almost out of detergent and I didn't pick any up at the store today."

And then I looked up.

Apparently I forgot buying four bottles of laundry detergent.

Go figure.

I suppose I'm not in danger of running out of fabric softener, either.

I'm generally not a laundry products hoarder, but I had some awesome $3 off Gain fabric softener coupons a few months ago.  The commissary had it on sale for $3.20; I had four coupons and ended up paying .80 for four bottles of Gain fabric softener.

True story:  I made that little banner at the top of the page.  I found a free template online and added the title.  If you understood my lack of computer prowess, you'd be very impressed by this.  I was having a heck of a time getting the banner to center properly, even after reading and re-reading the instructions.  Evidently if you miss one measly number in the code you must enter, the banner won't center.  All it took was the addition of a number 1 and the banner is now centered.

Want another true story?  Things are better in threes, right?

Yesterday, I told you I had a busy day.  I was busy, but truth be told, I wasn't busy splicing atoms or curing cancer.  I was busy shopping (and stuffing Thursday folders and going to the dentist to have cement from my old permanent retainer polished off my teeth).

I went bathing suit shopping.

NOT for me.  That's something I only do when absolutely necessary.

I went bathing suit shopping for Caroline.

I brought home five different suits to have her try on.

Two fit perfectly; the other three will be returned.

She needed goggles, too.

And a fuzzy green pillow and a matching bin to contain the junk in her room.

It's good to be Caroline. 

True story.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Don't Mind Me

Don't mind me.  I'm fiddling with the blog background.  Unfortunately, I know nothing about this stuff, but I've been wanting something a little cleaner.  I wish I had a header.  I wish I knew how to make a header.  I wish I knew what kind of header I'd like.

Anyway, until I resolve my current identity crisis, we shall all see white and blue green and brown.


Odds and Ends

I've had a busy day today (I know, I'm as surprised as you!) and don't have a whole lot of time to blog before it's time to pick Caroline up from school.  I just have a few quick things to share with you today; all of which begin with the letter C. 

How alliterative of me.



Starbucks has introduced a line of coconut flavored beverages.  Coconut is a love it or hate it type of ingredient and I happen to adore it.  I've had three coconut flavored mistos in the past two weeks and I'm falling more and more in love with them each time.  Today's coconut misto was the best yet.  The barista put toasted coconut on the top, which was a nice addition.  Well, it was nice once I figured out why my coffee was chunky.  Chunky coffee is generally a huge turnoff, but when the chunks are discovered to be bits of toasted coconut, it's all good.


Fresh corn is back in season.  To celebrate, I've been making skillet corn.  You should give it a try, too.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake

This picture is my laptop's wallpaper background.  I've been tempted to lick the screen because it looks so good.


GreatOdd news!

My computer, the one with the wonky virus, mysteriously started working again this morning.  Craig tried to help me fix it over the phone but we weren't successful.  Or so we thought.  Or perhaps spewing profanities, kicking lightly tapping  your computer and referring to it as a 'good for nothing hunk of junk' works better than all that technical mumbo jumbo.  Maybe I shamed it into working again?

Whatever the case, it's working.  For now. 

It's a good thing I bought a new one.  Or, whatever. 

Eh, if you can't spend all of your hard working husband's money, what good is life?  ;)



I want this shirt.

There's another one that says "Peace, Love, Broccoli."  I can't decide which one I like better. 

(C)Flowers  (so much for my alliterative theme)

So, my azaleas may be droopy and lifeless,

but look what popped up!

Believe it or not, this is a weed.  Or so I'm told.

At least it's a pretty weed.

Okay, time to get Caroline!