Saturday, October 30, 2010

Eating Clean

So in my quest for wifely hot-ness, and overall cementing my plan to live to torment my husband for decades to come, I have changed the way I cook. Disclaimer: It's only been about a week so far. I'll let you know about next week when we get there. :)

However, so far, so GOOD!

Eating Clean is basically eliminating processed foods from your diet. Any real food is in, anything you can't pronounce is out. I love the principle of this. I mean, do our bodies really know how to process red dye #20? I've been reading The Eat Clean Diet Recharged, by Tosca Reno, and The Eat Clean Diet Cookbook.

It's also made me really concerned, because it made me realize just how difficult it is to find foods that meet this criteria! Instead of, well, nearly anything in a box, my shopping looked more like this:

I love that there's no calorie counting. No weighing food. No math! :) 5-6 small meals (which, realistically, is more like 3 meals and two snacks) means I have NOT been hungry. But I'll warn ya; there's a LOT of prep. Because the emphasis is on whole foods, you can't just grab some pre-packaged process thing and heat it up. But bread is in (thank God!) as long as it's whole wheat, milk is good, and fruits and veggies happily hang out with MEAT! :)

I haven't yet lost any weight(to my knowledge, I'm trying NOT to over-weigh, actually, because of the disappointment shame-cycle involved), but I feel good! If I wasn't so damn sore from taking crazy gym classes this week, I'd likely be bounding and leaping around the house. My mood has been good, I haven't been starving, and I'm overall happy with it.

The only sucky thing is that it makes me feel so damn virtuous, I'm sure to get smacked in the face with a double cheeseburger in the near future. Must. Not. Get. Too. Smug. :)



Friday, October 29, 2010

22, 28. 22, 28....

The title of this post references one of my favorite scenes in the movie, "The Sweetest Thing." Cameron Diaz's character does a cute little move that shows the difference in where her boobs were at age 22, and where they now are at age 28. (they are lower!)

I'm sad because I've tried to link it but not working. :( I found it on Youtube under Cameron Diaz and Christina Applegate, the Gravity Scene in The Sweetest Thing. I hate it when I can't link, because I actually bored my own self typing that out.

Anyway. Moving on.

Even though I haven't hit the 30 mark yet, my life is drastically different from where it was when I was 22.

Case in point.


22: Work 3-11pm. Change clothes in the bathroom at work to go out. Don't really care who noticed. Spend $10 on "dollar beer night" at the pub. Crawl in bed around 3. Drag self out of bed around 11. Do it again! Everyday! Full of energy, rarin' to go! YAY!

28: Drink 3 cups of coffee after prying self out of bed. Work 9-12, paperwork until 2, meet with clients from 2-7. Eat. Watch TV. Fantasize about winning the lottery so that I can pay off my student loans and all the debt I racked up when I was 22.


22: Work 7-3 shift on school days, in order to attend classes at night. Find reliable friend (ahem, Sarah, ahem) who is organized, so that I don't miss project deadlines, due dates. Get straight A's. (thank you Sarah!)

28: Master's Degree Complete! But. Start getting student loan bills. All the time. Learn that I actually need to continue for 2 more years and get licensed to actually use degree appropriately. What?!?! Shit.


22: See aforementioned dollar beer nights, watch roommates play video games. Pine after a guy who does not "need a commitment right now."

28: See my friends at Wine Nights and the gym. Get Married! (Hey, at least this one's better!) :)


22: Called family randomly. No family close by. Bit lonesome, actually.

28: Enter Facebook. Family overload! :) In-laws, step-family, mom, dad, everyone in contact all the time.

So, really, most things have actually gotten better! And thank you Jesus, my boobs are still the same. :)



Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Fashion Smashion

On my current quest to be a fabulous, fit, stylish wife, I am trying to be more fashionable. Hmm. Now all 3 of you who read this will start scrutinizing my clothes.... :)

However, I lack the resources (i.e., cash) to make said goal fully attainable, so I'm trying to use what I have, and fill in the rest from T.J. Maxx, Stein Mart, Marshall's, and similar stores where I can get a dress, top, and cute belt for $40 total. (For serious!) This got me thinking.

In high school, I was completely jeans-and-t-shirt all day all the time. Okay, okay, a hooded sweatshirt or sweater would make it into the rotation if it was chilly, but I even hated jackets and coats (except for the completely too big suede jacket I begged for in 8th grade and wore daily--lucky for you, I can't find a picture of it). I definitely did not win Best Dressed, if you get my drift. Actually, I think the only time I wore a dress was at graduation. Somehow, I was still mid-range on the popularity scale, which continues to be a mystery to me.

However, despite being a complete fashion moron, I had to have the NAMES. The LABELS. The BRANDS. If I'm gonna wear a t-shirt, it better have somebody's name on it!

After college, where my desperate lack of style, (and broke-ness) continued, this thinking completely reversed. I noticed the trend shifting one day when I was comparing flats with my friends, and we chatted about who got the cutest shoes for the cheapest price. Your outfit was actually cooler if you got a bargain on it! Bought your dress for $3 at a thrift store and made it look amazing? 1,000 cool points!

This was an awesome revelation for my mindset, and especially for my poor, sad credit card. I also discovered the emotional junk behind the spending. When I gained weight, I bought clothes. Felt sad? bought clothes. Or actually, underwear, socks, and shoes, because none of these really required the dreaded try-on in the dressing room. And so it continued, until I began losing weight during and after college, and realized that nothing I bought would cover up how miserable I felt about myself at times.

So, maybe it's not really a "Fashion To-Do List," but a "Continue to Be Confident in who I am List," where I only buy clothes that make me feel good about myself. I used to think a girl had to be thin and tall to pull off cute clothes, so why should I even bother? But, now that I'm rounding towards my 30's, I actually feel BETTER about myself, despite being short and curved. It's been a total growing up process.

But, then again.......I could probably just give full credit to my husband, who thinks my ass looks hot in everything! Having someone tell you you're gorgeous every day sure doesn't hurt. :)


Saturday, October 9, 2010

Wedding Season

*this is me, kissing my groom."Father Joe, can I kiss him yet?!?"

Our "wedding season" this year began with Seth and Katina's gorgeous, formal, Greek Orthodox affair in April. Ours was a Catholic afternoon ceremony with a Navy base reception a few weeks later. Fast forward two more weeks--Greg and Chrystal's oceanside ceremony and beach house reception. Within a month of that--Alex and Elaine's Catholic ceremony and hotel reception! Last weekend was Cassie and Joseph's outdoor wedding ceremony and Navy base reception, and on Thursday we are traveling to the Kentucky/Ohio border for Derek and Leslie's rose garden ceremony and lunchtime reception.

Am I sick of weddings at this point?

No. Way! :)

Out of those weddings, we were of course, COMPLETELY immersed in our own, Juan and I were both in one, and he's also in this weekend's upcoming shindig--which we are driving 10 hours each way for--which in itself, will be a roadtrip adventure!

I think that having our own wedding had definitely made me more aware of how to act/dress/behave and generally be AWARE at other people's weddings. Not RSVP'ing in a timely manner--a BIG nono and headache. RSVP'd? Unless you or your child is very ill, you better show up, smiling, and at least eat the dinner I paid for! :)

I also enjoy being at a wedding with my husband, and hearing the (not the same, but similar) vows over and over. There's definitely more connection to the ceremony, tradition, and the power of the event itself! I also definitely notice the details more. The ribbons that family members spent hours trying. The cake that was so lovingly tasted and worried over. The frustrated feelings of wanting to have the wedding YOU want, and fretting over the wedding that others expect.

And yes, weddings are expensive for the couple, expensive for the wedding party, and can be expensive for the guests, depending on travel/hotel/etc. But they are so much about celebrating the individual couple, that I've still gotten butterflies at every wedding I've been to this year. That's not to say I have always been in a perfect mood, the entire time, at every single moment. But. There's just that wonderful magic of new beginnings and happiness at weddings...I hope I never get tired of this feeling.



Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Dear "The Biggest Loser,"

You have the uncanny, ironic ability to both motivate me to lose weight, and at the same time, to make me wish I weighed enough to get on your show.



Sunday, September 19, 2010

Recipe Success! (But Diet Fail)

This is a total half-win, half-lose post. On one hand, I whipped up an awesome lasagna. On the other hand, the lasagna is NOT skinny. :) Ah well. The way to MY man's heart is through his stomach, fortunately (unfortunately?). And I'm sure I'll be over this cooking phase at some point :) It is just a phase, right? right?!?!

*This picture is slightly misleading. Because although I did put more salad on my plate than lasagna, I sure didn't go back for seconds on the salad. Just sayin'.
Anyway, this was pretty easy. To my Italian/French stepdad's horror, we used a jar of tomato basil Classico sauce, added canned tomatoes/tomato paste, minced garlic, green peppers, oregano, and salt and pepper for the sauce. Threw in some ground beef and Italian sausage for good measure:)

The cheese mixture was 15 oz ricotta (some people use cottage cheese, but isn't that a sin? kinda like killing a mockingbird, ain't it, Atticus?) :)
1 1/2 c. mozzarella
2 beaten eggs
pepper (not to taste, silly. Just till you see the black dots. Tasting can give you salmonella, you see)
a handful of shredded parm.

Boiled the noodles, because no-boil just seems wrong. Al-dente.

Then threw it together:
Cheese mixture
Cheese mixture....


Until it's gone.

Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 55 minutes, then sprinkle with 1 1/2 cups mozzarella and one handful of parm. and throw it back in for ten minutes. Top with parsley and oregano.

Then make your husband drool for 20 minutes while it sets. Now would be an opportune time to go for a run, or do tae-bo. Of course, I opted to bake peanut butter cookies instead.

Then eat, and send a picture to your mother. You know, so she believes you did it all by yourself. Come to think of it, couldn't hurt to send a picture to your mother-in-law as well.

While you're patting yourself on the back, be sure to portion enough for tomorrow, and then send the leftovers to your husband's bachelor friends and family. Because really, only two people live here, and if it sits around too long.....well I'd end up eating the whole pan. :)

It's that good.



Monday, September 13, 2010

Helper, Help Thyself

Eek. Today began with my husband smashing the snooze button several times. Pure exhaustion. I was late, and had to move my first appointment (a supervision meeting) back 30 minutes. Yuck, I hate being late. She wasn't upset though, and gladly gave me the extra 30 minutes to help me out.

So then the day dragged along, and I went to pick up a client at 4:00, and got a flat tire. I am so thankful I had just gotten off the interstate! My fab coworker drove 20 minutes to rescue me.

Then I had to work late, until about 8pm. My husband did the laundry, made some supper, and washed the dishes.

All this helping was great. However, I don't like to ask for help. Hate it actually.

I am woman, hear me roar, and I hate roaring for help!

The lateness was okay, because this is my co-worker/friend and sometimes she has things too. So, that help seemed okay for me to accept. But the tire--I mean, this is 2010. I am a country girl. I know how to change a tire, and I wanted to do it for myself. But. The lug nuts were bolted on so tight, I couldn't budge them. I even stood on the lever-thing and JUMPED. No budge. I had to call for reinforcements. I didn't like that feeling at all!

The last time my best friend's battery died, I googled "How to Jump Start a Car," PUSHED her car out of its spot, and then jumped the damn thing. That was such a proud moment! :)

I'm a counselor. I am much more comfortable being a helper than a helpee. I bitch, moan, and complain that everyone comes to me for everything. However, I really do like to be needed, often to the detriment of my own needs and wants. I'm working on this, learning how to strike a balance between helping others, helping myself, and asking for help when I need it.

I'm trying to recognize that its much better to ask before I'm drowning, rather than when I'm completely overwhelmed, in over my head, and at the breaking point.

It's a process!

And now, I am helping myself to some "breakfast for dinner." :)


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sunday Supper

We have been lazing around the house all day. The husband had a stuffed up nose (poor poor dear), so he couch surfed and watched the game. In solidarity, I didn't shower until 6pm, and napped all afternoon on this chilly, rainy Sunday. :)

I did, however, attempt soup. It actually turned out okay! It's just a simple lentil soup, but healthy too.

Lentil Soup
1/2 small bag of lentils (about one half a pound)
3 carrots, peeled and chunked
minced garlic, about 2 cloves
1 videlia onion, minced (or if you're like me, chop up until you start crying, and then get frustrated and throw it in the pot like it is)
3 little potatoes
3 cups low-sodium chicken stock
2 cups water
4 bay leaves
1 packet Sazon (if you aren't Latina, and have no clue what this is, it's a spice blend made by Goya)
Whatever else you have in your kitchen that's about to go bad and needs using up (ham, celery, etc.)

Saute the onions and garlic in olive oil. I throw in some butter for good measure, because really, why not?

Add the carrots, potatoes, and bay leaves. Stir it around. When these get a little soft, throw in everything else. Bring the pot to a boil, and add more water if it gets too thick. Simmer for about an hour. Taste it. Add salt. Taste it again. Add a little more salt.

Ends up looking kinda like this:

Though not exactly, because I couldn't figure out how to reset my phone settings to send the real picture. You get the idea, though. You know what a bowl of brown soup looks like :)
We eat this with white rice, because that's how we roll, but brown rice would be healthier. Also, then your meal would be so virtuous, you could probably finish it off by eating Nutella straight out of the jar. At least, that's what I'd do.

Friday, September 10, 2010


My grandmother, "Maw Maw," was the biggest hypochondriac I've ever met in person. She thought every ache was something I think I totally inherited this from her. Mom would even tell me, "Stop being Maw Maw," while I fretted that a freckle was cancer, or thought my headache meant a tumor, etc. etc.

But. Now there is Web MD. There are also numerous TV shows that have the power to send hypochondriac worry warts into a psychotic frenzy. I'm now aware of diseases, ailments, and parasites that I had no idea existed before.

Exhibit A:

I Didn't Know I was Pregnant. Honestly, this show terrifies me into believing that I should take a pregnancy test every day. "I couldn't be pregnant," these ladies all said. Period came? Well, it could really be "spotting," and not a period at all. No baby bump? Some women don't gain more than a few pounds, and babies can be tucked back against your ribcage. Took birth control every single day? Well, it's 99.3 percent effective, but somebody's gotta be that .7 percent, sweetie. I once saw a woman on this show deliver TWINS on her toilet seat. Terrifying.

Exhibit B:

Mystery Diagnosis. WTF. This show totally introduces the concept that something may indeed, be horribly and insanely wrong with you, but you may have to go through 10 doctors who say, "It's nothing," or "It's all in your head," before you find the one, genius saving-grace who remembered reading about this disease that only 3 people in history have ever had. Pure torture.

Exhibit C:

Dr. G, Medical Examiner. Now, I know what you're thinking. This lady cuts open dead people to find out why they died. EXACTLY. So there is the possibility that you can DIE from something you didn't even realize you had. Oh that indigestion grandpa felt before bed? That wasn't heartburn dear, that was a heart attack. You felt a twinge in your leg after your flight? Killer blood clot that traveled straight to the brain. And now you're dead, which is totally too late to do anything about it.

Exhibit D:
Monsters Inside Me. Animal Planet couldn't leave all the craziness to TLC and Discovery, oh no. It had to come up with its own brand of terrifying madness. Namely, to demonstrate that we can be riddled with crazy parasites, worms, and bugs that nest in our bodies. And I thought catching lice in 3rd grade was disgusting. Now I have to hear about clips like "Maggots in my Head." Oh. My. God.

Now, I have a husband and a dog to worry after. Those poor, poor creatures. :)

Love, Steph

Monday, September 6, 2010

Post-Wedding Diet

Seems a little wrong writing this right after downing homemade Strawberry Shortcake f0r dinner, but I'm keeping it real. (In my head there's the phrase, "when keeping it real goes wrong," like on Dave Chappelle) :)

For some, the acronym PWD stands for Post-Wedding-Depression. Not for me, thank goodness. I didn't sob into my wedding gown when the day was just felt like the end of a really satisfying party. I actually have the opposite problem. I have gained, what I call the happy-pounds, like when you've been hanging out with your boyfriend, cuddling on the couch, munching chips, etc.

So, happy pounds or not, I have gained 11 pounds since the wedding. That does not make me happy! It's enough of a weight gain that my jeans are uncomfortable and I want to put on yoga pants every morning--can't though, damn job! :)

Fortunately for me, mid-September always feels like a fresh start...actually more so than January, because all I wanna do then is hibernate. This does not mean that I'm turning this into a diet-blog. It just means that every so often I'll be using this to track my progress and my attempt to get back to my wedding weight (if not 2-3 pounds lower).

Since we are also on a post-wedding tight budget, I can't just throw out the junk in my cupboards and fill it all with apples and cottage cheese, but I'm going to make a valiant effort to cook healthy meals (my husband has the post wedding happy pounds as well...), and conquer one of my biggest hurdles....getting off the couch and getting to the gym.

Hopefully those happy pounds will melt away to reveal my happy weight!


Friday, September 3, 2010

City Dog vs Country Opossum!

Yesterday, I was awakened at 3am to an insane barking noise, and frantic screaming in an odd Spanglish-type configuration. Then I noticed that neither my dog, nor my husband are in the bed. Shit. I stumbled to the back door in my sleep-fog. Husband was standing on the stoop, and dog was freaking OUT at a large overgrown tree-shrub-bush in our yard (we've hacked that thing down twice, and it can't be killed!).

Apparently, the dog had chased a hissing, snarling Opossum into the tree-bush, and was fiercely trying to get it!

Did I mention this was 3am? My old-lady-nosey-nelly next door turned her lights on to see what was going on. At this point, yelling and screaming at the dog to cease and desist was not working. I yelled at husband, go get some water! He headed for the hose, which was taking far too long. I ran inside, grabbed a water bottle, and poured it on the dog. She ran away from the tree and I got her inside, all without a scratch from the hissing, scary, rat-beast rodent.

It was at this point, under full view of the neighbor's peepers, that I realized:

I was totally in my underwear.

She must have been pretty surprised :)

Hope your day was eventful!

Love, Steph

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Weekend Catch up

Wow, I have definitely slacked for the past 3 weeks, with no new posts! Truthfully I was far behind in paperwork for my job, and I spent many nights at home catching up. Procrastination is never smart, kids! It creeps right on you later.

This weekend has been such a delight. Friday night, the husband and I went to see a DJ at 37th and Zen, a local asian fusion restaurant that has live music nights. DJ Bee ( is awesome and plays old school and underground hip hop (no Lil Wayne here!). The place had a total loung-y vibe, and I got to see some friends I haven't seen in a long time! Great times all around.

Yesterday, I got up and made breakfast--sausage gravy and biscuits--no pictures because it really doesn't look lovely, but it gets the job done! Husband's friends came over (We also had pancakes and turkey bacon, since one of his friends doesn't eat pork), ate, and then they went to DC for the Redskins game.

I've had the whole house to myself for 23 hours at this point. And while I am completely in love with my husband, I am also in love with watching a Keeping Up With The Kardashians marathon, eating ice cream for dinner, and sleeping in until 11.

Anyone else love having the house to themselves sometimes?


Friday, July 30, 2010

Our Big Girl

My baby turned 3 this week. Meet Holliday, or Holly, as we usually call her. :)

Yes, she is a fur-covered, 65 pound dog. The husband and I don't have kids, but I'm pretty sure this pup has made it her job to sufficiently prepare us for parenthood.

For example, here's an actual conversation we had this morning:

Husband: Did the baby sleep through the night?

Me: Yes! Three nights in a row with no wake-ups. She cried for a new minutes because her stuffed animal got stuck in the footboard, but she went right back to sleep.


She hates to be left. She loves to sit on my lap. She cries when she doesn't get what she wants. She's our girl.

And yes, as you may have also suspected, she is a pit-bull/boxer mix. I have actually gotten the question, "Are you going to get rid of her when you have kids?"

Well, do you plan to get rid of your older kids when you have a new one?

I take these questions very personally. To me, she is not just a dog. Or a "vicious pit bull." She is my baby.

She's very rarely been around small children, so she doesn't really know how to respond and gets skittish and nervous. So, she's never around children unsupervised.

And, she's not great with dogs, either. She's super protective of her people and her toys, and sees other dogs as a threat.

So, she's always supervised in these situations.


She's my love. She's so happy to see me when I get home, her tail spins around like a helicopter. She kisses my face every morning. She lays in bed with me when I'm sick, sad, or overwhelmed.

She's part of the family.

Happy Birthday, Girl!


Monday, July 26, 2010

Things That I Initially Checked Out Because of My Desire to be Cool, and Actually Fell in Love with.

So, according to the title, does that make me actually cool? Although, the fact that I'm admitting this deducts at least 100 cool points, I'm sure.

1. The movie Amelie. I thought the French subtitles seemed cool, and my very cool Indie-alternative friend/more-than-friend? at the time had recommended it. So therefore I watched it with him. Love. At. First. Sight. It is now my favorite ever.

*Thank you Brittany, for reminding me of it this week :)

2. My Chuck Taylor Converse All-Stars. Ah, the ubiquitous shoes. I originally bought these in college, because I had gained The Freshman 15 times 2, and buying shoes was the one thing I could do without a weight-shame spiral. These shoes have an endless cool quotient with me....well, they did, until my dog chewed through the soles....but I've repurchased these twice already due to my unwavering devotion, so no reason to think I'm stopping now.

3. Telling people what I do at my job. I initially got involved in this field because I thought it sounded cool. But the telling people what I do--this is tricky. It can either elevate me to ultimate "whoa, people actually do that?" cool status, or have the opposite effect, "where's the nearest exit?"

I am a home based therapist. I work primarily (although not exclusively) with juvenile sex offenders and abused foster children. So, which was your gut response?

4. Sunglasses. These make me feel instantly cool, even if I'm wearing clothes a sane person should never leave the house in. Now I can't leave the house without them because they apparently prevent wrinkles around your eyes (yay!) but also because I feel naked.

5. Ireland. I had never been out of the country at the time, but I did a study abroad in Ireland in 2003 because of my nagging desire to do something cool and tell others about it. It was awesome. Instant love. Combine #5, the soundtrack to #1, and #2, and I was totally walking on sunshine during that trip.

And, that's all for now, but observation: apparently this is a day for lists. :)



Great. full.

I've been having a suck day. For starters, I'm not feeling well. I have a headache, sinus pressure, and feel overall ICK. Job stress also overshadows all (being available 24/7 is wearing me down hard), with money worries a close second. So instead of continuing to wallow in this Oh my goodness, how do I get through this panic, I'm trying to focus on the things that are going right. Because I'm utterly overwhelmed.

It feels like this:

1. I am healthy. Despite all the doctor bills and cavities and whatnot, and despite gaining almost 12 pounds since the wedding (I have since lost 3)....I am healthy. Anything that has happened with me has been expensive, but relatively minor in the gran scheme of things.

2. I own my house. My AC may be on the fritz, and I complain about wanting to add a master bedroom/bathroom etc., but this is OUR house, we own it, and this fills me with pride and joy. It's the biggest purchase we've ever made. It's adorable and has a bright fuchsia crepe myrtle in front that makes me smile when I come home, especially in the fall.

3. My relationship with my husband is fantastic. No matter how sucky this funk may be, he is always there to support me and stick things out!

4. My family is ridiculously resilient and supportive. We're just not genetically wired to stay down for too long!

5. This one may sound a little dumb, but my car. The little Hyundai that could. My 2003 Hundai accent, the tiny two-door adorable blue car that I was so proud of when I graduated still ticking. It runs great, it's paid off, it doesn't take a lot of gas, and the sight of it still makes me smile.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Dinner-0, Blender-1

Disclosure: Dnner absolutely sucked tonight. I was hungry and prepared, had all the ingredients and was ready to go. I had shopped ahead of time and had actually made a menu. But you know the saying about best laid plans? Well if you do, let me know, because I'm drawing a blank!

Anyway, I re-attempted the pesto a la' several weeks ago. However, I must've gotten much too cocky :) This time, all the ingredients got jammed up in my blender. When I went to taste it, I got a huge chunk of garlic. It wasn't blending at all; it just spread up around the sides. An hour later and I'm still tasting it! Ugh!

I took a wooden spoon and stuffed the ingredients down and around the blade and tried again. Same thing. Repeat time 3. Same thing. It wasn't ground up, and tasted like salty wet leaves with big chunks of garlic and almonds. Yum!

Argh! I recruited the husband to fix the blender, but it wasn't happening. Meanwhile, the noodles were ready and I was starving. I recruited a jar of spaghetti sauce to save the day. At this point I inadvertently sat the (plastic) bottle of olive oil and its cap on a hot burner.

Melted plastic + dinner fail + supreme hunger = glass of wine which made everything better :)

hey, ya gotta do what ya gotta do!


Saturday, July 17, 2010

Not a Cheap Date

I must be in a posting mood tonight. I'm watching a Philosophy infomercial, the dog is asleep across the back of the couch, and the husband is with his friends. Life's pretty sweet.

But. Life is also really expensive. One thing that's super expensive: Medical & Dental expenses. These are not fun, because they are just maintenance. It's not like, getting your hair done, and then you have really cute hair to show off for the next month. It's not like food, where you can sit, linger, and enjoy your meal, and then talk about that great date you had at so and so that one time.

It's just the business of living. And woah, my living has been pricey lately. Let's revisit my finger injury from May. We still have a big ER bill that hasn't been paid yet, not to mention the time I missed from work that week, and the resulting lost pay.

Additionally, I have dental drama. Case in point: once your cavities become visible to the naked eye by one who has no dental training whatsoever, it's time to suck it up and go to the dentist. I had put it off for a few years since I got my wisdom teeth out, since my last dentist was a huge tool.

Fast forward, got married, have a husband with a nice dentist; now I have a new dentist. The dental experience wasn't bad, cleaning was fine, and the x-ray, while not a trip to Busch Gardens, was not that big of a deal. Then the dentist was all, what is your diet? Do you drink sugar all day?!? haha, dental humor.

Then we talked treatment planning for my (at least 5) cavities. I know, I'm 28, and I have sugar holes in my teeth. :( That wasn't even that painful. I can handle some fillings. What was painful was having the billing person call me two hours later to give me my estimated copay for my first (of two) filling appointment, and she quoted me a price over $500.00.

My response was not classy, "Are you SERIOUS?!?!"

It's not even like I'm getting new teeth like Hillary Duff.

Of course this is for the pretty white fillings. I tried to downgrade to the amalgam mercury ones, but JC vetoed, "You pride yourself on your teeth and your smile. I think you'd end up sad about a mouth full of metal." He's such a keeper, and a total trooper about all this. I also researched, and the white composite fillings require less drilling and less removal of the existing tooth. I also already have one silver filling, so it would be silver all the way from the back to the front on my left side. I have an existing crown on that side too. What the heck is going on with the left side of my mouth?!?!

So, we're going to try to work out a payment plan. But all I can think of is how sad all this maintenance work is. Between my ER bill and my teeth (this isn't even for all of my fillings, only the first 4), I'm spending a grand for upkeep. It's not a new sofa; it's not even really tangible. It's not like I can go around showing my friends, "look at my cool fillings! Aren't they awesome?" The upkeep is only going to be more as we get older.

So, my lesson has been learned: Don't sleep on your dental visits! Go every 6 months, dentist's attitude be damned. Because skipping years of visits has caught up to me, and now I'm probably straight up funding my new dentist's down payment on his next BMW! :) I love my teeth and took them for granted, and now they are full of holes that have to be filled. Ugh.

From now on, I will be taking my vitamins, brushing (and flossing!!) and getting regular cleanings, keeping my physical appointments, etc. Because playing catch-up with your health is a bitch.



I got new makeup today, and this makes me uber-stoked. It may sound dumb, but as I have mentioned before, I am a product junkie. I love makeup, skin stuff, lotion, shampoos, and anything that promises I will look awesome with minimal effort. It's my crack. And yes, I am a feminist, and yes, I have read The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf, and heard her speak about it in person. But I am a girl, and if I have on hole-y jeans and thrift store flip flops, but have a really pretty face on and my hair is done, nobody can tell me nothin!

Since I've been doing this thing where I only purchase things when I need them
*gasp!* I haven't bought much lately. But today, I had a gift card, so I splurged.

I typically use and love Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation. Warm Beige is me. I also have the concealer in pale yellow and the under eye corrector. BUT, the Skin foundation is about $45.00, the corrector is at least $20 (if I remember correctly) and I am broke. I haven't run out of the concealer yet, but I probably won't repurchase that since it comes with a yellow setting powder underneath, and the powder settles in the lines around my eyes. (I'm only 28, so there aren't many, but it just makes me look....older than 28!)

I loved the foundation because it's the perfect color for me. But I don't think I had a good enough moisturizer, because my skin would be flaky and my foundation would settle into my face after just a few hours.

I ran out of the Skin foundation, but I had bareminerals leftover from awhile back, and in the interest of saving cash, I decided to use that up first. I used to love it, but due to my bipolar skin, I need the coverage of a liquid.

Disclaimer: My skin is weird. I have acne (rosacea with perioral dermatitis, which translates into bumpy red chin awesomeness)), and my skin is oily. BUT, I am prescribed Tazorac (which is Retinol) and antibiotic face cream, which turns my face into a desert.

So, I decided to visit the Clinique counter because it tends to be awesome for sensitive skin, and lets face it, I am poor, I had a gift card to Macy's, and Macy's does not have a Bobbi Brown counter.

I left there with a partial face makeover and three products. I plan to try them out and let you know what I think.

Foundation: even better makeup SPF 15, color: porcelain beige. It only comes in a 1 oz package, which is good because if I don't love it, I haven't made a long commitment. But the huge pro is, at this package size, it is half the price of my Bobbi Brown. I love you Bobbi, but $45 a pop is an investment.

Moisture Gel: Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel. This is "a drink of water for your skin" according to the makeup lady. She says that with this, the other moisturizer will absorb better and it's a good skin prep. It was $12, so we will see. She also said this could be used as a night cream, eye cream, etc.

Moisture Mack Daddy: Superdefense SPF 25. This was not cheap at around $40.00 (but hooray gift card!) This is the thicker cream I needed, so I'm hoping that this combo will keep my skin and my makeup looking fresh all day, or at least not dry and flaking off. I will update about how it works :)

I am using Purity made simple cleanser from Philosophy, and Revele' green tea from my dermatologist (but that ish is $60 for something that goes down the drain, definitely got hosed on that purchase. It lasted a long time and was very gentle, but that's too much money for something that doesn't even stay on your skin!)Once the green tea stuff is gone, I'm sticking with my Purity.

And because I'm a nutcase:

No makeup. Nada. Zip.

I'm not super broken out right now, just a little bumpy on the chin, but I have the ever present redness.

Here's with all three products. Hmm. The Superdefense definitely smells like sunscreen, but my face feels soft!

Not dramatic, which is okay because I just want a natural fresh face. I also have on a new mascara, colossal volume express by Maybelline (made these lashes long!). I ran out of Lash Blast, and was totally meh about that mascara. I also have on my (not bad, not great)Maybelline expert wear blush in berry sorbet.

So that's my two cents (or technically, $14.08, which is want my actual cash laydown was) on my face today.


Steph :)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

How's Married Life?

So. We've been married now for 2 1/2 months, and I get this question a TON! Also, "So, when are you gonna have babies?" (I'm looking at you, mom!)

The answer is: It's exactly the same and completely different at the same time.

We of course, lived together for roughly 4 years before getting married. We definitely skipped over the part where we learn what it's like to share the bathroom, divide up all the chores, and learn how to cook. Obviously I am still learning the cooking part. :) But as for the rest, we've had it down pat.

The other stuff, like seeing the look on his face when he saw my new name on my driver's license, isn't so obvious, but it's my favorite stuff. Like, when he calls me "wife," or "mrs. vera," I melt. That's the completely different stuff. It's more of a feeling inside than anything. It's knowing we are on the same team in a serious way. I think it's translated into the two of us being nicer to each other. It's not like we never argue or have a stressful moment, but when we DO argue, it feels like a more considerate argument.

Otherwise, the bathroom's still my chore and he still has to mow the lawn every sunny Friday afternoon. :)


PS--the answer to the baby question is, absolutely not yet! :)

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

How to Shock Your Husband

Make dinner three nights in a row. :)

This has been a pretty slow work week, so Sunday night I actually made a menu and decided to cook dinner at least 4 nights. So far we're 3 for 3. I also love this because it gives me food to take to lunch, which saves money and makes my belly happy.

Tonight it was Whole Wheat Pasta with Homemade Pesto* the capital letters and long name make it seem like you did a lot of work :)

Here's how to do it.

Step 1: Go to Farm Fresh. Feel really accomplished because you purchased fresh herbs (Basil and Parsley). Throw in a Diet Dr. Pepper, thinking you deserve it, and then realize you spent more money than you meant to.

Step 2: Go home and throw the basil, parsley, almonds, olive oil and....garlic?!? Search for garlic behind everything in the fridge. Frantically call sick husband on phone, "OMG?! You used the last of the garlic and did not communicate this to me?!" Ugh. Forget it.

Step 3: Get back in the car. Drive back to the store, a different yet closer Farm Fresh, so you can feel less like an idiot because you just left there. Get the f*cking garlic and wait in line behind the friendliest guy in the history fo the world, who proceeds to talk to the cashier for 5 minutes about nothing. Listen to the cashier then talk to you about how she should start growing her own garlic, and do you think it's difficult? Promise you'll look it up, but realize she only charged you .98 for a huge thing of garlic. Let this one go. :)

Step 4: Back in kitchen. Add garlic to the mass of leaves and stuff in the blender. Husband walks in and fake takes your temperature since this is the 3rd day you have actually used the kitchen for more than just microwaving.

Step 5: Get call from Mother In Law. "We're dropping off soup!" Laugh, because even she didn't expect you to be cooking more than two days this week.

Step 6: Make noodles and toss it together with your pesto sauce. Ooh and ahh and take pictures over it so you get shameless praise. :)

But NOW, I am thinking, shit--am I raising expectations too high in the beginning? Great. Oh crap.


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Baby Husbands

I think that men are genetically programmed to remain babies forever when they don't feel well. Case in Point. My husband, nearly 30 years old, texted me this morning. "Think I'm going home soon." He had a scratchy throat and couldn't take being at work, and went home early. Then came the request for chicken soup from the store. Then a call for Ricola. By the time I get home, I have a full on, stuffy-headed, baby-scratchy voiced husband. :)

He has the funniest way of putting things. "I can feel my joints. Like I'm on the verge of getting sick, not quite yet really, but one day away from being really sick."* It's like the old men who can feel in their bones that it will rain next Tuesday. ;)

Now he's been asleep for the past 2 hours on the sofa. On the verge of getting sick.

I think when women get sick, they are hardwired to just go until they can't go anymore. I hate taking sick days. It totally killed me to take so many days when I hurt my finger, but I was in so much pain that I couldn't do much of anything. I don't have kids, but my friends who have babies still have to take care of their every need, all the while being SICK!

I'm off to go get my big baby some ibuprofen, as he just woke up moaning, "Is it tomorrow yet?" :)


The Mrs.

*this may be slightly exagerated.

**also, for the record, when I am really sick or hurt...I get flowers, soup, the works. He's good like that!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Shortcuts and Shortcake!

In an effort to quit being wasteful (in time, energy, and money), I have begun a new experiment. The word experiment seems to make it sound more fun than it actually is. I am currently not buying anything new if it is something that I already have. For example, I have 4 partly full bottles of shampoo in my shower, 2 conditioners, and extras in my laundry room. That's a symptom of crazy, folks.

Some people have to have the next new thing in cars, clothes, or shoes. My "next new thing" is better smelling, frizz reducing, skin smoothing, extra plumping, or lip smacking goodness. I have an addiction to products! So for now, I am not allowing myself to buy another shampoo until all my shampoos are gone. No more lotions until the bottles are empty. No "pore reducing" foundations until I hit the bottom of the bottles I have!

I tend to justify these purchases because they are fairly inexpensive. Clothes and shoes are pricey (although, some of the makeup and products I love are $$$--I'm talking to you, Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation, and you too, Clarisonic Mia!)

Okay, so that is the end of my ramble. But tonight I really wanted to use up some leftover heavy cream from some carbonara that my awesome husband made last week. We also had some strawberries that were just hanging around, ya know, being strawberries.

I hate wasting food, but sometimes it's really hard to portion meals and groceries for two people. We have to eat sandwiches every day to use up a whole of bread, etc. I end up making just enough with no leftovers, which I hate, because I like to bring my lunch. Or, I make enough for leftovers, and I end up throwing out at least part of that. My husband doesn't like leftovers, but they are my favorite.

Okay, so the strawberries! I googled strawberries and heavy cream, and shortcake recipes popped up. Yum! I didn't have shortcake cups, but all the blogs I read use biscuits, and I have wanted to try it. I didn't have biscuit mix, so people, I made them. With dough. It was awesome!

I borrowed the biscuit recipe from Ashley's Cooking Adventures blog because I had all the ingredients.

2 cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons shortening or butter (I used Crisco)
2/3 to 3/4 cups milk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut in shortening or butter. Stir in enough milk to make soft dough.

I baked this for 12 minutes. Easy peasy!

I buttered them, then poured mashed up sugared strawberries over them. Then check it--I used the heavy cream, a tablespoon of vanilla, and a couple tablespoons of sugar, and made my own whipped cream.

I rocked this.

Sorry for all my whack BlackBerry photos on this blog--it's so much easier to do this than to use the real camera...I'd never get anything posted!

But....Yay! No wifey fails today. :)

The Mrs.

Monday, June 14, 2010

I Know You Weren't Born in a Barn--Confessions

Yes. I uttered, actually shouted, these words a few weeks ago, at the poor poor in, "I know you weren't born in a barn!"

Sometimes things come out of my mouth, and I think, " Did my Grandmother just possess my body?!? Is this the Dick Van Dyke show? WTF?" Granted, he DID leave an empty cookie wrapper beside the empty cookie box one foot away from the trash can.... ;)This prompted an all-out fussing war about ALL THINGS STUPID.

It went a lil something like:

But you never throw away the used dryer sheets!

Yes, but your underwear are right next to the hamper--how much work is it to move it three inches?!?

Close the shower curtain when you're done, it collects mildew!


I will let you guess who is guilty of what! :)

Of course five minutes later, I was apologizing and laughing to myself about exactly how idiotic I sounded.

There are definitely some things that I've said I would never do or say. One of them was definitely that I never wanted to sound like some crazy tv wife. But one of the reasons cliche' arguments are on TV, movies, and on your neighbors' front lawn, is that....every married couple has dumb arguments like this! I'm just glad our problems are this small and dumb. :)

Love, The Mrs.

Summer is Awesome

There is nothing better on a hot summer day!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Dressing Disasters....

So this morning started out as any other morning...snooze, roll, snooze, roll, finally get up... except I actually did my hair and wore a cute skirt! So I get a new windshield put on my car (in the driveway!) and snag a soda on the way to work. One turn later, and said soda is in my LAP, and I had to drive back home and change. It wouldn't have sucked so bad if this wasn't the SECOND time this week that I had to change out of something cute because it absorbed the entire contents of my cup!

And people wonder why It's usually jeans, t-shirt, repeat.

Here's me in a crazily awkward position, looking like a baby diaper leaked in my lap. Two points if you noticed the awesome dog paw on the bottom right*....I love that sweet angel, even though she wanted to eat windshield guy's face :)

*I totally wrote "left" first :)

Any tips on how to get out the door looking halfway decent?

The Mrs.

Friday, June 4, 2010

We're Famous! :)

Okay, not really, but our wedding photos are featured on our photographer's website!

Pardon me while I contain my enthusiasm, or not. YAY!

In related news, we're so overwhelmed by the awesomeness that is our wedding photos, that we still have not chosen which ones to purchase/print/frame. I currently have about 150 saved in my "favorites" file. Oh eff. But seriously, it's a good problem to have.

the Mrs. :)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

One Month-versary!

So I've never been one to celebrate the "month" marks. One year, sure, party down! But one month? Not so much. BUT! In the past (first) month, we have gotten through so much crap, I figured it was worth celebrating :) Hey, Britney Spears had a marriage that lasted like three days, so I'll take what I can get!

So after much deliberation and thought, actually about 5 minutes worth, we (I) decided that instead of demolishing the entire top of our cake after one year, we would cut 12 slices and have one per month. Let's face it, who can really eat the whole top of a cake on their anniversary? So J picked up the frozen cake from his mom's house, and we planned to eat it after dinner.

*so, um technically our anniversary was on the first, and said events took place on the second, but I know you'll forgive me...right?*

I wish I'd taken a picture of it with the roses and hydrangeas frozen to it :)

After he cut the layer of flowers off, it pretty much looked like this:

Oh you wanted a back view too? :) Your wish is my command!

Haha! So after that I peeled off and tossed that nasty fondant gumminess(which I hadn't even ordered, but anyway...), and J sliced up 12 portions of deliciousness. It was so yummy that we ate our slice before dinner! Chocolate and vanilla with raspberry cream! Mmmmmmm!

So now instead of a hot landslide looking mess, it is neatly sliced and stored in the freezer.

Happy one month! :)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Recipe FAIL, or total WIN?

So I got this new cookbook as a wedding gift, and I'm in love. (Um, that reminds me, I haven't written any thank-you notes yet, so um, thanks Wayne and The Stunning Doreen! "I'm right on top of that, Rose!")

Confession: I have cookbooks that I've never used, but read. For Fun. Total loser!

Anyway, the cookbook in question is called "Food Network Favorites, Recipes from Our All-Star Chefs." It sounds pretty intimidating, but don't be fooled! This sucker has pictures and lots of them! Pictures are my favorite parts of cookbooks. If it sounds great, but has no picture, then I likely won't make it.

So, I totally OWNED Paula Deen's Corn Casserole* on Sunday. It was awesome. Husband even ate leftovers, which never happens. His "baby" 14 year old sister even loved it, ate it, stole the recipe. Seriously people.

Which totally explains how I got overconfident and decided I could get down with Rachael Ray's "Quick Peaches and Golden Raisins Cobbler."*

Now, I start getting all fancy, mixing things together, and think I'm awesome. My husband will love me forever because I made him dessert! I am a fabulous wife! I can do this! I can't believe I'm sharing my insane thought process.

It's at this point, ready to go in the oven, that I totally realize that instead of using Jiffy Complete Biscuit mix, I used the only box of Jiffy type mix I had--CORNBREAD! I frantically text my sister; mom doesn't answer the phone. Verdict is: ruined. Or, more accurately:

Me: Think it's ruined?!?!
Ashley: Yep.

So, I bake it anyway. It looks like cornbread on top, gooey wet cornmeal in the middle, and awesome peach deliciousness on the bottom. Thought process changes to: Husband made dinner and now I can't even bake! But baking is my one thing I can do! Ugh, I'm a 9 1/2 fingered wife who can't even follow a damn recipe printed in front of my face with a picture!

Then I think. I don't have biscuit mix, but I have a round thingy of crescent rolls in the fridge. I scrape all the cornbread goo off of the 475 degree peach cobbler thing, and toss it in the trash--tasted it, didn't like it, dog didn't like it either. Then I mush the crescent rolls on top, sprinkle cinnamon, sugar, and almonds on that sucker, shove it back in the oven and watch the rest of Glee.

Verdict? I think I totally saved it, but when J gets back, I will see if he notices I did it wrong. Shhhh....our secret!

*No cutting/chopping of any sort was used in the making of these recipes. (Per my current kitchen restrictions) :)

Love, Steph

UPDATE: Husband response? "This is absolutely delicious!" YAY! :)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Welcome to Marriage

So. I have been married to J for twenty-three days. In that time, I have gotten food poisoning, pulled a muscle, and chopped part of a finger off. Wife FAIL! Instead of inundating my facebook friends with countless FAIL updates, I decided to start a blog to chronicle this insanity.

Let's skip to the finger, because that has definitely been the funnest!*

Last Monday I went back to work following my honeymoon/food poisoning/pulled muscle vacation. First day back, and I was feeling domestic and wifey, couldn't wait to run home and make dinner for my new husband--stop the eye rolling! It's true! Got home and he'd already started dinner--"are tacos okay?" so I start chopping an onion with my brand-new, never used Santuko knife. That sucker was badass, slid through the onion like buttah! I'm blah blah blah-ing about my day,co-workers, dinner, etc. I get a work call, chat for a few, and go back to chopping. J says, "Can you chop that cilantro a little finer?"

Sure, husband. Chop chop chop, chat chat chat, "Oh shit, that's a PIECE of my FINGER on the cutting board!" J doesn't think I'm serious, as I'm reaching for paper towels, grabbing my hand, and pressing down for dear life. I yell at him to throw on shoes and start running out the door, because we need to get to the hospital NOW!

My across-the-street neighbor, who has never spoken to me, is on his porch smoking. He offers up, "Cut yourself?" as he sees us running out the door with my hand wrapped in a roll of Bounty. The quicker picker upper! "Yep!" I yell. JC gets in the car and tells me to get in. I'm all, "WTF, how am I gonna open the door with one chopped hand and the other clearly occupied, holding together what is left." He jumps out and opens my door. Neighbor hollers out, "Good thing the hospital is right up the street!" Jackass, nice to meet you too!

Get to the hospital, wait for hours, result is this: no stitches because there's nothing they can stitch. I've permanently lost a chunk of my right index finger, which is now black, because they had to cauterize (burn the hell out of) my finger to stop the bleeding.

Spend the next week in a Vicodin/sleep/facebook stalking haze. Hey, what else could I do? So little did J know, with less than one month of marriage under our belts, I would permanently slightly resemble that freakish-hand guy from Scary Movie!

Hey, in sickness and in health, right? :) Welcome to marriage!

*sarcasm, but it definitely has the best story.