Monthly Archives: February 2013

Foodie Pen Pals, February Edition

Having had such good luck last month, I participated in Foodie Pen Pals again!  I sent a package over to the lovely Joanna at the Midwestern Bite, but apparently did something wrong because her package hadn’t arrived!  I’ll be sending her a re-do if it doesn’t arrive soon.

Nicky at Our Little Family Adventure sent me a package with all kinds of goodies!

I wanted to open this to see what goodies were inside, but, i was on a conference call with my phone (aka camera) and had to wait TWO HOURS looking at the pretty sparkles before i could find out!

I wanted to open this to see what goodies were inside, but, i was on a conference call with my phone (aka camera) and had to wait TWO HOURS looking at the pretty sparkles before i could find out!

First i read the lovely card.  The photo doesn't do it justice.

First i read the lovely card. The photo doesn’t do it justice.

But once i got to open things, i found LOTS of goodies!!!

But once i got to open things, i found LOTS of goodies!!!

The Valentine’s chocolates didn’t last long!  I’d been awful sick on Valentine’s day, and none of my partners are really into it, so all i received was popsicles and ginger ale from Duncan.  When i was able to eat ‘real’ food again, i totally went for the candy!

These peanut butter pretzel nuggets were awesome.  Just salty enough and really satisfying.  I kept wanting just one more while i was studying!

These peanut butter pretzel nuggets were awesome. Just salty enough and really satisfying. I kept wanting just one more while i was studying!

She also included this soup mix.  It's been so cold and rainy here, it sounded delicious.  I decided to make some using the crock pot.

She also included this soup mix. It’s been so cold and rainy here, it sounded delicious. I decided to make some using the crock pot.

This is how it came out with some chicken, corn and peppers added.  YUM!

This is how it came out with some chicken, corn and peppers added. YUM!  I’m eating with with sour cream and multigrain tortilla chips as i write.  And likely going back for seconds!

I mentioned being on a ginger kick and Nicky delivered!  These cookies are wonderfully strong ginger snaps, nice and crisp and perfect for my lunches at work.

I mentioned being on a ginger kick and Nicky delivered! These cookies are wonderfully strong ginger snaps, nice and crisp and perfect for my lunches at work.

I haven't had the chance to try these teas or hot coco yet.  Maybe later tonight.  Have i mentioned cold and rainy?

I haven’t had the chance to try these teas or hot coco yet. Maybe later tonight. Have i mentioned cold and rainy?

Duncan was very excited about the spaetzle, but we haven’t made it yet.  I’m excited too.  The pocky is a nice lunch treat, and i’m hoping to try the dried fruit in my lunches soon.

Thank you so much Nicky, this really was a wonderful box!!!

 

Even lucky was excited to investigate

Even lucky was excited to investigate!

 

And now it’s time for some details about Foodie Penpals.  In case you’re a new reader, here’s a reminder of what the program is all about:

-On the 5th of every month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.
-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal! 
-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!
-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)
-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you are to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month. 
-Foodie Penplas is open to US, Canadian & European residents.  Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. Same with Europeans. We’ve determined things might get too slow and backed up if we’re trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa. 

If you’re from the US or Canada and are in participating for November, please CLICK HERE (www.theleangreenbean.com/foodie-penpals/) to fill out the participation form and read the terms and conditions. 

You must submit your information by March 4th as pairings will be emailed on March 5th!

*If you’re from Europe, please CLICK HERE (www.thisisrocksalt.com/foodie-penpals/) to signup.

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Quick Post

Last night i enjoyed my date with Duncan.  We tried a new place, which was underwhelming, but nice to have the time together.  Afterwards we went and did our own things, which for me included a little housework.  I am finding i am best and doing my chores first thing in the morning or right when i come home.  After 8 PM or so i want to wind down, just do my routines and relax.

This morning i was quite productive, thanks to planning ahead.  There is soup in the crock pot for when i get home (which is the perfect day for it, grey, cold and rainy), and i swept my office.  I love Lucky, but he is extremely good at kicking litter outside of the box and all over the floor around him, even with a mat and a tall box.  It means i need to sweep in there every 3-4 days.

Routines are back to normal, even after a weekend away, which is good.  The only signs i took a trip are Ian’s drinking glasses we got while at the brewery we visited.  I will return those to him Friday.

Tonight i will mostly relax.  I feel down with the weather, hormones and adventure drop.  Still, the house is really getting to a state that makes me feel good and is so manageable.  There are imperfections, of course, but day to day, i feel good!

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Honesty in blogging

While it’s more fun to share the beautiful and inspiring, we have a responsibility as publishers to be transparent and vulnerable. It’s that vulnerability that connects us with each other. As readers, we have a responsibility to understand that one person’s heart, soul and life experience cannot be shared in one image or five hundred words. If we can soften our approach from both sides we can find a place to meet in the middle, to truly connect. (Vulnerability and the Myth of the Picture Perfect Anything – Be More With Less)

This was part of an article that came through my email this afternoon.  I read multiple blogs on minimalism, domestic life, cooking, organization and such.  I sometimes even feel like an imposter when i write here.  I am not always organized.  I eat out too often.  I dawdle and procrastinate.  I have too much stuff, and sometimes the ‘stuff’ in my world (mine or other people’s) gets in the way of life. I still haven’t figured out the right balance between openly documenting my life as a queer polyamorous person and knowing most of the folks reading and writing about domestic topics are not necessarily friendly towards that.

So here’s my vow to you, readers.  I’m going to honestly document my adventures and misadventures.

Like this past weekend.  Ian and i went away to celebrate our 3 year anniversary.  Technically, we think we started dating in November, but being two engineer-minded sorts, we decided to re-date our anniversary to a less chaotic time of year, so we could actually celebrate.  We went to Newport, RI, and it was lovely.  We’ve never had so much time to just be with each other without distractions.

I learned a few things though, like maybe it would of been smarter to look at food places before hand.  We wasted a lot of time on looking at menus before going out.  I also skipped my morning sun breathes, and had some insecurities with my weight and appearance.  I know Ian loves me 20+ pounds higher, and 20 pounds lower, but you can bet which felt better.

The weekend away meant being behind on chores, though i’m (mostly) caught up now.

Tonight is a date with Duncan.  We’re going to try the new branch of a local restaurant.  I hope to finish catching up on chores as well.

I can aim to do my best.  I can learn.  But pretending i’m perfect isn’t going to help me any.

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A Trip to Target

I thought it would be an interesting experiment to look at my receipt from Target, a store that often tempts me to buy  more than i need, and review why i bought what.  So here goes.  An * next to an item indicates it was part of my shopping list or planned agenda.

  • Cleaning wipes* – These i use ever day as part of my swish & swipe.  It’s my guilty environmental secret, although i do buy the least harmful ones i can.
  • Dishwasher detergent (2 packs) – We were running low, and i hate to be without them.
  • Skirt – impulse purchase, however, i have been whining i own no long skirts and it’s too cold for short skirts
  • Underwear* (2 pairs) – Wanted something that would match the 2 new bras i bought for my anniversary trip. These are cute, but will also get plenty of wears.
  • Bras* (2) – i would of just bought one, but the style i thought would impress Ian came in a two pack.  He’s big on girly underthings, an area i often fail at.  I will likely only wear these for him, so definitely did NOT contribute to living simpler!
  • Tonic* – for the trip, since Ian likes gin & tonics
  • Fizzy Water* – ditto
  • Lemon Juice* – we go through this a lot between drinks and baking
  • Chocolate bark – impulse buy, but it was delicious
  • Brown Sugar* – use it for baking and had run out
  • Chocolate pomegranate thingies – impulse buy, but a favorite, will have in lunches
  • Almond milk* – use for breakfasts as a substitute for regular milk
  • Kids sandwich things – impulse buy, these are no good for me, but i love them
  • Danish – i was hungry and it looked so good, total impulse
  • Mouthwash* – had none
  • Paper towels* – replacing last roll, we go through a roll a month or so, so this should last a while.
  • Contact lens solution* – had none
  • Eye drops* – had only expired drops
  • Contact cases – saw them and realized it was likely time to replace my dirty and beat up one, semi impulse buy.
  • Cat litter* – opened new bag, which meant we needed to buy the next one to replace it.  I try not to run out of this!
  • Cat food* – also running low and don’t want Lucky to starve!
  • Whisk* – replacing broken whisk

So, food is my danger zone, junk food in particular.  Good to know!

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Another Monday

Today has been productive.  Returning to work after the weekend was smooth, and at work i found lots to do.  Always a good thing!  Admittedly, one of those tasks was not so pleasant – cleaning our sample fridge!  One element of my job is collecting soil samples.  We store them in a fridge, however there is often dirt on the outside of the jars, which carries to the fridge.  Long enough and it gets pretty gross!

After work i did some errands.  One new habit i am working on is ensuring i take everything out of the car and put everything away BEFORE i sit down.  Away doesn’t just mean in the right room, but in a drawer, on a shelf, where it is going to live.  This hopefully will prevent clutter build up and ensure i don’t buy things if they aren’t going to have a home.

Now i’m relaxing while Duncan is at martial arts class.  Not a very exciting report, but progress is constantly occurring.  Small steps.

A little bit of a shut in

Yesterday was cold and snowy (as if we needed more snow!).  I stayed in and studied mostly, but also did a lot of laundry and cleaning.  After being sick i really wanted things clean, to leave that behind.  The result was 3 loads of laundry, and putting both quilts through the dryer to freshen them up.  Since the bed was stripped i flipped the mattress as well.  The result was a wonderful night’s sleep in total comfort.

I’m still eating mostly beige food, and small amounts of it.  Not that it’s a terrible thing, but i keep thinking things sound good until i smell ingredients.  I’m hopeful today i might be able to eat some protein.  i feel weak and i suspect that’s a part of it.

This week is a little wacky.  There is no Ian date because we will be going away this weekend, and no yoga because of the school vacation.  I am choosing to see this as time to get things done and work on projects rather than losses.

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More Nemo Pics (from home, cleaning up)

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More Nemo Pictures (From the office)

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Behind, but not much to say

I had a goal of writing here daily, something.  Not necessarily big, but how i’m making progress towards who i want to be. I’m behind, but that doesn’t mean i should stop.  I am writing now.  I will write tomorrow.  This is all i can worry about.

Tuesday night i had a board meeting in Enfield.  The highway was a little scary, with lanes still not plowed out, but i made it and we had a very productive gathering.  I came home, felt tired and went to bed not much earlier than usual.  Sadly, Ian had given me a stomach flu that woke me up at 1 AM, and hourly after that for about 12 hours of not very pleasant.  

It was rough enough that i ventured downstairs once in two days.  The rest of the time i was in the bedroom or bathroom.  Fortunately, i seem to be making a good recovery.  

I was certainly glad i had a clean bathroom though!  And Duncan took wonderful care of me.

Yesterday i went back to work, and easily settled back into routine.  I even splurged and bought flowers for my loves and brother after work.  In the evening, Michelle, Ian, Brendan and i attended the Museum After Dark (MAD) event at the New Britain Museum of American Art.  They are hosting an exhibit called Toulouse-Lautrec & His World, which i have been really wanting to see.  The MAD parties feature food, wine, beer, performances, music and of course, the museum.  It’s a fantastic event.  I’m glad i was healed enough to attend, and appreciate the exhibit.  I do intend to go back before it closes though, to spend more time with certain works. I also got to have a cupcake from NoRA Cupcakes, and Brendan had some grilled cheese from The Whey Station.  

It was a good night after so much quiet and feeling shut in.  Yay for adventures with people i love.  

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Weathering the Storm

I’ll have another picture post with some post-storm pictures, clearing out and life at the office, but first some text, because i can do that right now.

Saturday was mostly spent clearing out from the storm.  Duncan or i would use the shovel to pull it down and the other person would use the snowblower to get it out of the area, although in some areas the drifts were just too high and we had to do it all by hand.  It was a quiet evening of TV, napping and studying.  Although the travel ban was lifted at 4PM, we stayed put.  The roads were still messy and we had  no where we needed to be.  I made some Toll House cookies which were delicious.  Aimee’s use of a little extra salt has become my new favorite trick.

Sunday Duncan shoveled more and then we made breakfast.  I actually made pancakes from scratch, rather than a box.  I also made beef stew.  And slept. And studied.  Wild times, right?

The good news is, even with us both being captive all weekend, the house is still clean and organized.  We didn’t even kill each other.  I feel like the more small things i do, the easier it all is to keep up with.  Sure, that’s a simple concept, but seeing it in action is amazing.

Yesterday i did have to go to work, although it was a quiet day.  Afterwards Ian came over for date night and we had some quiet.  He stayed over because his street has been plowed very little and with 5 cars to manage, one less on-site seemed like a good plan.

Again, because things are kept at a decent level of clean, having an overnight guest unexpectedly was no big deal.  I’m so glad my systems are working.

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