Monday, August 26, 2013

Link up Monday and A Brief Update

Hopefully now I'll be updating daily again.

The kids all started back to school today. They all had great days! Our basic schedule is (and should stay) me getting up at 5:45, I get a little me time to shower and drink coffee till 6 or 6:15 depending on the needs of the day, then wake everyone else (trying to get DS to wake up to his alarm, he did today, but I'm still the backup waker-upper for now). He walks DD1 to school at 7, back here at 730 and then bikes to his school by 8. She loves the quiet time walk with her big brother, and he needs the additional daily exercise (I hate you Depakote for your side effects, but thank you for controlling his seizures knock on wood).

I have a busy day tomorrow with errands, but should have a fairly relaxed morning. I've been debating what to make for dinner using my trusty crockpot and decided to hit the pantry for inspiration. Then I realized I haven't made something particular in a long time and decided what the heck, so it's the crockpot right now!


2 cups rolled steel cut oats or other hulled grains (rice gets pretty mushy this way, but it CAN be used for a GF version)
2 cups milk
Huge dash of cinnamon
Huge dash of brown sugar (it melts in soooo lovely)
any dried fruits, if using

Cook on WARM, not low, overnight if your "overnight" is longer than 4-5 hours. Otherwise you can use LOW. I do WARM since it's going to be in there for a minimum of 8 hours and scorching is bad, which it can do on the bottom as it thickens.

In the morning it smells delicious. Add fresh fruits if you like, top with more meltly brown sugar yumminess, or maple syrup, or whatever you like really. I add some soymilk for my youngest, and heavy cream for the those of us who can have milk (I cook mine with water and not milk if youngest will be eating it.) I've also used rice and other milks fine, it's very adaptable. Just make sure you use at LEAST a 1:1 ratio on the grains and fluid.

Bonus: Use a crockpot bag and in the morning when done eating, remove bag and PRESTO clean, prewarmed crockpot to throw dinner into immediately. It doesn't get easier than this. For extra special easyness, follow with the pork tenderloin I posted!

For those of you with kids starting school, I hope they all had awesome days and really nice teachers and interesting subjects! Now, go have a drink and relax because it starts all over tomorrow!

I'll be posting reviews shortly of BeautyBox5, BuluBox, Ipsy, LootCrate, PopSugar, and GoodiesCo (both kid and regular boxes) all of which came last week when I was too busy to post about them (whoops!)

Monday, August 19, 2013

Link up Monday

Linking up to OrgJunkie's Menu Monday.


Line the bottom of the crock with small gold or red potatoes (whichever you prefer). You can add carrots, onions, or other stew veggies as you like (fresh, not frozen). I don't, because chopping that shit up takes time and this one is all about the quick before dashing off to something on short notice.

Lay a pork tenderloin on top. I love the applewood bbq flavor for reasons I'll describe later. This doesn't taste bad on the potatoes. If unflavored, toss in some rosemary (fresh or dried). The tenderloin CAN BE FROZEN SOLID. IT'S FINE.

Pour in enough water to cover the potatoes entirely, but don't come up much on the meat. That's why you want the potatoes down as evenly as possible.

Set to high for 6-8 hours if frozen, low for 6-8 hours if completely thawed pork.

I like to do 2 of the skinny tenderloins (overpacking the crock slightly) for RollOverLeftOvers. This makes the meat so tender that it falls apart when you fork it.

We save the remains (of which there is a lot, this is 2 portions for a family of 5) and our RollOver the next night is pulled pork sandwiches.

This will become a staple for one of my early morning raid days!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Thoughts on WoW

First of all, here's Panser with the weekly WoW vid. I'm sorry this post is so late.

This has been part of what's going on, and why I haven't been posting much.

I switched servers. Again. It's still Oceanic (which I've found a few drawbacks to, but not many). I have to play Oceanic right now because believe me, I have tried, and outside of heroic progression raiding groups, there are no US groups I have found that raid in the early morning hours of Central Standard Time. I really miss the people from both previous guilds that I spent months in. I hated, in each case, the circumstances that caused me to switch servers and leave. Really awesome players both in Epic Phail and Shadowhaven - the former isn't responsible for the server dying; the latter isn't responsible for my IRL raid time needs. The loss of running raids with Krenyn still stings. I love that chica far more than she knows and have mad respect for her.

Which brings me to my last and most recent switch.

Whether or not he intended it that way, one of the raid leads contacted me following our attempt on Lei Shen (12/12 tier boss) last Monday. He suggested that I speak with one of the other warlock players to get my DPS up.

On the surface, this is a routine suggestion, if anything. It's good advice. Where it didn't make sense is that person plays affliction (I play destruction, a totally different spec); and that this was the first time I've ever done Lei Shen on normal, compared to it being I don't know, maybe even the 50th time that person was doing it. The other warlock close in range to me on the dps chart also plays affliction, and their DPS was only 1k over mine - that's not a gamechanger.

I let the raid lead in question know that they were a different spec than me, but that I WOULD contact them (really, there's no excuse not to take an opportunity to see if there IS something you don't know. This happens and it's part of the gaming experience.) At this point, he told me to play the spec with the highest DPS.

And that is where I decided it was time to leave and I was not a good fit with that guild. I know that many people switch specs without issue, don't mind it, or even like that they are able to do that. I know that really good players make sure they have the ability to because some fights do need it.

I am not THAT good of a player. I've been on WoW for exactly one year. I have always played a destruction warlock. In that time, Destro saw 1 complete makeover (going from Cata to MoP) and many other patch or balance changes. I can and should put in the time on learning the other specs, but with the changes coming in 5.4, I don't really want to use my free time to do that right now. The drop of 5.4 will present a good time for me to indeed explore this, however.

The guild (and server) I have joined now straight up do not mind me sticking to destro - but this time I knew to ask specifically that and was brutally honest about my deficits so I wouldn't waste their time or my money (it's $25 to change servers. Ouch.)

They have pushed me in ways I needed pushing and didn't know. I kicked turtles on Tortos and while I actually suck at kicking the turtles (seriously), the process of learning that taught me the raid better. When I was taken off of turtles, I had developed a better awareness of what was going on. I appreciate that in ways I haven't been able to explain to them.

I did screw up the time zone conversion - they raid from 7am-10am my time *wince*. Even though I'm brand new, I appreciate that they are willing to bump it to 7:20 when school starts so that my peeps are out the door before I need to push with them. I did express my appreciation and that it was totally my fault and if the 20 minutes did become a concern to just let me know. It has had me quickly getting used to getting up at the butt crack of dawn well in advance of school, though! That's a good thing by the way hehe.

More to come later, but this post is totally too long already. Keep Calm and WoW On.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Cleaning Caddy and Laundry Room

The Evolution continues!

My blue plastic spray bottles came in and are a little smaller than I figured. I got 2oz ones, but am going to get 4oz ones later (I'll find another use for these, don't worry!).

Bottles are filled with Pledge; Rinse Free Floor Cleaner; Wood Cleaner; Concentrated Cleaner; Rubbing Alcohol; Wood Oil; Vinegar; and Glass Cleaner. All of the essentials! Those are some of the new Avery labels that I mentioned; aren't they perfect? And my OCD made me use a matching Sharpie color to label them.

Those went into the caddy, which holds some microfiber cleaning cloths, a tiny dustpan and sweeper set, scrubber, toothbrush for nooks and crannies, Febreeze, Bleach Pen, and reusable rubber gloves.

It gets a home of its own in the laundry cabinet (EXPEDIT) in the laundry room.

I'm going to use the little labels I used on the bottles to label those blue trinket bins shown above as well. DH also hung the "thingie" on the wall for me that holds the brooms and stuff.


Then I got to work. Man, the velcro dots I used for my previous labeling attempt are a real bitch to remove, so you don't get a complete pic yet. But here's the new Avery labels that have replaced them.

Sorry for the glare; I really need to do something to diffuse the overhead lighting in this room. I guess I'll add that to the list! 

The last thing I have left to do is get the bins from the Container Store for over the washing machines, and I'll be using the fabric labels on those as well. I can't actually label all of the hard plastic bins above, yet, until I do that and re-sort them. I am throwing out some old things, and possibly moving some other supplies from around the house down here to free up those areas better (under the bathroom sinks like extra shampoo, shower gels, etc). 

 I got so much accomplished this weekend and am so happy about that. It really is coming together.

Link UP Late

Linking up to OrgJunkie's Menu Mondays.

This week, I am all about the "Roll Over Leftovers". What that means is you cook something, take one or two leftover components, use them on a different dish the next night; rinse and repeat.

Monday night we made homemade guacamole. I am utterly in debt to my friend Jennifer P. for teaching me how to make this two years ago. I thought I hated guacamole, but I actually love it when made this way.

Homemade Guacamole
4-5 large avacados (if you haven't bought them before, gently squeeze. You want some give to know they are ripe, but not mush. Hard isn't ripe yet. Color may vary, *usually* a very dark green to black is what I'm looking at.)
3-4 limes
1 fresh bunch of cilantro
1 red onion
garlic powder
(tomatoes if you like them; I do not)

Cut the avacadoes in half by running a butterknife the long way around to meet up (cutting around the pit). Twist off the top half and set aside. Jab the butter knife into the pit and it should pull out (usually) easily. Use a spoon to scoop out the good stuff into a large bowl. Repeat for all the avacadoes, making sure none are brown-spotted or rotten (that's why I usually buy an extra, inevitably one will be yuck).

Dice about half the onion finely. Mince and chop the cilantro to release the flavor. Add all ingredients to the bowl and use a potato masher to reduce the mixture to a lumpy goodness. (The more you mash the smoother it will be. The riper your avacado was will contribute to this as well). We like a LOT of lime; add the lime and garlic to suit your tastes, then salt at the end to taste. Serve with pretty much anything; makes 2-3 cups.

That was last night. Guac does not keep long once made, so if you're going to roll it, it MUST be the next day. Mine was a little browned on top so I scraped that off tonight. We made burritos with cilantro lime rice, black beans, ground turkey, cheese, lime, and sour cream. (Pic was taken while DD was slicing the limes for me).

I made extra rice so tomorrow will be Dijon Tarragon Chicken. After that, I will start a new round of Leftover Rolling; doing a spaghetti with meat sauce on Thursday, and a crockpot chili on Friday.

It keeps things rotating out of the fridge so they don't go bad, which works well; but I don't need to plan more than two meals at a time to take the advantage of a little extra prep for the following meal to fall into place. It also helps because we are a family of 5, so we're sort of in between needing to make doubles of most meal amounts and typically either have to deal with leftovers, or supplement with a large salad so everyone eats well and balanced (most things are portioned for either 4, or 8).

We rarely do the same meat two nights in a row, and try to have at least one meal per week be meatless. The following roll will probably be crockpot pork tenderloin and potatoes on Saturday, finishing out the week with pulled pork sandwiches on Sunday - and an empty fridge just in time for grocery shopping.

This was nom, but I could only eat one - I saran wrapped the other in hopes that it can be tomorrow's lunch (I hate wasting food!)

It's Tuesday, I'm the Twat

I went on hiatus without intending to. Just too much going on!

First of all, Demon Daughter is going to be able to return to the junior high she was last year (theatre magnet school that is out of town). We thought she would have to attend out (relatively crappy) local middle school since family in that town were not able to host her this year. Her Special Ed teacher stepped up with an offer for her to stay with her, and with much discussion and huge elation from DD, she is going back! We are all very excited for her to follow her dreams (and of course, get a good education). Mind you, this news came barely two weeks before the school year starts..

I entered the zone that I call ZOMG CLEAN ALL THE THINGS. We had to go through her entire closet, try everything on, make a list of what she would need, pack it, and shop for whatever she lacked. This past weekend was Tax Free School Shopping, so we hit the mall.

Fuck me, don't ever let me do that again. Augh.

We hit up Hot Topic since I had some returns to do, and I must say, she did shop very well. A pair of shorts for $7.50 was the best deal, I think. It's hard finding shorts that meet dress codes (ie not cut off or camel toe height). She got things that I know suit her personality and tastes while not being immodest or anything. Works for me.

Then it was on to school supplies. I couldn't tell if we lacked anything without first re-organizing the Supply Closet. (This used to be our hall closet, but it's only about 14" deep - did not accomodate coats or anything else well. So my Dear Husband put shelves in there and I put cubby bins in. It works amazingly and holds a ton of crap). I was really excited to try out these new labels from Staples (Martha Stewart/Avery collaboration) that are "Flexible" and stick to fabric - the things I have tried to label those bins have all been fail, fail, fail! They worked like a charm!

So we got all three kids sorted on supplies and ready for school. We have been picking up all the 1cent, 25cent, etc deals at Staples, Office Depot, and OfficeMax for weeks, and thanks to some leftovers I also had from last year's deals, we were fully stocked to meet the supplies lists of each. All we lacked were the teen locker organizing doodads for the older two that Staples thankfully offered in bundles for $12 (locker shelf, magnetic bin, dry erase board and marker, magnetic mirror, and 2 magnets. Just the shelf would have been $8, so, worked for me.)

While we were at Staples, we found some adorable chairs for the desks in the master bedroom, and I got some other labels that I will show you in my next post about the laundry room. I also finally got lid labels for the plastic jars I keep the art supplies in. I am really loving these Martha Stewart labels. I could care less about her name, and only have one complaint - most of the bigger items I could really use for my desk do not come in BLACK. ("Wall Pocket", I am looking at you!) Avery has done a really good job with these labels. I love the colors, styles, price is not horrible, and fixatives are good. I really recommend these if you're in need.

I'm sorry for not updating sooner, and coming back and posting a Huge Wall of Text; I'll try to keep up better but until school starts it may not always turn out that way!

Friday, August 9, 2013

So, How Many of These Damn Boxes Do We Need, Anyway?

For those curious, I started off with a full assault on subscription boxes, ending up with TWENTY of them our first month, at a cost of about $150 (remember a lot of first boxes were discounted, some of them deeply so. Full price would have been closer to $300).

I looked at it as an investment. I had a $200 budget (I blew past this when you figure in the Drugstore deals and the Allure boxes), and the goal was to try as many different boxes as possible to get a feel for what was out there. Then, we would decide as a family which ones to keep. I don't actually consider myself to be a "subscription box maven" or addict or anything else - we just wanted to try some new stuff and get out of our comfort zones. For us, it is about not only the products, but the *experience*. Unboxing is a cool 15 minutes or so where we are all gathered as a family opening a surprise gift, and everyone is excited. We're interacting; we're talking; we discuss all sorts of things related (mom, what's "acai"?). It's wonderful.

For Month Two, we are down to TEN boxes, and a cost of $100. That's still pretty expensive for a monthly outlay, but it costs that much for our family of 5 to go see *one* movie, or have 1.5 dinners out. Now we get Ten Experiences, which sounds like a better deal to me (and I've made adjustments to cook more at home, etc, to make room in the budget for this).

If you're considering subscribing to any, here are my Top Recommendations to date, balancing quality and value:

Beauty - Birchbox, hands down. $10/mo flat. Their review points system ensures that you can get at least every 3rd box free, or earn money in their store for full size or limited edition boxes (many of which have at least 1 full size product in them, to boot.) The vast majority of their products have been complete successes with me, as well.

Natural, Eco Friendly - ConsciousBox, $20/mo. They also offer 100% Vegan and 100% Gluten Free boxes for those that need something like that. (I know how expensive GF can be, so the opportunity to try new things on the cheap deeply appeals).

Gamer or dude box - LootCrate, $20/mo. Value has been good, humor is high, communication with CS has been stellar. I got an email about taking 12% off a subscription, and when I emailed to sign up for this (can't do it on the site automatically, sadly) CS was wonderful. Even though the code would have expired by WEEKS, they let me know that I had a referral credit applied to the now-shipping August box, but would apply the coupon code to a six month sub *after* that. They were really nice, and these days that means a LOT.

DollarShaveClub - $6/mo nets you a handle, 4 blades, shipping to you, and our first one came with a sample of their shave butter. They have even cheaper twin blades I'm going to look into for my legs ($1!!) . This is much cheaper than I can do even at the drugstore on cheap blades. It's just kind of a no brainer to me at this point.

I'll let you know if recommendations change, whether it's due to price increase, CS problems, or a new sub being a better one. 

The Best of the Best, Part I

I am overflowing in both Vega bags now of stuff I'm hoarding to giveaway to some lucky people! There were some concerns about using Rafflecopter on the last contest, so I'm looking for another widget to try instead.

I have really gotten my money's worth, so I'm very happy with all the things I've gotten. There's always going to be a few things from each sample box or subscription box that we won't use, though, for various reasons. I've kept one re-usable bag downstairs to collect supplements and food; upstairs in my bathroom is another bag for beauty and skincare. I have gotten a LOT of boxes in the past 30 days though, which means things are piling up.

The winning *products* I want to mention are as follows (things we sampled, then bought full sizes of):
  • 1. FOE hair ties - Birchbox (I went with Etsy for about 30c each). There is a monthly sub box for these as well, but I'd rather support a WAHM. These things are awesome. I don't know if they'll stand the test of time, but they really do a good job of being grippy enough to stay in the hair, but smooth enough to come out easily without pulling a single hair. I've never seen another hair holder manage that. I'm really amazed.
  • 2. SmartyPants Gummy Vitamins (for adults) - Vega bag. DH and I both got a month's worth. Damn things really do taste like very juicy, super yummy, gumdrops. I got a good deal and I'm seeing them pop up on special several places lately, including LivingSocial. This is the first time in forever that I'm willingly taking a daily multivitamin.
  • 3. Flavorz - KLUTCH Club, Conscious Box. My only complaint with these is that I would like some packaging similar to Mio etc. I like the product much better though and the taste is really good.
  • 4. KIND bars - Vega bag. We are officially addicted. Even on sale, they are pretty expensive, but neither DH nor I are good about having any sort of breakfast. That has now changed. It's small enough that I can manage to eat it in the morning (I have issues), packed with protein, low in sugar, so many wonderful things. It also tastes fantastic. I love the Ginger Cashew, it's got a spicy bite to it without being overwhelming.
  • 5. Cocomels - Hello Flo. I have not actually bought more of these, but Santa is getting a request for a big package of these instead of Godiva this year. They were just that good. I had the Sea Salt ones and just love that, it keeps it from being too sweet. You can really taste the coconut flavor.
  •  6. Dollar Shave Club's $6 sub. The blades really are just as good as the Fusion DH was using, and so much cheaper. I do wish they offered some other monthly options though, like 6 or 8 blades per month; DH has VERY thick, dark facial hair and while he changes blades weekly, I really think he should more often. They *have to be* dulled after 3-4 shaves with his facial hair type and expanse. What can I say, I married Sasquatch.
  • 7. Funky Monkey freeze dried fruit - Vega Bag. I was not a fan of their apples (the sample we received), preferring the Brothers All Natural we've been buying for years. However, I bought a couple bags of the Banana Acai (Purple Funk, iirc), and those were really good. I am always looking for less perishable foods higher in potassium (I take blood pressure meds) and am glad to have found these. They are a bit pricey however and it's a bit much to eat an entire bag in one serving (they don't keep well once opened, becoming chewy rather than crisp).
  • 8. 100% Pure Coconut Body Cream - Birchbox. I love that it's a more natural product, but what I love more is how well it works. I'm loving it. The scent is coconut while managing to NOT smell like sunblock, somehow. Very good.
  • 9. Scent -  Grapefruit, by Fresh. - various boxes, I ended up with 4 samples. I think most came from sample bag w/purchases. My body chemistry turns any scent that uses any sort of "musk" note into straight "baby powder smell". Doesn't matter what else it was supposed to smell like, all you can smell on me is baby powder. This limits me often to either florals or sweet notes; and I don't really like either most of the time. This one delivered. It's not "Teen Sweet", it has a hint of spice and just has this wonderfully clean and delicious, crisp scent to it. I'm not sure if I'll feel the same way in winter, but this is my new go-to summer perfume.
  • 10. Revlon's Just Bitten lip balm stain - Birchbox. I tend to go more high end on my beauty products, but am  switching to this lip stain. It doesn't have the same staying power, unfortunately, as my beloved Josie Maran, but I'll tell you what it does have - BUILT IN limp plumper. I could feel the tingle immediately. A 3 in 1 product for 1/6th the price of the ones I was using??? Sign me up, yo! So it plumps, it stains, AND it has a built in moisturizing top coat. It's like the perfect lip product. Which means of course that it will probably be discontinued soon.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Thursday's Box of Awesome

Several boxes to cover! Brobox and Allure.

First up, we got our new Brobox in.

They send the "take a survey, get $X" cards every month, it looks like, nailing this right at $11/mo if you do the surveys. Also, you have to order each box (and you can view what's in it ahead of time); it does NOT automatically ship.

Here's the quandary - for me, most of the actual value comes from the "surprise" item. The first box was the credit-card sized multi-tool. DH really liked that. This month, it was one of those hand flex exercisers (which is actually really helpful for DemonDaughter since she has poor hand strength and fine motor skills issues).

The rest of the products were not bad - but they were not stellar, either. I think the theme this month was "wipes". Fresh Balls ..ball wipes. Yes, those balls. More Dude Wipes. Deoderant Wipes. A couple packs of edibles (admittedly, very yummy sounding ones). Some energy drink/immune support singles. The last item was a $25 value card for

I'm not a bro, though, so I have to rely on DemonSpawn and DamnHusband to let me know if they like this box. So far they think it's worth $11 a month to try some new shit. Works for me. That means they don't bitch so much about my beauty boxes, which brings me to the next item..

The Allure 2013 Fall Beauty box! I've always missed them in past years, and decided to pop for two (it's a limit of 2) so that DemonDaughter and I could each have one. At $50 including shipping for *each*, these were spendy. You tell me if you think it was worth it.

What you see IS what you get (with a couple exceptions I will mention below):

Continue on for the review..

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

WoW Wednesday

First, the usual Panser vid, because I totally love her and #TradeChat.

So, remember when I was all nerd-raged over the Legendary Quest DPS Challenge for the cloak? I decided I had plateau'd and that was ok.

Except I didn't.

First, I signed in last week the day after I posted, and I immediately went to pound on that cloak quest. Thanks to some reading and understanding more about how to drop aggro, I did it in 2 attempts and no deaths! BOO YAH! I'm not sure who was more suprised, my guild or me.

Almost a month ago, I started looking into moving to an Oceanic realm because I want to be offline in the evenings when the demons need me the most, not on a computer having to be left alone because "Mommy's raiding". Oceanic realms are Australia, Singapore, etc; late night raiding for them is early morning for me.

Sunday, I got a trial acceptance from an Oceanic guild who had the time slot available that I needed - 830am-1130am. I am going from raiding about 5-6 hours a week total to 9+ hours total though as they raid 3 days a week, not 2. (I don't see this as a bad thing at all as long as it's not *in the evening*).

Less than 18 hours later I had said my goodbyes, packed up my stuff, transferred over, and was raiding with the new group for the first time. Bosses I've never even attempted on normal before; 25 man instead of 10 man.

It was epic.

I had a BLAST. They move so fast and are pretty good at identifying what went wrong. For the most part if there is a wipe, the second everyone has eaten again the pull comes. This momentum was amazing. I didn't even realize 3 hours had gone by. It was stressful not knowing the fights very well, being worried about them thinking I sucked.. but on the other hand, I wasn't actually horrible, and I survived 90% of the time (unless the group wiped).

We took down Primordius and Animus and made several attempts and progressed on Iron Qon but didn't down him. Today after the reset, we blew through Jinrok, Horridon, Council, Tortos, and Jikun. Tomorrow we'll be starting on Durumu - I am worried about this one because I fail at the maze. I have offline things to do but need to run it on LFR for maze practice when I can today.

I'm not sure how good a fit the guild is personality wise, and outside of the raid time - I don't think I'm on when most of them are, and vice versa. Culturally it's a bit different as well (which I actually like, but is taking some getting used to as well).

Perhaps this will be the next step that propels me off the plateau and I will continue to improve (that's what I'm hoping). The fights that I did know, I was pulling good DPS and mostly staying out of the things I needed to be and hitting the correct targets. The fights I did not know, I was around 10-15th on DPS or messed up mechanically; hopefully with more runs those later fights will smooth out the way the first ones did.

As luck would have it, the loot drops I actually need are off the *last three bosses*. (Fark you, Blizz). I have not yet seen those (since we didn't drop Iron Qon) but am hoping to as well.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

My Plans Are Coming Together, Pinky

I promised a project update, so here it is. I'm not redoing the laundry room (collective sigh of relief), but after 2 years, it needed to evolve a bit. I also found some cool products that matched my color scheme (aqua, royal blue, and white). So it is getting a reorganization.

This is kind of what the laundry room looks like right now:

(ANTONIUS shelving system and a "hacked" EXPEDIT tv unit with LEKMAN and TROFAST boxes from IKEA. Wow that is a lot of capital letters. Anyway. It works great and is functional, but the little blue baskets above the machines are too far back and out of my reach; and it just looks messy up there. I also hated the plain stick on labels on the bins and a different attempt using velcro and bigger labels I could re-do easily, wasn't so easy.)

So, I'm planning to get 6 of these (2 will fit per shelf above the machines, 3 shelves, and they are big enough to fill the whole depth so that I can reach them).

Is that not totally the perfect colors, or what?! Since we're coming to the end of summer, they will hold the swimsuits, swim towels, extra linens, and the dog supplies and rags all neat and pretty. I'm opting not to do them along the top since the toilet paper won't exactly fit inside them. The top shelf is just full of TP (because I am cheap and buy it really cheap on sale because it's the only brand I like. Deal with it. OCD, I haz it.)

And then I found these awesome labels from the Martha Stewart and Avery collection at Staples to go on my dark blue bins:

I hate this picture, because that's jusr a horrid combination to me. But the labels are just light aqua with a white border - perfect! I'll write on them in dark blue and I think they will look snazzy and cool.

Finally, I updated my cleaning tools thanks to something stellar I happened across on Zulily. I couldn't resist, because hey - my color scheme!

Yes, this is a totally a chick thing. Everybody else can wait for tomorrow for a BIG WoW update.

Of course, that meant I needed (ok, wanted!) a new cleaning caddy. The kids hate lugging the big one with full size products around (and so do I) for jobs that really don't require an entire 18oz bottle of something for cleaning. 

So I found these awesome plastic blue spray bottles, and a little mesh tote to carry them, a microfiber rag (yep... blue.. how did ya guess?), and a Mr Clean Eraser in. 

I'll post again when it's all put together (and things have arrived and been purchased like the Como bins). Excited!

It's Twatwaffle Tuesday

I don't really have anything twatwaffley to report except that DemonSpawn *accidentally* let DemonPrincess overhear this gem:

Which I didn't know about until we sat down for dinner last night.

DemonPrincess yelled "SURPRISE BUTTSEX!" 

I think DearHusband choked on his pizza. I know I snorted Ramune out of my nose. And it just didn't stop.

Next thing you know, she gives us a demonstration. Which involved banging the butts of two gummy vitamin bears together. I'm totally losing it at this point.

Then she was really hyper and bouncy and she just started sing-songing "BUTTSEX". I died.

Thus ensued a long discussion about what not to say at school, and the kinds of phone calls Mommy and Daddy do not wish to get from the school. We also informed DemonSpawn that if his uber expensive muffling headphones are turned up so high that she can hear a song over them, they are TOO DAMN LOUD.

So, later on that evening, DemonPrincess is looking through the new Wishcraft catalog from Chasing Fireflies that came in the mail. Now, this is some uber-expensive costume shit. We've never ordered, and I don't know how we got on the mailing list - but the kids look forward to getting it and maybe getting some costume *ideas*, which is cool with me (and my wallet).

Until she finds page 22. Background - as you know, DemonPrincess has autism. This comes along with some obsessions, and collections. One of the things she collects is crystals and jewels (basically she's a little magpie). So, she spies this:

Yes, this is an 11" long, neon green, phallic shaped piece of...Kryptonite. She did correctly identify it (pats on the back all around for nerd parenting win). And she begs for it, oh my gods does she beg for us to buy this. We HAVE to, it's a CRYSTAL!

At which point, DemonDaughter looks over and dies laughing. So I look over. Simple statement: NO.

Princess cries, throws a tantrum, and generally is a very loud annoyance and will not calm the fark down. She gets more upset the more DD and then I, and then DH are laughing, thinking we are laughing at her. So I had to explain why I said no, and why we were not laughing at her.

I ask her repeatedly.. ok.. Princess.. what ELSE do you maybe think that looks like? She finally, after about 10 different answers, says "a penis".

Demonspawn tells me I'm going to hell.

My response: "Is it better for me to get her to understand that and NOT buy it, or order it so she quits begging and then watch her run around the house with an 11" long neon green dildo?"

DemonDaughter then decides to chime in. "Suprise buttsex?"

And then they all got sent to bed and Mommy had a drink. There is not enough brain bleach in the world, folks, which is why I am sharing my pain with you. 

We can all go to hell together.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Link Up Monday!

It's that time of the week, and this time I have pictures to share with you wonderful people! As you know, I hook up with my OrgJunkie diva for Menu Mondays. I really suck and don't plan whole weeks at a time yet, but I enjoy seeing what others post and contributing what I can.

Today I'm covering Dijon Tarragon Chicken, which I'll be making again tonight!

1 lb Chicken (I use white meat, pan seared, then fork-seperated a bit)
3/4 cup Dijon or Honey Dijon mustard
Heavy Cream (I have successfully done with with coconut milk, it's the heavier fat content you need for it to come together well)
Rice (we like Jasmine or Bismati)

First, grill your chicken, then liberally add tarragon and the mustard. Reduce to a low, medium heat - you need some rendering to happen but don't want it to scorch. Add the cream, about 1/2 cup (you can add more later if needed) and continue to simmer on low. The sauce should start turning a darker brown like a roux. (I added too much cream this time in ours, or not enough mustard). Serve over rice! Serves 6.

(I haven't yet experimented with veggies in this, if you know some good ones to suggest with the flavor, please let me know!)

Saturday, August 3, 2013

The Best Laid Plans

Won't be blogging much this weekend; too busy! DemonSpawn is out with a friend to the Nasher Sculpture Center, and then possibly to see "Pacific Rim"; DemonDaughter is off at my stepdad's for the weekend; DemonPrincess is all alone at home with me and keeping me on my toes!

I have several things I'll try to give a quick update on.

The Lawn Idiots - have not emailed me back since I found multiple other mistakes they had made and insisted they correct all of them before I would even consider paying;

School Registration - the great hunt for all the documents I need to make sure all 3 kids are taken care of with school continues;

First World Problems - just fired our biweekly maid service for not showing up at all yesterday, but interviewing someone tomorrow to come for a couple hours a day, 4 days a week (about the same cost as the service was charging me)

Reviews - Lengthy article about and my adventures with them

Projects - I'm procrastinating doing my laundry room, because I ordered bins and thought they'd be here, but they are not yet.

See you on Monday, I've got an excellent recipe to share (with pictures!)

Thursday, August 1, 2013

2 weeks - almost 1100 views!

I just want to say thank you for everyone who's listening to me blab! It can seem lonely out here in the internets.

I got our Skoshbox subscription in today - Japanese treats! The packaging was very zen and totally cool. I'll get a review up tomorrow, DH and I will be tasting tonight! Heh. The kids are in the doghouse for not doing their chores. Sucks to be them, huh? Missing Skoshbox *shakes head sadly*.

Tomorrow I will be posting the Organization Challenge and featuring either a past or current project of my own -stay tuned!

Box of Awesome

This is why HelloFlo is awesome (the awesome candy is worth mentioning, but so is the cute fabric bin they send)

Looking for something a little more Manly? DollarShaveClub's got humor for you, too. (and a damn good product at a cheap ass price)