Monday, January 31, 2011

We Interupt This Broadcast...

Um, Dad?
I think I ate your entire birthday cake...
It was good though! You woulda liked it!
Lip-smackin' good, I tell you what.
Uh oh, sugar coma...I'll be passed out on mom's lap if you need me.

Happy birthday daddio!  You get 41 nose honks from me when you get home!

Encyclopedia of Moi: Volume C

Gooooooood mornnnning Vietblog! Did you guys have a good weekend?  We surely did. Why? Cause it's John's birthday! And though I couldn't celebrate (booze) with him last year for his 40th since I was preg, I made sure to make it happen this year. But I'll fill you in on the deets later because right now it's time for...

This week we're at C...ccccheck it out...

1 2 3 4
btw, I'm making it a goal of mine to better identify picture sources on the blog so I'm (2) legit.

Cru Jones - If you were in a pre-teen in the 80's then you probably saw the BMX bike-racing movie Rad. Since my older brother raced bmx, every Friday night we headed to West Coast Video and rented Rad, where it then lived in our VCR all weekend long. I knew this movie by heart and of course, had a crush on the lead character, Cru Jones. How effing cool is his name??? And if I have my way, I most definitely would consider it for a kiddo. Anyway, this movie featured one of the greatest songs of the 80's, Send Me An Angel, to which Cru and Lori Laughlin bike-danced at a school dance. You can't get much better than that. Helltrack!

Chipped Beef - Have I mentioned that I love breakfast? If I'm going out for the most important meal of the day, then I'm ordering cream chipped beef. It reminds me of my grandmom who would let us tear our toast into bits and cover it with heaps of chipped beef. It's also fa-reaking delicious. Who wants to hit up *Tom Jones?

Comedy - I know it's kinda vague but I really do love all things comedic. And I know it probably sounds corny, but I LOVE LOVE LOVE to laugh. If you can make me laugh, I love you. Knee slapping laughs, can't-speak-wheezy laughs, I do em all. I grew up glued to Comedy Central, watching stand-up. My best friend and I bonded over our mutual love of sketch comedy although we both love SNL, I also love Kids in the Hall but she doesn't. She just hates on Canada apparently. I love seeing comics live and have seen quite a few in my time.  John and I used to drive up to Lancaster (amish country) to this small comedy club that would get fairly big names but in the teeniest setting. We'd always head to the bar afterwards and usually ended up tossing back a few with the comics. Also, being told you're funny is awesome and also a huge compliment. My brother Josh will laugh at anything I say and is always my best audience. He's a can't-speak-wheezy-laugher. Laughs and funnyness make my world go round.

Clay - When I was in college, I had to fill some rando credits so I decided to take a pottery class. BEST DECISION EVER. Our teacher was a laid back (probably stoned) old American Indian man who was the chillest teacher ever. You wanna make stuff? Great. You don't? That's cool too. But I did want to make stuff. I started playing with clay and water and glazing and throwing and firing and I was hooked. I made a billion ashtrays and wonky vases. I even bought my own clay and made stuff at home and he would fire it for me at school. Nerdddddd  Yeah, that totally made me teacher's pet. I was into it though. But just for that one semester. That's all I needed apparently.

So anyway, did you guys join in this week? Or do you just want to go out to breakfast with me? Either way, let me know!

*our local greasy spoon

Happy Birthday Pup!

btw, Mr Linky or whatev wants to charge now, so we're gong old school with the link-ups. Don't be scared!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Trash Gazers

I know, just what you wanted to read about on a Friday morning, the crap I'm getting rid of...right? Well I thought so. And although I've been (un)noticably absent for the 2nd and 3rd weeks of Jenny at Words on Wendhurst 111 Things in 1/11, I managed to to pick up my slack and pull through at the end. So in addition to the 40 random things I gave the boot the first week, take a gander at what's leaving this week.

- A big diaper box full of books, 22 of them. Box includes such favorites as the Twilight series (think it'll be worth money someday?) and the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series ( I started reading them during my bedrest and just finished the 3rd one last week...I'll never get those months back).
- 8 Coffee mugs because I hate regular size mugs.
- 2 Candle sets (new in box!) that my mom donated to my toss pile. Patients give them to her all the time and they reeeeek!
- 2 Ledge shelves that were cheapies from The Christmas Tree Shoppe and suck
- 2 Pairs of John's jeans
- Apples to Apples because it's no fun
- A brand new monkey bath towel because it feels like sand paper
- A brand new baby sling because I realized I don't like slings
- A boppy cover because I realized I don't like boppies
- 2 baby gowns because Gabe realized he doesn't like gowns
- 2 Margarita glasses because let's face ain't happening
- a decorative bowl because I have enough of them. for real.

Total: 49 things

Then came all the things I used to wear to work but have no use for anymore...
35 shirts + 2 scarves = 37 total

That's 126 things outta here. Keep in mind, I'm not actually trashing them.  Since most of my "crap" is in pretty good condition, they're going to my yard sale stash. I'm trying to get in the mindset that my while my stuff is in good condition, it's still a yard sale and I can expect approximately one dime per item.

Anyway, thanks for looking at my trash. As always, if you're in the market for a scratchy monkey towel, email me!

Oh and don't forget, the Encyclopedia goes live on Monday. We're at C! Do it up!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Throwback Thursday

Hey guys, thanks for stopping by my step today.  I'm just hanging out.  My brothers have strewn their clothing and comic books all over the living room and I'm trying to pick things up around here.  From the sneer on my face, you can tell how I feel about this task, especially since I'm all dressed up with nowhere to go.   Besides my outfit being awesome, I actually match.  If you know my mom, this is pretty surprising. But my sweet maroon shoes coordinate with my plaid overalls, that from the looks of it, have a sheen to it???  Yeah, I'm fancy.  And that little yellow clutch? Oh that's just my pop of color. I better run, I'm off to talk to my mom about taking down this paneling.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I Like...No, Love the Nightlife

I love going out. I love downing beers and doing shots. I love my friends.  I love rambling about nothing. I love group sing-alongs. I love birthdays. I love dressing up and putting on makeup. I love seeing people I haven't seen in awhile.  I love singing Part-Time Lover. I love big announcements. I love mom dancing. I love hanging with randos. I love babysitters...and Advil. I love weekends. I love a good Saturday night.

I love my blog readers who suggested a yellow cardi to go with this teal tank. I love deer in headlights. I love cute shirts and shiny hair. I love new bangs.

I love the birthday girl. I love being 30. I love creepy gold origami ghosts above heads in pictures. I love red nails.

I love short friends with glasses. I love friends with glasses that are your biggest supporters.

I love girls from Kentucky. I love cute couples. I love nice sweaters on dudes.

I love cute husbands. I love a little bit of scruff. I love curly hair that takes less time than straightening it.

I love brave souls. I love Toto. I love Roseanna. I love best friends.

I love 26 bar breaks. I love enough time to go get a drink and come back for the chorus. I love good times. And good friends. And my mom for watching Gabe all night so I could go get a taste of the past. It was good. Real good.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Two Street Fired Up

Another month has come and gone and my little baby boy is now five months. I was waxing poetic Saturday night to one of my friends at the bar about time...and how it takes this living, growing human in front of you to realize exactly how fast it's going by. But I'll spare you my drunken oratory because it's time for celebratin'! We've managed to make it this far and for the most part, we have a really happy, really cute and really friggen delightful child. Delightful.

So before we get to this month's photo shoot, I'm gonna need to explain something to most of you. This month, Gabe is a mummer. If you don't know what a mummer is, I'm a school you. On New Year's Day in Philadelphia, thousands brave the cold to attend the Mummer's Parade. Groups of people compete in their crazy costumes, some with string bands, others clowns and others in fancy brigades. It's kind of insane and most people stay warm by boozin it up in the streets. Do a little goog search if you want to see the amount of creativity and work that goes into the parade each year. Here's my inspiration picture for this month's shoot...


 Overboard? Nahhhh

So Gabriel, this month...

- You're quite possibly the cutest little thing we ever did see. 
- You're eating solids twice a day and would probably do it more if we offered. You're lovin the slop!
- You have two little teeth on the bottom that are freakin sharp! Both mom and dad have caught their fingers in there when you clamp down and it ain't pretty.
- You are obsessed with hands.  If you're fussing, all I have to do is wave my fingers in front of your face and you're entranced.
- You are getting too tall for some of your 6 month clothes!  Luckily we've got a good stash of clothes that were gifts so we haven't had to buy much.
-You celebrated your first Christmas! Everyone spoiled you and you got passed around to everyone with two arms. You were such a trooper.
- Your favorite toys are your rattle-y tiger (still), your crinkly blocks and your taggie book.  You received a bunch of trucks for Christmas but you mostly just want to bite them.
- You've pretty much outgrown your playmat.   As soon as we put you down, the hanging toys hit your face and you could care less anyway. You roll over and start manuevering yourself off the mat completely.
- You're not crawling but somehow you're scooting yourself around the room.
- You are awesome in the car now...thank you buddy :)
- You spent New Years eve in Philadelphia eating pizza with your pal Maks and catching the fireworks at Penn's Landing.

Thanks for being an awesome kid. We love you.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Ugly Ducklings

Most bloggers strive to post great pictures. There's something not-so-hot about poorly shot photos. This time of year, my foodie pics tend to fall victim to poor lighting.  During the winter months, when the sun goes down at lunchtime, or close enough, it's tough getting a decent picture of the dinner I made. Even worse than crap lighting is when the food just looks fugly, ya know? But how am I supposed to share these friggin culinary masterpieces with you when they end up looking like the plastic food I can't wait to buy for my kiddo? When I have no natural light and only my kitchen's track lighting highlighting the food, I end up with gelatinous sauces and unidentifiable ingredients. But what if the recipe actually turns out good? There's no way I want to share pictures like these. You don't deserve that. But you know what? What you need more than pretty pictures are easy, tasty recipes. So I'm gonna share em. Why? Because I'm a giver.

Cranberry Chili Chicken

1/2 Cup Chili Sauce
1/2 Cup Cranberry Sauce
2 Tbsp Orange Marmalade
1/8 Tsp Ground Allspice
4 Chicken Breasts
2 Tsp Veggie Oil

1) Combine first 4 ingredients and set aside 2) Brown Chicken in oil in skillet 3) Pour chili sauce mixture over chicken 4) Simmer, uncovered for 8 to 10 mins

Yeah, this looks...errr...good?

Baked Rigatoni with Smoked Ham and Fontina Cheese

1 LB Rigatoni
2 Tbsp Veggie Oil
Small Onion, chopped
1/3 Cup Flour
1 Qt Low-fat milk
1/8Tsp white pepper
6 oz Fontina Cheese, shredded (1-1/2 Cups)
6 oz Smoked Ham, diced

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare pasta as directed 2) Meanwhile, in 2 qt saucepan, heat veggie oil over medium heat until hot. Add onion and cook until tender, but not browned 3) Stir in flour and cook 1 minute 4)With wire whisk, gradually stir in milk, salt and pepper until smooth 5) Heat to boiling over high heat, stirring constantly 6) Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 of the cheese 7) Stir cheese sauce, ham and pasta together and pour into a 13 x 9 glass baking dish 8) Bake for 25 - 30 minutes until cheese is hot, bubbly and slightly browned.

Petrified noodles are the utmost in appetizing.

Sante Fe Chicken Saute

1 Medium Peach, peeled and chopped
1 Tbsp Cilantro
3/4 Cup Salsa
1/4 Cup Yellow Cornmeal
2 Tbsp Flour
3/4 Tsp Cumin
3/4 Tsp Salt
1/4 Tsp Garlic Powder
1/8 Tsp Pepper
1 LB Chicken Cutlets
2 Tsp Veggie Oil

1) In small bowl, combine peach, cilantro and salsa; set aside 2) In shallow dish, combine cornmeal, flour, cumin, salt, pepper and garlic powder 3) Coat chicken in dry mixture 4) Heat chicken over oil in skillet, then top with salsa to serve

There's chicken in there somewhere, swears.
So there's 3 quality recipes that never stood a chance. Simply because they're fug. Don't judge them by their looks though, you're a better person. I believe in you.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

What I Wore

Dude, when there's a couple of inches of snow topped with a layer of sleet at your crib, there's not a whole lot of motivation to get out your warm, comfy pj's. In the past two weeks, I haven't really gone too many places. I have a feeling it's gonna be a long winter. So, in the past two weeks, I dressed appropriately exactly thrice. And this is what I wore...

The-flats and I-swear-I'm-not-pregnant-again shirt (would this be referred to as a tube top? God, I hope not.) are from Target last year while the cardigan and jeans are Old Navy. Surprazz Surprazz...

Long Sleeve T from Old Navy, Sweater from Macys, boots from DSW...and sidenote, I hate the color of these jeans, they're just so blue. But since I'm currently rocking 4 pairs of jeans, when the other 3 are dirty, ol blue eyes it is.

Polka dot tank from Old Navy, Cardigan and Jeans from Target, Flats from Payless.

In conclusion, I found a new place to take my pics. The blue room's light blows.

Oh and a lot of you guys have commented on my collection of shoes. I have a lot of cheap shoes. Usually I get stuck in a rut of wearing a single pair into the ground but doing this has forced me to get some use out of the others. So yay for this. Sorry for the blah fashion week. I've been having a blah fashion year.

To make up for it, how bout a baby pic? Will that make you feel better? You don't just use me for my baby right?

There you go...nice and colorful. We're good now, right? Ok good.

As per usual, I'm linking up with Lindsay @ The Pleated Poppy.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

If You're Allergic to Peanuts, Read No Further

Come see me at Domestic Adventure today, where I'm guest posting for Erin while she catches up on her zzzzz's.  She recently gave birth to an adorable little baby boy so she needs all she can get. Me too. I'd like more too please.  Anyway, I've got a ridiculously good dessert recipe for you over there. And if you're from Philadelphia, you might recognize it. And loooooove it.

And in other state of the blog businazz, I'm finally name is ohshannanigans.  Because someone took Shannanigans already...story of my life. Do you tweet? What's your handle/screenname/whatever they're calling it these days?  Can I follow you?  Oh and my blog now has it's own Facebook page too. If you Like it, I'll be your best friend. Plus, you'll get exclusive FB content! hahaha no really, you will.  So if you're reading my blog in one of those reader things, get your butt over here and check out the goods. Gracias.

Oh! And I loved Amanda's caption the other day
"Mom, you have 'this' much time to buy me a bigger bed"
so she wins!

Amanda, email me at to claim your rando prize!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Encyclopedia of Moi: Volume B

What's up guys? Hope you had a great weekend. It seems two weeks has already passed since the inception of the Encyclopedia of Moi so next up is the letter B.  

Remember in the movie Half Baked when the Hispanic guy called everyone B? I'm gonna start doing that. Anyway, it'd be awesome if you joined that ish up at the bottom, then go visit your new pals. Tell em B sent you.

Baby Yawns -- Do these need any sort of explanation why I like them? In case you have a  black heart and no sense of cuteness, baby yawns rule. Mostly because they are a signal that said baby will be going to sleep soon. And thank god. But also, anything miniature if pretty adorable.

Boathouse (AKA Flip Cup) --If you've ever gone to college, a frat house, a house party or my crowd's house on a Wednesday night (kidding), then you have either played or witnessed this phenomenal drinking game. And if you haven't...well, I'm sorry. That sucks. You haven't lived.  But anyway, I like this game because I'm good at it.  The drunker I get the more coordinated I become...true story. But the pressure of being the last person on your team? It's rough. But so damn fun. Um, hey real life friends? Can we play this soon? I've got a hankering.

Bee-You-Tee-Ful -- This might be lost on some of you but this pronunciation of the word beautiful sums up the dialect of my hood.   My hood is also known as Delco...short for Delaware County.  My realtor stopped over the other night to see Gabe. She's very Italian and very Delco. "Ohhh what a bee-you-tee-ful baby!" she said...over and over. It's very exaggerated speech and it cracks my shit up.

Bono -- This guy sure does butter my bread. I love him. LOVE. He's the only celebrity whose issues and causes and soapboxes do not annoy me. His voice makes my heart hurt and his music is just incredible. Favorite U2 song? Sometimes You Can't Make It on Your Own...or Pride...or Bad. Why are they all so good?

Now let's see yours B!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Tid Bits

A girl took her baby boy to Anthro the other day and picked up this mug. She wanted to buy a couple more things with some Christmas money she had but the wee one started acting like a banshee so the trip was cut short. But she really wanted this mug so she ran (walked quickly while manuevering stroller around racks of overpriced clothing and lots of lit candles...does this spell disaster to anyone else?) to the register while he howled. The three early twenty-somethings working there looked on in horror as they watched this makeup-less mother in a Target track jacket, with a red-faced, screamy baby, buy the cheapest thing in the store...and have the audacity to say yes when they asked if she wanted it gift wrapped.

Hey, it was the first thing I'd bought for myself in months, so what if I wanted to pretend I got a gift when I got it home?

That's some serious packaging they've got bet your bippy I'm saving it. Of course, it probably cost more than the $6 mug it encased.

Ok next up, I was taking pictures of what I wore yesterday and realized that I've had this tank hanging in my closet for months and have never worn it. The reason? I have no idea what to wear it with. The gold zippers are completely throwing me off. It's begging for a little cardigan but what color? Halp!

Caption this photo below...I'll pick the best one and send you a prize.

and finally, don't forget about the Encyclopedia of Moi! Volume B will be up on Monday so get yours together and come back and link up!  And a special tip of the hat to my 4 peeps who got in on the action last week!
Have an awesome weekend buds!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Caramel Apple Bread Pudding and a Secret

Ok so I mentioned in my menu planning post the other day that John plays cards on Wednesday nights. And that I refer to this as "NERD". This is because John and his friends aren't playing something normal, like poker. They are playing...Magic the Gathering. Welp, I've gone and done it. I've shared my secret shame. My professional clean-cut, finance wiz husband is a closet fantasy-nerd-card player.  The only thing that makes this secret a tad less shameful is that the guys he plays with are all like him...guys you'd never suspect of being Magic players. They don't live in their mom's basements, or spend all their time in virtual reality. They have wives and kids.  They're fairly normal. I guess this is how he fooled me.

Anywhooz, they get together each week and rotate houses and whoever is hosting provides dinner. So last week, I made hot sausage and meatball sandwiches for the nerds and had leftover hoagie rolls. They went kinda stale in a hot second so I turned to my recipe stash to find something to do with these useless rolls. And I came up with this...

Caramel Apple Bread Pudding -- and this junk is low-fat!

1 Cup Unsweetened Applesauce
1 Cup Milk
1/2 Cup Eggbeaters or other fat-free egg product
1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Tsp Cinnamon
5 Cups 1 inch cubes French bread -- or slightly stale rolls
3 Tbsp Sliced almonds
1/4 Cup fat-free caramel topping

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray pie plate with cooking spray.
2. In large bowl, mix all ingredients except bread, almonds and caramel with wire whisk until smooth. Fold in bread.  Pour into dish. Sprinkle with almonds
3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown and set. Drizzle with caramel. Then cover that stuff with some vanilla ice cream and you've got yourself a treat.

I see my sharing of that dark secret with all of you akin to getting best friend necklaces with each and every one of you. Wear it with pride.  Now, what's the skeleton in your poverbial closet?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

He'll Have a Petit Filet...Medium

Thursday January 6 at 7:00 pm

This, my friends, is rice cereal. Now, were it up to me, my boy would be weaned on Cap'n Crunch. He does have two teeth afterall. And as far as I'm concerned, two teeth are all you need to nosh on some crunchberries. Alas, I'm going with what the silly little American Academy of Pediatrics suggests as babies' first food.

Now, let me back that ass up for a second. At Gabe's four month appointment, the doctor started rattling off all these new things he could now shove in his mouth. Rice, oatmeal, barley, yellow vegetables.  Whoa whoa whoa, what do I do? I need these instructions in See Dick Run format. I hadn't even bought this rice cereal yet...mostly because I wasn't really sure what it looked like, or what to do with it.  Turns out, it's not that hard. You just mix that ish with some liquid and make a soupy cereal. Ok, I'll start with that.

So we did. We bibbed up the little guy, sat him in his bumbo and tried to feed him this slop on a spoon. He wasn't really having it. He made the ick face and let it dribble out of his mouth. Ok, that's to be expected. But um, after the 3rd night of this, I was starting to wonder what the hell was going on. I was positive the kid would like the food because um, his parents? We're fans. So it had to be something else. The next night, I decide to try him out in the booster seat we have and sit him down with us while we eat, hoping that he would see us eat and think it was pretty awesome.
Mom, would you put that thing away already?
Hmmm, the soupiness of the cereal marries with the sloppiness of the rice and results in a cornucopia of flavor...
Enough already Ma!
Yep, I like it Dad!
I like it so much I'm gonna grunt about it!
then eat some more...hey, you guys got any hot sauce?

No? Then you mind if I chew on this spoon?

I'm having so much fun, I'm gonna close my eyes, throw out my arms and grunt about it. Again. I love grunting.
What? It's called a palate cleanser.

So, as expected, it seems our boy likes his food. I've slowly been thickening up his cereal and will be starting him on oatmeal cereal next week. Riveting, eh? 

These...are the days of our lives.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Broke as a Joke: Menu Plans

Hi friends. I'm back with my be all and end all Broke as a Joke planning.  I actually started doing this last summer in preparation for the inevitable brokeness. Now? I've got it down to a science. I plan my dinner menu monthly, which can sound daunting but if you spend a little bit of time doing it once a month then you're set for the entire month. So like I said, I started doing this when I was working full time and would spend my lunch hours looking up recipes and deciding on dishes, because I'm a nerd and it was fun for me.  Plus, who doesn't like making lists? So if you're tired of spending oodles of money on takeout because you didn't plan anything, get to it. Here's my plan...

1. Look at your calendar. Cross off any nights that you have dinner plans. John plays cards on Wednesday nights   so I don't plan for myself those nights...I wing it. His birthday is also this month so I left a night open for going out.

2. Make a list of your go-to dinners...mine are tacos, spaghetti, stir fry, homemade pizza & salad.   Add in old recipes you've been meaning to make again.  For example, I might want to make cheeseburger pie this month if I haven't had it in awhile.  Now add in any new ones you'd like to make.  I copy recipes I see on blogs and other sites to a word doc as I see them. I also like to crack open a cookbook or two and pick a few recipes.  Most months, I try to make 5 to 6 new recipes. But that's because I have the time. You do what works for your house. I try to make sure my list has at least 27-28 meals on it.

3. Assign a meal to each day of the month.  Keep in mind the possibility of leftovers. I try to eat them for lunch so we usually don't do them for dinner.  Keep in mind assigning chicken dishes 3 nights in a row...and don't do that. I also label 2 to 3 nights OPEN, because sometimes you just want to order pizza.  And if I label the 15th OPEN but I want pizza on the 9th, I can sub the meal Ihad planned for the 9th on the 15th. See? I am a genius. Having all the ingredients for every meal leaves me feeling pretty flexible.
  • Post your meal plan somewhere handy. I use a dry erase calendar on the side of my fridge, like so...

january is comfort food month here...and card night is referred to as Nerd...but that's a post for another day

4. Make a grocery list. I keep a cute lil running list in excel, sorted by grocery store dept. That way I can add or subtract each month as needed. Make sure you write down ingredients for every recipe, even if you think you have enough already stocked. For example, I always have onions but if I have 10 meals that call for onions that month, I need to get more. Sounds stupid but there have been plenty of times I didn't have what I needed because I assumed I had plenty on-hand. After you check your kitchen, cross off the ingredients you already have plenty of.
  • Add in all other items you need for side dishes, veggies, lunches, snacks, drinks, household stuff, etc...
  • Take note of any fresh ingredient that you need for meals in the second half of the month that won't last if you buy it now. I usually have to make another much smaller trip to get these ingredients.
5. Go shopping.

You should be set now.  Yes, this process will take some time but if you are like we were, ordering out and getting takeout all the time, then it's definitely worth it. We've definitely saved a bunch of money doing it this way. Plus, I like doing it so you might too. And it gets easier and faster to do each month. If you have any questions, just ask! Or if you'd like my excel grocery list template, email me oh.thats.swell at and I'll send it over.

Or if not, then please go order some orange chicken for me. Panda Garden misses me.


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