Sunday, February 20, 2011

Womp Womp Weekend

Well they can't all be fabulous.

I unsuccessfully tried to go to Ikea by myself, buy a dresser (two boxes) and then load them into the truck. Thank heavens two kind gentleman came to my rescue to help both with the box retrieving in the self-serve area and then again when it came time to loading. I also discovered you BYOB when checking out, so you don't have to throw a vase and ladle into your purse all while trying to wrangle a runaway shopping cart.

I loathe assembling furniture but am too cheap to spend 4 digits on the good stuff. You get what you pay for when you take a misstep and accidentally, albeit gingerly, step on a piece of particle board. Ugh, remedying a new dresser with decoupage was not high on my to-do list. Subsequently, it took me not one, not two, not three, but FOUR attempts to assembly the g-d thing. And it turns out it was right the first time. Like cooking, it's a good idea to read through the entire directions first. Scott save number 2 of the weekend.

When I wasn't wasting my life trying to assemble the dresser whose instructions REALLY need words or at least color illustrations, I was dumping the excess dinner from Saturday night down the drain. BAD MOVE. I blame the Ikea trip from hell. Clogged drain, clogged disposal, backed up sink, new leak under house. Goodbye Chicago in the spring. Scott save number one, and some supplementary advice from dad and my mother-in-law.

Last (I HOPE!), I rubbed my eyes in the shower, which I know better than to do (a trend this weekend it seems) and down one contact lens went. And naturally I should have placed my next 3 month order a week ago, so it's specs for the week. I have nothing against glasses but they never feel as strong as the lenses. Cue the violins at this point.

It can't all be terrible though. We inherited a table from my grandparents today which I'm enjoying as a pseudo-desk in the living room. Pardon the camera phone picture and quite distorted lamp light.

Added silver lining: it's a holiday tomorrow. Someone pour me a bourbon. Followed by a bourbon.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I love Toddlers & Tiaras

We all know why I hate The Bachelor. But oh how I love me some Wednesday night Toddlers & Tiaras. Let me count the ways, Letterman style.

10. The moms. Oh the moms and reliving their glory days through their daughters. It is rare that these women aren't haggard, sleep deprived and desperately in need of an orthodontic intervention.

9. The dads. The 1/100 of the audience forced to wear those gawd-awful airbrushed t-shirts with screen printed Glamour shots of their daughter. "WE LOVE YOU DESIREE!"

8. The moves that these goofy pageants require. I toy with the idea of YouTube-ing myself doing because I find it hilarious trying to master that walk. Maybe I'll save that for a Halloween party instead.

7. The Pageant Super Dad.

6. The introductory bios. Especially for babies. "Destiny has brown eyes and blond hair. Her role model is her mommy and she loves pageants, acting, gymnastics, and one day she hopes to be Miss USA. She is 6 months old. Thank you Destiny!"

5. The money! Some of these parents are living in trailers, can barely afford a meal beyond top ramen, and somehow think glitz pageants are a great investment. I think they may also be playing the Lotto each week in anticipation of a big win.

4. Flippers. There are not enough teeth for words.

3. The tantrums. I'm convinced these girls are grooming to be contestants on The Bachelorette 10 years from now. Because yes, they will be trying to go on at 15.

2. The audience. Or lack therof.

1. Eden Wood. Girl has a book about her at four years old and autographs it while BARELY able to write her name.

Where's the confetti?

When I paid off my student loan in 2009, I waited for a congratulatory letter in the mail. Something just to even file away saying those magic words: $0 balance.

When I completed payments on my Honda, I did receive the pink slip from my parents, who graciously more than helped me pay for that car, but still no congratulatory letter-not even to them, who really deserved it.

We paid off our honeymoon to Fiji a few months after the wedding and CapitalOne did not have anything in the mail besides my next statement.

Now, Scott's truck is paid off (exclusively by him) and still no letters with confetti or large type proclaiming "Congratulations! No more car payments for you!"

Scott very wisely responded with his rationale-why should there be praise for doing what you are supposed to do? Touche. But this type-A likes the positive reinforcement. I know companies have templates on top of templates of collections letters. I think someone needs to invest in the party letterhead. They have 30 years to work on it because I'll expect it when this house is paid off.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Valentine's Day

We cheersed to our 11th Valentine's Day over a cheesy pizza (pun intended) from Cortina's.

(omg30minutestopurchaseanUNCOOKEDpizzaCortina's?Whattheheck?!?!Murphy'sLawatitsbest-IthinkI'mbeingsmartbynotorderingitcookedandnaturallyIwaittwiceaslongtohaveitmadeincorrectly. Aren'tthesejuststackedandreadytocook? Therewent40minutesofmylifeI'llnevergetback.) End rant.

Annoyed or not, it was great pizza. Even if the smoke alarm went off.

Holidays are also my favorite time to try new recipes, like yesterday's peppermint patties. Today it was chocolate souffles. Perhaps it's because the name is French that I believe it to be fancy and tres difficile. Not so much with these! And by Scott's rule of recipes, they are now Erin's Chocolate Hazelnut Souffles because I added one ingredient to make them my own-hazelnut liqueur in honor of our nutty moniker. Here's the recipe if you are so inclined to make the delightful dessert.

Pizza, wine, souffles...pretty darn good Monday if you ask me.

Monday, February 14, 2011

It's Amore!

I miss the days of picking out the perfect valentine for the crush in the class, hoping its message wasn't too obvious or too friendly, and cutting out the bonus cards on the back of the box for the teacher or the girl you didn't really want to give the card too because the ones on the back were hard to cut out!

So this year I decided to bring a little old school to the office with some valentine's and peppermint patties. Enjoy.

Mix powdered sugar, condensed milk, peppermint extract, and food coloring in blender. Shape into balls.

Press down with fingers or use bottom of drinking glass to flatten.

Melt chocolate chips in double boiler or use melting chocolate and melt in double boiler or microwave.

While chocolate melts, consider dipping into your own v-day dinner dessert, cakeballs from Patty's Cakes.
Dip patties into chocolate, let harden.
Artfully, or not so artfully, decorate with contrasting melting chocolate.

Just like the aforementioned valentine selection, choose the right valentine for the right person, especially in the office. And the right sweet treat-like Oreo's for the vegan friend.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

A Place to Dine

Scott and I rough it well.

We lived out of an ice chest for two weeks when we first moved into our house before we finally got a fridge.

We were without a microwave for 5 months. Not totally a hardship but it was quite inconvenient for a popcorn snack.

Dear me did we have a washer and dryer debacle. I realize many people don't have them in their home, but when you do, don't, do and then don't again, it's a roller coaster of laundry emotions.

Since we moved in we've also been without a dining table. The one we had in the apartment was not going to work in our little dine-in kitchen nook, and pretty much everything I found online was still too wide. My mother-in-law actually ended up having the perfect sized table that she found at an estate sale for $.75 years ago. It needed a little love having been through a few rainstorms outside, so my dad took it to spruce up. Unfortunately the little table was a too far beyond saving, so the family carpenter, a friend of my dad's from college, replicated the table for us, a gift from my parents for my birthday. Simply stated, we love it. He even added some great details the first table did not have. Thus, custom table for us!

It has the drop leaves on both sides so we can always shrink it to fit the space if needed. It still needs to be stained, probably a light brown, which I hope to accomplish in the coming weeks.

Here's a full view:
Bon appetite!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

No title.

Two months, three losses. You don't have to be a mathematician to comprehend the numbers. Closer to some than others, though it all feels like a disbelieving sucker punch. I am beginning to see the worst side of aging.

It's hard to find anything positive in the past two months in this respect, only that I am aware of three new babies coming into the world. I suppose that is the circle of life at its finest.

I struggle to find words of comfort to express to the grieving families as well as the answer to the question on everybody's mind. Why?