My Life of What Ifs

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Real Simple Daily Thought

“All endings are also beginnings. We just don’t know it at the time.” ~ Mitch Albom

You can subscribe to Real Simple's Daily Thought here. It's funny how timely they can be.  For me anyways :)

Dinner is a pain, especially #weeknightmeals

I was not put on this earth to cook.  Which is hilarious because I subscribe and buy many cooking magazines, have a variety of cooking apps on my phone, and borrow cookbooks from the library.

I am fascinated by the idea of cooking and finding new recipes.  But I usually only get as far as leaving the book open on the counter or printing the recipe and leaving it for my husband to find.  And prepare.  I'm sly that way.

Lately I've been all about widgets.  Whether it's on my phone or elsewhere on the Internet, I think it's so fun to  plug in a few criteria, or ingredients I have on hand, and see what pops up.  That's why the Kroger widget you see to the left is so great.

If you click on the Kroger widget a new website will open called Give Every Night New Flavor.  Once you're there you can find all the help you need to come up with something to have for dinner.  In my Whrrl below you can see that  I used the site and made Beef and Cheese Roll Ups.  Cory and I were skeptical at first, because it seems kind of silly- spaghetti sauce and a mozzarella cheese stick in a burrito shell.  But it did seem kid friendly, so we went for it.  Even as we sat down we wondered really?  This is what's for dinner?  But they were actually very tasty.

There are a lot of great recipes on Give Every Night New Flavor.  With cuisine choices like Mexican, Italian and Asian there is something for everyone, no matter how much time you have.

More check-ins at Kroger Food and Pharmacy
Powered by Whrrl

This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias. All opinions stated are mine and mine alone.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I have finally made it

I am officially an adult.  In fact I have never felt more like an adult that I do when I look at this picture.

I've always kind of felt like I was pretending at this adult stuff.  Get married, buy a house, have a kid, accumulate debt, yada, yada, yada.

As my children have grown I've still felt at times like they belong to someone else.  No one in their right mind would allow me to have kids, would they?

What if they did?  What if 10-and-a-half years ago today I gave birth to this bald, cone-headed, eight-pound, five-ounce little being?  And she was deceptively sweet, until the crying began.  Then when it stopped after several weeks we liked her again.

What if she has a heart of gold and eyes of bright blue?  What if she is caring, and silly, and moody too?  What if she has my allergies, bad eyes, and crooked teeth?  What if she has her dad's hands and feet?  What if two weeks ago we put braces on her teeth and the feelings began?  The feelings of- I am an adult and I am responsible for this young person's teeth.  This young person who is four inches shorter than me and wears a size seven shoe?  What if after years of struggling in school she has finally found her groove and gets awesome grades and reads like a crazy girl?  What if today she left for Fifth Grade Camp? Ten-and-a-half years to the day she came into the world, she dropped her gear, said goodbye, and ran off to her friends without looking back.  Four days of no mom, and no dad, except for when we visit of course.  What if she's having the time of her life?  I hope she is.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Food, food, glorious food

We have been in a food rut in this house.  Same ole' same ole'.

We've been trying to stir things up a bit.  We had Greek turkey burgers last week, and hot turkey sandwiches tonight, and not too long ago we had Asian Slaw with Teriyaki Chicken.

You can read our review of that delicious dish at  Our review, and others, plus reviews of other great recipes like a beef taco skillet, hero joe, and chilled spaghetti salad are all there for your enjoyment and inspiration.

Give Every Night New Flavor is hosted by the Kroger family of stores and you can go there by clicking on the widget in the left sidebar.  (The widget is best viewed with FireFox or Chrome.) Once you click and arrive at the site you can pick from a few different criteria and get recipe suggestions for your week night meals.  There are many great ideas on there and it even allows you to input how much time you have to whip it up.

So if you are at a loss so many nights like I am, click on the widget and see what pops up, and enjoy something new for dinner tonight.

Disclosure: This post has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias. All opinions stated are mine and mine alone.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Being girly

I have never deemed myself a girly-girl.  I have always been more comfortable in jeans than in a dress.  When I do dress up, people comment.  Not in a bad way, but in a way that says "you look great, not that you usually look bad, but you normally don't look like that."

As I have mentioned a few times lately, I haven't been taking very good care of myself.  In the last year I just haven't made "me" a priority.  As Mother Nature has teased us with Spring I have felt the winter blahs subside (and then come back again- damn freezing rain) but the glimpse of sun and warmth has been enough to get my brain working.  "Hey!  You!  Take care of yourself.  Get off your ass!  Treat yourself!"  So, that is what I did.

I have a dear friend and her name is Alicia.  Our friendship comes easy.  We enjoy each other's company.  We love each other's kids.  Our husband's like to golf, grill and enjoy a beer.

We may not see each other weekly or even monthly, but it doesn't matter.  She gets me and I get her.  And she forces me to be "girly".

Alicia is a "cosmetician".  A "haircutteress" as Cory once called her.  Actually now her business card says "Master Designer/Educator".  She is the real deal.  Without Alicia my hair would be mousy brown.  Without Alicia my hair would have been flat on my wedding day.  Without Alicia I would never have discovered the joy of a pedicure.  And without Alicia I would not be typing this post with bronzed hands, and a healthy body glow to match.  Yes, my friends- I have been spray tanned.

I texted Alicia because my winter low lights had run their course and I needed to lighten up for Spring.  Plus, due to a new vitamin regimen my hair was A LOT longer after the usual amount of time and the pony tail was getting old.

But a haircut and high/low lights was not all that was in store for me this glorious Wednesday.  Alicia is an educator and her educatee needed pedicure practice, and Alicia needed models (and I use that term loosely) to practice her spray tan application- would I be interested? Umm, yes.  Yes, I would.

So I drive to Jackson trying to find comfort in wearing my bathing suit in March in front of only Alicia.  I arrive late, as usual, and the magic begins.  I tell her my hair is too long and she does the rest.  And that's OK, because I ALWAYS love my hair after she does anything to it.  I may question what the hell it is she's doing to me, but it always looks fantastic.  Me and my tired dawgs thoroughly enjoyed the pedicure.  I couldn't have much leg massaging because the lotions would have messed with the next step in my mini-vacation but it was lovely to sit there, soak my feet, drink my latte, and return emails on my phone.  Do I know how to relax or what?

After my pedi, my hair was rinsed, toned, cut and dried and then I entered a small room and put on my bathing suit. Ugh.

But let's not dwell on what can not be changed over night.  Let's think about how a simple spray gun gave me in a half hour what I normally would need a week in Hawaii to receive.  Golden bliss.  And then some.

You see, spray tan is pigment that reacts naturally with your skin.  But the pigment has to stay on for 8 - 10 hours to realize the full effect.  It also gets darker the longer it's on.  So, while driving home I looked pretty good (minus the messed up new hair and no makeup, etc.)... late evening I looked like an Oompa Loompa and was really glad I had no where to go.  As I watched television I could feel my girls "look" at me, and then I would look at them and they would laugh.  "You just look so different."  Ya think?

Truthfully I scared myself come bedtime.  I wasn't orange but I was dark.  To say the least.  So I showered and watched the pigment go down the drain fully expecting to look like my normal booty-ass white self when I emerged from the steam.  But I didn't.  I looked healthy.

So this morning I showered again.  Moisturized generously, per my Master Designer's instructions, and Ta-Da!!  Not bad.  Not bad at all.

It was hard to get a good shot of my leg.  But I think you can get the idea.  Of course due to the camera angle it looks like I have a wee little foot, and a calf the size of a tree trunk.

I'm not dolled up by any means.  And you may have no idea how pasty I was before, but at least I look alive, and my hair looks good.

I never really thought I would ever go for the "spray tan".  But once again, Alicia introduced me to something I would have otherwise been too chicken to try.  Will I do it again?  It depends.  Ask me next winter when the "blahs" are in full force.

All in all, I feel better.  I feel kinda pretty.  I feel inspired to wait until it's warm outside and then really get out there and exercise.  (It's sunny today but cold as crap out there.) It was fun to be pampered for a day.  Maybe next week I'll book a facial and a massage.  And maybe next week a magic gnome will bring me loads of money to pay for said facial and said massage.  You know a little magic in the name of girly-ness?  Come on, it could happen.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Particulates and C.O.D.

My husband and I both like to believe that we could stand the sight of a dead body.  In fact, we think we could go so far as to touch one and determine cause of death.

We are obsessed with autopsys and ways to remove the flesh from bones.  We love it when Hodgins says "particulates" on Bones, and we enjoy Hodges acting like a douche on CSI.

David Caruso, his one-liners and sunglasses, make us squirm and question our sanity and yet, we watch CSI Miami every week.  We are obsessively enjoying the USA Network's NCIS marathon on weekends and weeknights and love piecing together the past seasons that we have missed.

We laugh when we hear the Bones theme music because we watched all of the first five seasons last summer sometimes 3 or 4 episodes a night.

He is baffled by Sela Ward's eyebrows on CSI NY and I think Danny looks better with glasses.

This season we have added Blue Bloods and The Defenders to our list of crime dramedies (yes, many are funny too) we watch almost every night.  A list that also includes The Mentalist and NCIS LA (with LL Cool J).

Oddly every one of these shows, except Bones,  is on CBS.  We don't change the channel much.  But we have found something we enjoy doing together and we do it a lot.  Complete with a soundtrack by The Who. And future hopes that we will get to apply all of the knowledge we have accumulated from hours in front of the TV.

Bones: The Complete First SeasonNCIS Naval Criminal Investigative Service - The Complete First SeasonC.S.I. Crime Scene Investigation - The Complete First Season
NCIS: Los Angeles - The First SeasonC.S.I. New York - The Complete First Season
C.S.I. Miami - The Complete First SeasonThe Mentalist: The Complete First Season

Friday, March 18, 2011

Coffee with The Ladies

This morning "The Ladies" came over for coffee, breakfast and a some much-needed chat time.  The sun was shining, the coffee was brewing, and I had Nutella gift bags for everyone.  It was just like Christmas!  Kind of. :)

I offered whole grain english muffins, mini-bagels, and bananas, and a big ole' jar of Nutella to spead on whatever they wanted.  Some of the ladies were already fans, some had never tasted the stuff before (like me prior to the package coming in the mail) and some were allergic.  Oh no! Be careful.

One 13 oz. jar of Nutella has more than 50 hazelnuts in it, so we were careful and didn't go flinging it about.  We flung the chat instead and 6 ladies with little kids have a lot to chat about!

I was invited to have this Nutella Party by MommyParties and they sent me goody bags for all of my friends, as well as some great info that I did not know.  Such as...

Nutella hazelnut spread does not contain peanuts or peanut ingredients, nor does the product come in contact with peanuts during manufacturing.  Nutella is kosher, contains no artificial colors or preservatives and is low in sodium.

European families have enjoyed Nutella for over 40 years, it became available in the U.S. in the 1980's.

I did not know any of that. I have heard people rave about Nutella for years.  Why it took me so long to try it I do not know.  I admit I am a HUGE peanut butter fan, and I also enjoy almond butter, so maybe Hazelnuts with Cocoa was more than I could fathom.  But I tried it and I like it.  The taste is great but the texture is a little strange to me.  My friend described it like "putting hot fudge on your toast" and it does have that thick but not necessarily creamy texture.  I think of it as pudding, only a little thicker.  Is that wrong?

In additon to the Nutella we went through two pots of coffee.  You know, breakfast is the most important meal of the day because it literally breaks the fast!  Anywho we had fun and they loved their bags.  If you look at the pic below you can see why.  Great stuff and a coupon!

The ladies REALLY like the genius spreader! See the tip on that thing?  It's perfect for getting under the lip of a jar.  You know, the place the Nutella and Peanut Butter hide?

Each guest also got info on breakfast, recipe ideas, a travel mug and a Nutella sample.  Yum!

We did have fun and it was nice way to change up Friday morning coffee.  I love free stuff and I love to give my friends stuff.  So it worked out nice for everyone.

Along with the sunny day, it was the perfect start to what I hope is a great weekend.

I was provided with all of the Nutella items you see in the pictures above to share with my friends.  However, all opinions of this product are mine and mine alone.  The texture gets me, but the taste is great.


Thursday, March 17, 2011


The broken clock is a comfort, it helps me sleep tonight.  Maybe it can stop tomorrow from stealing all my time.

Ti-i-i-ime is on my side...

Time, where did you go?   Why did you leave me here alone?

I love the changing of time, but I hate the time change.  Does that make sense?

I think changing, implies gradual.  I love bright sunny days and bright sunny evenings.  I just hate losing the hour of "time" in the process.  It's so abrupt and I don't deal well with abrupt.  I don't mind change, but I hate instant change.  Such as the instant Standard Time becomes Daylight Savings Time and my whole household is up too late and grumpy when poked in the morning.

All week long I have felt jet-lagged.  No energy, can't sleep when I am supposed to, and generally just off.  My girls are the same.  My husband is right there with us, only he had to be somewhere bright and early on Sunday morning.  Work!  Ewwww.

I know I should just shut up.  I have discussed my winter blahs here and they are finally disappating thanks to the day lit evenings, and bright, somewhat-warm days.  But I'm tired.  I've lost an hour and it will take more "time" to recover from the loss.  Or a nap.  But then I won't sleep tonight.  Sigh.

Monday, March 14, 2011

ABCs of Me

Shamelessly stolen from Lori!

Age: 38.92

Bed size: Queen and it used to seem SO big before the kids and the dog.

Chores I dislike: Mopping the floor.  Thank goodness for the Swiffer WetJet!

Dogs: Maxx, our pretty, wide-assed, son who is an Australian Shepherd / Gold Retriever mix.

Essential start to your day: A banana.

Favorite color: It always changes.  Right now I am loving orange.

Gold or silver: Silver.

Height: 5'4"

Instruments you play: I played the violin.  Sometimes I wonder if I still could...

Job title: Self-employed Jill-of-all-Trades.  Writer, blogger, Social Media User, Rights & Licensing Manager, Thirty-One Consultant.

Kids: Ryann Emily, 10, and Jayden Grace, 7.

Live: Livingston County.  Transplant from the Prison City.

Mom's name: Judith :)

Nickname: Stace.  Jojo.

Overnight hospital stay: Many as a child, and two as an adult for each of my girls.

Pet peeves: Attending an event with your child and having your own conversations in the back of the room.  Commenting on your kids behavior, weight, grades, but enabling it at the same time.

Quote from a movie: "He's gonna use your ass and throw you away.  God, I would have died for you."  ~ Duckie Dale, Pretty in Pink.

Righty or lefty: Righty, thanks to Granny taking the pencil out of my left hand and putting it in my right.

Siblings: Oh my.  Bob-Rob, 30, Kasey, 27, Eric, 24, Betsy, 24, Kyle, 19.

Time you wake up: 7:30 during the week. Whenever is necessary on the weekends.

Underwear: The normal kind.

Vegetables you don't like: Brussel. Sprouts.

What makes you run late: Facebook.  The Internet.  My computer.  Like right now.

Xrays you had: Lungs, arm when I fell rollerskating.

Yummy food you make: My Mama's meat loaf.  Pot Roast.

Zoo animal favorites: Monkeys.

If you do this too, post your link in the comments!  Have a great day!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Can you beat me in the MurphyUSA Bracket Challenge?


I picked my teams the way kids pick books.  Because they're pretty.

OK, I used a little more logic than that.  Very little.  If I recognized the team, they had an advantage.  If I know someone who attended the school and/or is a major fan, the team had a bigger advantage.  If they are in the mid-west?  Ca-ching!  Total science I tell ya.  You should enter the MurphyUSA Bracket Challenge for two reasons:

1.  Prove that you know a whole lot more than me by winning the challenge.
2.  A chance to win free gas for a year, and who doesn't want that?

So give it a whirl.  Enter by the 15th and let me know how you did.  When it's all over and the fat lady has sung I will show just how magical my team picking method really is.  Or isn't.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Hey Charlie Sheen, you're not Winning! I am.

I try to be a forgiving person, I really do.  But I can't forgive Charlie Sheen for being mean to Duckie Dale. I mean, Jon Cryer.  Seriously, in what world is Charlie Sheen drug free?  It's more like, what drug is he not on?

He has now called his TV brother a variety of names, all beginning with T, for not contacting him during his "troubles".  Holy.  Hell.  I could run over Charlie Sheen's cat and I'm pretty sure he wouldn't remember having a cat, so how would he have any recollection if Jon "Blaine?  His name is Blaine?" Cryer rang him up?

I'm a huge Two and a Half Men fan.  But Pretty in Pink is my everything.  You can't slam the Duckster and think I will forget your slander.  Never.

As much as I am disgusted by Mr. Sheen's squinty-eyed internet rants, I also think it's ridiculous to try and put someone else in lead role on Two and a Half Men.  That's shark jumping of epic proportions and it just won't work.  The show is over.  So is Charlie Sheen's career for the immediate future.  Let his parents and the Goddesses deal with him and we shall all move on to bigger and better things.  Such as The Big Bang Theory and  Sh*t my Dad says.

Now let me tell you why I'm winning and Charlie Sheen is not.  Well, because I am working. On all sorts of stuff.

Thinking of trying out a new indoor water park vacation?  Then read my review of Castaway Bay over at Detroit Mommies.

Want to know more about me and how I got to this point in my working life?  Read my column in the Hartland Patch about my move from Career Mom to Stay-at-Home-Mom.

Live in Brighton Township and hooked up to the sewer line?  You should probably read this and adjust your budget accordingly.

Love college basketball and think you know who will win March Madness?  Try your luck here and you might win a year's worth of free gas!

Live in Jackson and find yourself in need of physical therapy?  Check this place out they are thriving.

There's more stuff I do, but I feel I have proven my point to Charlie.  Charlie, who is, was, and will always be, full of shi... tiger blood.


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Charlie Sheen, Christina Auguliera & Don't drink the water

Celebrities are crazy. And I can say that because I've had almost three years of Psychotherapy myself.

I am not on drugs. Nor do I believe myself to be an actual drug. I didn't marry too young, have a child, divorce and then sow my wild oats. I do not live with Goddesses and I can't sing any portion of the National Anthem well.

I am just a woman, a mom, a wife who wants her Monday night TV line up restored, and her morning TV, radio and Internet to be Charlie and Xtina free.

I may forget you tomorrow, but I have given you a memory that will last a lifetime. Just sayin'.