Friday, November 20, 2020

Take 340

7 Quick Takes Friday
--- 1 ---
It's less than a week before Thanksgiving! Eek! Are you prepping, yet? The only time I was more "relaxed" about our Thanksgiving meal was last year when I was 7 months pregnant and we flew to Ireland--in other words, it was impossible to prep. But! I learned a valuable lesson: it went just fine. Our turkey is ordered and I'll make cranberry sauce this weekend... but other than that, we'll make it! hah!
--- 2 ---
I baked a pumpkin pie and dutch apple pie for our friends at school yesterday... and I decided that there should be a word for the category of dessert that you make and can't 

1.) taste test or 
2.) share 

Really. If I make you cookies or even something baked in a small ramekin, I can taste what I'm sending you. Even a typical banana bread recipe makes 2 loaves. With these options, I can "make sure it's not poison" or even just... have some. But I can't exactly send a pie to an event (that I'm not going to) with one slice removed... I mean *I guess I could*.... LOL.

I'll just say that it must've been a success... because this is what came home:
--- 3 ---
Have you ever noticed that it's impossible to pour cocoa powder without it going absolutely everywhere? That the path to the least amount of spillage is necessarily spooning it out? No? Well, then please oh please oh please tell me how you pour cocoa... because my hands, shirt and countertop are always covered in brown powder... always.
--- 4 ---
I had no idea that the Piña Colada was not a blended drink with ice chips in it (like a blended margarita). We had leftover cream of coconut from a cake I made (which was delicious, btw), so I looked up beachy cocktails and tried my hand at making a piña colada... and voilá! It's actually shaken! Crazy. Oh, and quite tasty. 
--- 5 ---
I don't know if you agree with me, but I think it's an actual crime when clothing companies do not sew their tags with an additional stitch. If the actual hem or closure of the clothing includes the tag, YOU LAZY. And now my shirt itches. And I can't remove the tag with a seam ripper, otherwise I will take apart the clothing. AND! If I cut that tag down to the smallest amount possible, it'll likely itch even more. 

A CRIME I tell ya. 
--- 6 ---
I am slowly realizing that it's time to figure out nighttime sleep with our baby... (Read: he slept 7 hours one night this week and I realized how much of my current personality is being led by my 2-3 feedings every night... for my 9 month old.) 4 hours feels like a long stretch right now... and I like to have 9 hours when I don't have a baby... hahaha!

I happened upon a website that recommended that I wake up to pump during any missed nighttime feedings when my baby started sleeping through the night.

#WHAT
www.firsttimecrazymomwebsite.com
--- 7 ---
We've been trying to hone in on our homey hygge and we've had a lot of success. But we finally admitted to ourselves that regular candles aren't that different from smoking when it comes to healthy lungs. There's a lot of chemicals... and if you use them regularly... well, I bought my first set of beeswax candles.... and #expensive. I had to laugh at myself when I realized that I have an internal battle buying anything that's expensive that I can't eat. LOL. If I'm going to buy quality, I want it to be food or drink.... or leather boots. Hah!

Happy Friday!

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Take 359

7 Quick Takes Friday
--- 1 ---
Our weather has really transitioned this week and fog has been a major element to our daily weather. I'm not quite sure why, but fog in November with temps in the high 40s and low 50s absolutely signals that it's time to have Thanksgiving--and to start prepping all those Thanksgiving dish ingredients. How will I keep myself down to the bare minimum for such a holiday with only a family of 5? I'm just really not sure. (And no, my freezer is not American sized... LOL.)

--- 2 ---
I know it's been a long year, but if you have a little left in you, I'd like to propose that you read "Just Mercy". I haven't seen the film, and I had to listen to the book in "chunks" because it was... sobering. But it's an education. And I welcome you to join me in school.
--- 3 ---
Speaking of 2020... I was enjoying an "old favorite" from 2018: "Give me the hard stuff" by Justin Timberlake... And pondered on this song for a moment and realized, "Yo, Justin. You asked for the hard stuff... and well... the universe listened." Please give us a break and write a new song, "Give us a new year". Lol.
--- 4 ---
I successfully completed my second one-week comprehensive shopping trip. (I gave up this tradition when I had my third child... for a season.) The first week was mildly successful in that I forgot to check for red lentils when it was the base for an entire dinner (we didn't have any) and we wound up eating amazing grilled cheese on Friday because the deli meat was gone... but we did it. I'm convinced that staying in the grocery budget hinges around not going to the store daily for random ingredients. #MakeDo

But I forgot about the stress of shopping "American Style" in Germany... It's major.
--- 5 ---
How do you know if you're a grinch? My litmus test: I go out of my way to rip off the sombrero from my tequila bottle cap. It just bugs me. Like it's too happy or something. That's how I know: I'm a grinch.
--- 6 ---
Have you ever seen a pancake pan like this? Hilarious! I wasn't exactly tempted to buy it... but I couldn't not share it. 
--- 7 ---
Last but not least: I need your help. Please share with me your favorite salad dressing recipes... because I like to make our own, but I have this unbelievable ability to pick the worst salad dressing recipes online. Please. Help me.

Happy Saturday!

Saturday, November 07, 2020

Take 358

7 Quick Takes Friday
--- 1 ---
I'm not going to talk about it. I can't. Maybe when you read this, it'll all be over. But it's been one heck of a week, amiright? So, in other news, I'll just share my self-care routine for this past week: yoga pants (remember I don't have a day job LOL), audiobooks for the kids (because it keeps the peace), physical therapy exercises (not really working--my neck is a wreck), martinis after bedtime, and popcorn. Just popcorn. Because I'm still calorie counting and binge eating cookies is... not advisable. OH! And The Office. We just keep watching it. Because we need it.

I'm hoping you've cared for yourself this week, too. Virtual cheers and hugs from me!
--- 2 ---
One of the best things ever was Brian making a dance playlist for a kids' birthday party... now I have an easy go-to for the winter after-school wiggles... and I wanted to share that Kidz Bop does a version of "Uptown Funk" that's clean... and it doesn't sound too baby-ish and I love it. I love that that song, which used to be a "no go" has entered our dance party lives. 

Dance on with your bad self. Oh. And watch the video at your own risk. It hurts. (And yes. So glad something I did at the age of 13 isn't on Youtube permanently like that... eek.)
--- 3 ---
How was your Halloween? We kept it simple here with pumpkin carving and a bowl of candy for us... Trick-or-Treating was "Strongly discouraged", but dressing up hasn't lost its charm and we all had a nice day. They ran around outside in costumes being freezing cold... so I feel like Halloween happened. 
--- 4 ---
We installed a New Kitchen Light! We replaced the hanging Christmas lights over the window with an actually beautiful and installed light fixture. I love it, and I can now see the food I'm chopping.
--- 5 ---
You know how you can rearrange your apps on your iPhone? With the latest iOS update, I found it hilarious that Apple actually has a title for that status... It's called Jiggle Mode. LOL.
--- 6 ---
We have full on sunshine here today and it's quite stunning. We finally got around to pulling out the old tomato plants and removing the dead flowers from our hydrangea. We're really hunkering down for cold season, but I'll admit that the sunshine today is most welcome. 
--- 7 ---
Update on the computer/desk situation: it turns out that I'm used to blogging while sitting around in the evenings when the kids and my husband are still up and the dinner work is done for the day... but now that my computer is permanently at my desk (because the battery won't hold a charge anymore--wah wah), I find it harder to blog, because it requires being "unsocial" or being absent to whatever else is going on in the house... Interesting, huh? It's amazing how little changes (or big ones) disrupt the "normal path" of activities... so with that, I have to say: Happy Saturday! Because I didn't blog last night... and chose to be present to my family. ;) 

Happy Saturday! May your weekend be restful and rejuvenating!

Saturday, October 31, 2020

Take 357

7 Quick Takes Friday
--- 1 ---
I don't know if you saw, but the Justice Department is suing Google for possibly having an illegal monopoly. Usually news like this makes me yawn, but you see, I ran into a problem last year... I got locked out of my old ("maiden name") gmail account. I made the fatal mistake of not updating my password recovery contact information when I went international to Germany... my old cell phone number is gone... and my emergency email was 2 jobs back... 

So when Google is being sued for having a monopoly, I can't help but mention something here:

You cannot contact Google when you're locked out of your email. They say they'll contact you after investigating, but they don't. And I can't help but feel like they can get away with this because... well, they've got the monopoly. And they won't spend the money to take care of little ol' me. 

And no. You can't buy back your old cell phone number. I checked.

I've been locked out for over a year and basically I'm still mourning the loss of all the history.
--- 2 ---
I'm going to dedicate two takes to this issue... because I can't help but compare the ridiculousness of Take 1 with the amazing-ness of another company:

Flickr.

I had the same issue: locked out with old recovery info for back-up... Guess what they did? In 24 hours, they asked me to prove my identity with documentation. I did so. They reset everything to match my new email address and BAM. 24 hour turnaround and recovery of my account. 

Good work, Flickr. Even if I hate you and am only getting back in to delete everything. 

Google: Shame on you. You have the resources to take care of your people. Do it.
--- 3 ---
I try not to exude "Mom" all the time. It's good for my mental sanity to distance myself and feel... like adult Mary. (Remember Bringing up Bebe? Yeah. Like that.)

But in reality, sometimes I accidentally cut my own food into kid-sized bites... and then I really want some adult time. LOL.
--- 4 ---
What's my current decoration style? Welp, my baby is crawling and pulling up on furniture. It's simply a whole house version of keep away
--- 5 ---
We've been married 8.5 years and we just purchased our first desk! It's new to us... but not new. You might (maybe) appreciate the fact that we have expensive taste on a cheap budget... and honestly, I got tired of looking for a Danish Desk for 100 Euros. LOL. Swoop in a glass desk and voila! We can agree that the glass look is much better than 1980's colored wood. I'm happy to have a place to work!
--- 6 ---
My list of items that I can't get in Germany has really dwindled. But I wanted to share with you a laughable cost of... well, diced canned green chilis. No really. That's 4,55 Euros per can, or 1,14 Euros per ounce... or $1.33/ounce. Uff. I miss adding this mildly spiced, full flavor chili to my soups and chilis.
--- 7 ---
In a court case in Ireland this month, Subway bread is ruled "Cake" due to it's high sugar content. [Pause]

All the hilarious laughs. Too good to be true.

Happy Halloween!