April 30, 2012

happier with less.

via pinterest

I pinned this today on my Pinterest board and it really hit home. I've been trying to remind myself every moment of everyday of this truth. There are many, with much less than I have who are extremely happy. They aren't missing the latest iPhone, they might covet the latest pair of shoes by their favorite designer but it doesn't ruin their day. The most important things in life, aren't things. I am more blessed with loved ones, friends and important people {and animals} around me than most can hope for. In my quest to kick my debt in it's ass end, as well as learn to live and be happy with all I have, not all I don't have... small reminders like this help me remember I don't need the latest fashion trend and I certainly can do without that expensive kitchen appliance... I burn more calories mixing by hand anyway, right?

Stay Tuned: Tomorrow I think I am finally going to bite the bullet thus changing the blog URL and name!!!! EEE! Excitement!
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April 27, 2012

friday favorites, confessions and musings

It's that time of the week again - time for Friday Favorites, Musings and Confessions! I have a lot to vent about, share and confess today so let's get to it!!!

via HoundstoothHut.com
Proceeds from purchase of this sticker go to benefit Red Cross Tornado Relief
One year ago today tornadoes tore through the state of Alabama and surrounding states making a path of destruction. It seems like only yesterday and in many areas it probably still looks like it was only yesterday. I still get chills, and get overwhelmed with emotion when I see video, or hear victims talk about all they lost that day. While many local residents across the state, not just in Tuscaloosa alone, lost many things, I think the state also gained a lot too. The state pulled together, helped their neighbors and still continue to do so today. I am marking this as one of my favorites because I wanted to share a touching article about the tornadoes, written by a friend of mine {my Sister-in-law's sister to be exact}, for the Tuscaloosa News. She has a Mom Column, THE MOM STOP,  and she wanted to write about the storms and how she hopes her children will learn from them. Knowing her two adorable kids, it's easy for me to be touched by her words, but I think any mother, or human with a heart can gain the love, support and passion she has for her hometown, home state and community.

Enjoy!!
THE MOM STOP: I Hope My Kids Keep April 27 In Their Hearts 
via TuscaloosaNews.com


LINKING UP WITH LESLIE over at BLONDE AMBITION BLOG
for My Friday Confessions

  • I gave myself a whole "talk" this week about not skipping a single workout and what did I do yesterday - I totally skipped my workout. To be fair there were a mountain of dirty dishes in the sink and even though dinner was a crock-pot meal there was more to prepare after I got home. I think I need to get my butt out of bed in the AM if I'm going to make this workout stuff happen for real.
  • I also slacked because I didn't want to miss a second of the 2012 NFL Draft last night. Alabama had 5 players projected to go in the first round - 4 of them did... sadly NONE of them went to The Pittsburgh Steelers and I'm LIVID! We had Dont'a Hightower in our grasp and we didn't pick him {as it was predicted we would}. Gosh, I say WE like I'm part of the team and management. I can tell you for sure if I was... I'd be making the right choice picking a Bama Boy. That being said, my confession is that I cussed like a sailor, out loud, on twitter, you name it. I was and am still PISSED!
  • My musings below are rather confessional in their own right too - keep reading!!!
Last but NEVER least I'm voicing my Random Musings and 
LINKING UP WITH SHANA over at FUMBLING TOWARDS NORMALCY

  • I've been having mini panic attacks in my mind {not actual physical attacks} over my debt situation. It's like the other day I woke up and realized I wasn't getting any younger, I couldn't rent forever and one day this body of mine was going to have to pop out a kid before I got too old to do so. Set forth the PANIC... I realize that my debt isn't substantial compared to other people's debt. Others might make more than I do, and thus might be able to pay for more debt. I know I don't make a ton of money and I know over the years I have lived well outside my means at times. I've made a choice and it's got to stop. From this day forward I have chosen to take responsibility and control of my debt, my money and my future with Mike.
  • This all came to light because I was budgeting and trying to figure out how to get ahead. I currently have an IRA account and the company that handles my finances for that sent me a free book as a Christmas gift a few years ago. Feeling down and out I finally opened the damn thing and started to read. It's one of those "A-HA!" moments when you're like shit the answer has been here ALL along I just neglected to pick-up this amazing book {even after my Father told me it was amazing} and read it for myself. I'm very bullheaded, VERY bullheaded. It's like I have to think it's MY idea or it's no good.
  • So here I am... taking control. I'm going to figure out the proper way to classify spending, saving etc. Do I need it, or do I just want it... seems simple enough right? There was a great line in the book that was making the point about figuring out what is needed or optional in your spending. The author stated... "Oreos... yes they are OPTIONAL!" And it made me realize that half the crap I spent my money on, often is totally optional. It's freeing when you start to think how much you let what everyone else is buying dictate what you think you NEED, when it's really a want. Do I need that purse I will use twice and then stop after it's "out of style", NO. I don't need it so why buy it.  Shana did a great experiment about not spending on non-necessities things for a month, such a smart thing. I plan to make this a habit, and yes, I'll take time to blog about it.
  • Our "house search" has now been deemed - searching for a more affordable apartment/townhouse and/or downsizing a bit to save for BOTH of us to pay off our debt we both have... novel idea huh?
  • I know I will possibly never be completely debt free, but I can certainly be debt free in the sense that nothing is for not. House debt, and car debt I consider to be totally different than credit card debt, wouldn't you agree?
  • I'm no one to share a lot of personal information so for me to even tell you I'm having these issues that I want to correct is a big step in my process. The next big step, taking the advice from the book I'm reading and start writing EVERY red sent I spend down for 6 months to see where I'm spending and wasting money weekly, monthly, daily.
Thanks for listening - any tips you may have are greatly appreciated! Have a great weekend, we'll be laying low, entertaining at the house and OH YEAH, NOT spending money unnecessarily!!!

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April 23, 2012

dear m: 6 months

dear m,
This weekend marked six months of marriage for us. Time really has flown since we said "I do." in October, hasn't it? I know that this is just a small milestone but to me it was one worth recognizing. I'm happy we took it easy this weekend and even though we didn't officially celebrate I feel like the way we spent our time together was a perfect way to reflect not only how far we've come together, but also  no matter how much things in life change, our love and relationship remains the same.

Spending the whole day Saturday, digging through thrift and antique stores to find vinyl, and other treasures was calm, relaxing and enjoyable. We both scored albums we'd been looking for, and fun drinking glasses. Planning our dinner of steak and potatoes reminded me of the times you had grilled for me early in our relationship. It seems like that only happened yesterday and here we are, 7 years together and 6 months married. It's an amazing feeling.

Dinner was perfect, and the evening spent hanging out together, watching movies and later listening to old vinyl looking through old photographs from our past and our present was a great way to cap off the evening.

Weekends like this prove to me that we are meant to be together. I can tell when you are happy, or sad, or upset without you even saying a word. I can also tell when you're 100% content and comfortable.

Thank you for an amazing first six months of marriage. I look forward to the next 6 months, and the rest of our lives together.

I love you,
K oxox

The Who, just a few records in our joint vinyl collection • Image by Mike

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April 20, 2012

blazin' friday. 4.20.2012

It's Friday already! And it's not just any Friday, it's 420 DUDEEE! While I'm not one to partake in the festivities I always get a little bit of a chuckle on days like today... so I figured I'd share my random thoughts and musings and link up with Shana over at Fumbling Towards Normalcy. Then I thought I'd relink you to a few of my 420 Favorites for this Friday via my own vault posts.



  • Shana talked about Angie and Brad getting engaged in her Random Musings today and as I was replying to her post I started to think about the two of them and all they try to do for the world. They are notorious for giving and giving and giving. And while I think every woman on this earth deserves the ring of her dreams, and if your man has the money to spoil you with said ring go for it, buttttttt, I sort of feel like Brad and Angie are a bit hypocritical in their ways. Brad designed this ring {and I agree with Shana, it's ugly} and he spent TONS of money on. I'm sure Angie deserves it but how can two people that care so much for the welfare of the world sleep at night knowing that the ring he gave her could probably feed 20 small countries for a year. If I was an ambassador such as the two of them are, I think I'd rather get myself a reasonably priced ring, designed by my hubby-to-be and take the rest of that money and feed those starving children - better yet how about feeding some of the starving kids here Angie and Brad? OK, I'll get off my soap box. Peace, Love, and Diamonds, ya'll.
  • This week has been insane at work, but I made it through I'm so ready for 5:00 today! I have no idea what our plans are but I'm ready to relax. It will be too cold to kayak on the creek and possibly too raining to camp so we'll have to make our own fun. I'm having a mean guacamole craving so maybe we'll have a fiesta at the casa.
  • It's flea season - joy to the world, not! Yes, I totally just did the 90's "NOT". Mike and I will spending a small fortune today in order to get our pets all up to date with their flea meds. I will also be looking into updating June's Rabies shot since she is no longer allowed to go to Pet Smart to get her nails trimmed until it's handled. All this bitching about pets costing money, and people wonder why Mike and I haven't had children yet. Kids be expensive, son!
  • This weekend I will be doing my best to get my blog up and running under it's new name. I'm really excited and think I have finally decided on a name that's suitable for me now, as well as one I can grow into for a long time. I will make one final post to make the announcement and get you geared up if you have to do anything special to follow me. I hope it will be a seamless transition but, as we all know that rarely happens!
  • Lastly - I wanted to leave you with a funny for the weekend. This past week a local Alabama paper ran an ad for Foodland, a grocery store here in Alabama {and possibly surrounding areas}. The flyer usually shows all the specials for the week... this week had a GREAT special for all those horn dogs that needed some beans to go with their weenies. THIS IS REAL, it was printed and I hope you enjoy it!
via facebook and the Foodland Flyer
BEANS, WEENIES AND SPECIAL SAUCE! 
Cue the Barry White, awww yeah!

In Honor of 420 I wanted to send you back in time to one of my favorite blog posts about this topic. I've gotten a lot of "hits" on it, and I wanted to keep the "rotation" going.
So here goes...
So Crank some Marley and have a Happy Weekend Everyone!!!

via BING • My favorite Stoners of all time Slater and Wooderson

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April 19, 2012

his heart is bigger than his biceps.

I am over at From the Sidelines today talking about my Bama boy Trent Richardson and how massive his Crimson Tide beating heart is! Won't you join me?

via Speak Easy
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April 13, 2012

friday favorites and random musings

Hey Everyone! Happy Friday! I wasn't sure I'd have the time or energy to post today but here I am ready to rock it.... or at least type it... so here goes! Random Musings come to you first via Shana and her lovely blog Fumbling Towards Normalcy.

  • Today is Friday the 13th and I have to say every a month has a Friday the 13th in it I get a little excited. My mom's lucky day was always on Friday the 13th and I sort of wish that magic would rub off on me, but it hasn't. I've never had a particularly bad Friday the 13th so I guess I'm doing OK in that respect. I do live in a home where a black cat crosses my path every day too. All that being said I'm still very superstitious, I won't go near a ladder if it's in my way and I will always mark an X on my windshield if a black cat crosses my path in the street. It's not my black cat, which means it's totally different. Touch blue make it true!
  • Yesterday was my mother's birthday. Those of you new to the blog, my mother passed away a few years ago and while I've finally learned to cope without having her here the pain never really goes away. Thankfully I've learned to think of the good times to out weigh the sad that sometimes creeps up in my heart. Last night in honor of my momma I made one of my favorite comfort food recipes that she used to make, Chicken and Waffles. I make mine a bit healthier than she used to but one day when I'm ready to rock a total treat meal, I'm totally frying that chicken. {read Friday Favorites below for the recipe}.
  • I've decided that I hate fabric softener, not the job it does but the smell it makes. It's mostly the liquid version. We use dryer sheets in our house, the smell fades which makes me happy. Two of my co-workers must use it in liquid form because when they walk into my office I almost gag on the smell. Don't get me wrong both versions smell pretty, it's just a bit overwhelming. On the upside, my sinuses must be clear as a bell.
  • Mike posted a really funny story from cracked.com on facebook the other day about The Hunger Games movie and how it could have been much shorter if needed. If you'd like a great laugh, and loved the books, please read this. I am really shocked he didn't get flamed more for it. I literally laughed loudly through 90% of it. P.S. I haven't seen the movie yet and I'm a bit pissed about hearing who gave her the pin in the movie. LAME!
  • Mike is my savior of technology. This week he called to talk with Comcast about down grading our package to basic cable {we're trying to save money and cut cost}. He had a whole plan of how to still watch our favorite shows without needing to have DVR etc. After talking with the Comcast rep, they actually let us keep all of our services and knocked $100 off our bill. It's only for the next 6 months, after that it goes up $25.00 but hell, I can live with that. DVR SHOWS FOR EVERYONE!!!! 
  • Spring is back in Alabama. We went from record highs to having a frost warning the other night. I love the cooler weather - I'm happy I can still wear some jackets and scarves before it gets too insane with the heat this summer.


I get a lot of questions when I mention I'm making Chicken and Waffles for dinner. Most people wrinkle their noses and others will ask me for explicit detail about how I make them. When I was younger my mom would make this meal for me and I never thought anything of it. Chicken + Waffles always ends in AMAZING.  It wasn't until I was older that I realized that this is a dish that many people make but most people add Syrup. Insert me wrinkling my nose. Apparently the recipe my mother always made is a Pennsylvania Dutch style recipe including fried chicken, waffles, mashed potatoes and GRAVY, not syrup. This is how I like to make mine. I am very curious about the syrup version, and will eventually try it, but for now I'm sticking with what I know. Because I'm trying my best to watch what I eat, I decided to share my mom's recipe, lightened up, ever so slightly - there's still gravy mind you but the chicken is boiled, not fried. My mother always fried the chicken so if you have a great fried chicken recipe then by all means, hook it up! One day I will make it fried, and I will also make my own waffles but until that weekend in my life comes I will own the night with my Eggos, dammit!

via foodnetwork.com • Mine did not look this pretty.
NOT MY MOMMA'S CHICKEN N' WAFFLES
A Lightened Up Version of My Mother's Comfort Food
{Inspired by My mother, Margie, the best damn cook and mother ever}

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 Chicken Breast per person eating {I used 4, to make left overs}
  • 2 tablespoons Butter
  • Salt, Pepper, Poultry Seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups {give or take} Chicken Stock
  • Eggo Homestyle Waffles - try not to get SWEET waffles, it ruins the flavor
  • Potatoes {new red, baking, yukon gold, whatever you like for mashed potatoes}
DIRECTIONS
Note: I have not included the mashed potatoes recipe, please make these to go with your meal. If you're going low carb, I'm sorry... there's no hope for you in this recipe darlin'.
  1. Insert best damn fried chicken recipe here if you want to make this sinful. If not keep reading.
  2. Place chicken breasts in a pot, fill with water just over the tops of the chicken breasts.
  3. Add salt, pepper, seasonings of your choice to the water, and hot sauce if you like some kick.
  4. Let chicken breasts boil for 20-25 minutes until they are cooked through.
  5. Remove from hot water and let the chicken rest on a cutting board or large plate.
  6. Once chicken has cooled slightly, use two forks to tear the meat into small pieces and set aside.
  7. In a skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter. {medium/high heat}
  8. Once melted, add two tablespoons of flour, whisk together slightly and let cook for about 1-2 minutes.
  9. Slowly add the chicken stock and whisk until all the flour is dissolved. 
  10. At this point you will determine how thick or thin you want your gravy. You want it loose enough to incorporate all the chicken you shredded but you don't want it so runny that you are eating soup. If you add too much chicken stock, add in a bit more flour and whisk like crazy. You also might want to make enough to reserve a bit off to the side to drizzle on everything at the end. I like my waffles a little soggy so the more gravy the better in my book.
  11. Season to taste with salt, pepper, poultry seasoning. 
  12. Once gravy is as you desire it {you may have to add more stock and flour depending on how much you want to have}. Add in your chicken and mix well with tongs or a spoon.
  13. While you are doing all this you may want to enlist a helper to toast the waffles for you. It's hard to whisk AND keep a toaster going. If you have a 4 waffle toaster I'm extremely jealous of you.
PRESENTATION:
Place two hot and toasty waffles on your plate {one if you're watching what you eat}, You can add butter if you like but I never do. Then, add a pile of the gravy chicken on top, and if needed drizzle some more gravy over the pile. Wait, don't put down the gravy boat just yet - make sure you get some on your mashed potatoes too!

Grab a fork, and dig in. It's savory and delicious and if you start to feel guilty about the lack of green, then by all means go ahead and toss a bag of frozen green beans in the microwave and nuke them but trust me when I say after 2 waffles, gravy, chicken and mashed potatoes, you won't need them. Correction, you'll need them but won't be able to eat them. Enjoy!

******

Thank you for reading! I hope you enjoyed my mom's recipe switched around. It's really only lighter due to the boiled chicken vs. fried but in the end it's the perfect go to comfort food meal for a special day.

I hope you all have a great weekend!!!! 

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April 09, 2012

feeding the hunger

About two weeks ago I did something that I normally never do. As an effort to think outside of the box {not necessarily outside of society's box, but outside of my own}, I went against all my normal behavior of avoiding trendy things and gave into the most talked about book series since Twilight. Yes ladies and gents, I read and finished the entire Hunger Games series. Better late than never right?

Hunger Game Series by Suzanne Collins via google
I felt like I was challenged by Hutch with her comment about having to read these books. Not that she was saying DO IT... DO IT OR I'LL TOSS YOU IN AS TRIBUTE... instead she appealed to my inner feminist on fire. I love a great story about a strong female character, after Hutch told me about that I knew I had to give it a chance. After I blogged about Hutch's comment I then got more encouragement from Shana, Allyson and Kallay.  These four girls know their literature so I set out that evening to purchase the first book.

I was pleased when I went to Target to find they had the Hunger Games in paper back. It only cost me $7.05 plus tax. I thought to myself if I hate it {yes there was still a doubt in my mind at the time even after all the encouragement}, I can just know I was only out that much money.

Did I hate it? Uh, no way. I read that thing in two days. The only reason I didn't finish it in one was because I knew I had to get to work the next day and reading all night wasn't an option. Trust me I will not talk about spoiler alerts here because as someone that hates to know anything about a book or movie before it's released I HATE when people talk about important items in a book/movie on their blogs etc.

I will say something that sort of ruined the reading for me was that I already had in my mind that the main characters looked like certain actors. It was really hard not to picture Cinna as Lenny Kravitz... my mind kept thinking about his videos and that annoyed me. I sort of wished I jumped on this band wagon long before the movies or actors were announced so I could use my own imagination to picture them. My one plus was having an open mind about some later characters and no idea who was playing others. Oddly enough envisioning Elizabeth Banks as Effie Trinket was a bonus - I sort of love her and while I haven't seen the movie sort of feel like I could see her doing a great job as Effie.

I haven't seen the movie yet, and will probably wait for it to come out on pay-per-view. I don't tend to like to see teen movies in the theaters and reading other people's reactions to going opening night, or even weeks later solidifies my choice to see it in the comfort of my own home... you know so I can lay in my PJs, pause it when I have to pee and make jokes without others getting annoyed or being annoyed by others. The good part about reading the rest of the books is that now I can go forth and look at Hunger Game items on Pinterest, see previews to the movie and even watch skits on SNL and they not only make sense but don't ruin anything for me. P.S. That SNL skit had me DYING laughing. If I had never read the book I would have been so lost, thankfully I finished before it aired.

Once I finished the first book - I went out the next day and purchased Catching Fire. It was twice as much as the first book since they only had it available in hard back... this didn't bother me one bit after reading the first one - I zipped through the second book just as quickly and went right on to Mockingjay. I tried my best to slow roll through the book, even taking a day off to get away from it, but  I finished it quickly and while I might not be 100% happy with the ending {no spoilers}, I am at least 98% happy with it and sad it's over.

In the end it's fair to say even though I don't want to make this into a whole Twilight like "love triangle thing" because I really feel like that's such a small part of the story... I have to say I'm Team Gale all the way. And I just had to get that out because I've been 100% Team Gale since the first chapter of this series. Whew... that's a load off my chest. Don't worry I won't go purchase a shirt with a design like this...  I'm 35 years old for Peeta's sake. {ha, get it Peeta?}
via google
I know most of you read this book so if you'd like to chat more about it feel free to email me. I don't want to post a lot here for fear some of my readers may be as late to the games as I am.

VERDICT: I loved the series. It was fun to read, well written and I couldn't put it down. Two huge thumbs up!!! I am half contemplating going back and purchasing the hardcover version of Hunger Games so my set looks pretty on the shelf but that's sort of silly... right?

I'm very anxious to head over to the bookstore this weekend just to check out the Unofficial Hunger Games Cookbook. I doubt I will ever make lamb stew but, I have to say one of my favorite parts of the book, as a cooking show junkie was the way Katniss described EVERY meal she ate, in great detail. #foodielove

Now I can finish Kitchen Confidential and figure out my next book move from there.

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April 06, 2012

random musings friday.

WOW! It's Friday already. I'm not entirely shocked the week has been pretty long but I'm still feeling like it's Thursday - THANK GOODNES IT'S NOT!

I'm linking up this week with Shana over at Fumbling Towards Normalcy for her Random Musings Friday. I didn't prep anything for Friday Favorites, so we're just going random today. Shana, thanks a million for doing this every week and giving me something to blog about! So here goes....



  • Ally took the words out of my mouth when she randomly mused about the Instagram app being offered in the Android market place. I shouldn't be so excited, I don't even own a smart phone, but I am. I'm mostly excited because that's the ONE app I wanted in a smart phone and if it hadn't been offered to the droids by the time I was due for my upgrade {June} I could see it being the factor that made me pick either an iPhone or a Droid phone. DROID FOR THE WIN! Yes... I was totally using one app as my basis for picking a phone, I'm THAT girl. {I am more likely to get an affordable/free phone with Droid vs. the iPhone and really Mike has been having a love affair with his droid since the day he got it and proves to me every day who needs the iPhone when you have a droid.... they are just as fabulous in his opinion. Well.. he doesn't use the word fabulous but you get the idea.
  • Kayaking last week was AWESOME! We did our first run of the season in our small local creek. Thankfully we've had a ton of rain so the water was moving quickly and we didn't have to worry about dragging the bottom of our kayaks through the lower parts. The only downside is that our usual 3.5 hour float only took us about 2.5 hours. The water moving quickly leaves less need to paddle, we floated 80% of the way down. Rapids were a bit more fun... if you could call the small bumps in the water rapids, true kayakers would not. The water also made for less areas to stop and take a break and soak up the sun. All in all though Mike and I had a great time. I can't wait to go again, maybe next weekend.
  • I've done a bit of sprucing up around here on the blog. I hadn't planned to change anything but yesterday as I was trying to mess with the header fonts, I hit something incorrect sending my design back to the classic template. I flipped out... all my hard work down the drain. I will be honest I'm still getting the hang of Bloggers new layout settings and while some items I love, others I can't stand. Help me out here, if I am trying to update the HTML of my page and NOT using the standard templates how do I get to that? I looked and looked yesterday until I finally switched my view back to classic mode and fixed the damage done by one lone click. Once I got to fixing, I went ahead and updated most of the items. I had started a "design text" blog to mess with the new look and feel for D2BD. I'm still contemplating names and didn't want to change anything until I was ready, but this sort of forced my hand to change ahead of time. While I don't know if I will keep with the same color scheme etc I at least have the beginnings of my new design/concept started. Most of you will probably be looking at this in your google reader or email, I read a lot of my blogs that way these days but if you have a moment and don't care to stop by, let me know what you think. I tried to brighten it up for spring.
  • It's Good Friday. I'm at work, and it looks like quite a few people are at work today. And it seems that quite a few others aren't. I always remember getting this day off at my previous jobs back home and I'm shocked living in the Bible Belt that I'm at work today. It's ok though. I have lots to work on to keep me busy until 5:00 pm. Then it's relaxation time.
  • Mike and I will finally get a chance to head to our town's First Friday's today last time it was rained out. I can't wait to see if there are some great crafts for sale and music playing in downtown. I'm also happy the weather has cooled off a bit. Today's high is only set to hit 74 degrees SUCH a welcome break from the already overly warm temps we've been having here in Alabama.
  • I need a hair cut SO freaking bad. I also have to get my Jeep fixed. I've told myself the windows on the Jeep and the air conditioning cutting off every once in a while is more important than my hair... but my heart is telling me otherwise. Thankfully I've finished my taxes and I will handle both birds with one stone, thus keeping the money I have in savings for vacations and adding to it with the rest of the return. For the record, I haven't had a hair cut since before my wedding in October.. it's getting bad ya'll.
  • So I survived the reuben challenge and now I'm trying to set my sights on something new for me to try. I've got a small stock pile of items I still need to talk about that I've tried in the past months since my wedding but I'm always on the look out for a new treat. Any suggestions?
  • I am really bad about starting new books before finishing old ones. I currently have 4 different books I'm in the process of reading, does anyone else do this? Bossypants by Tina Fey, and Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain are in the mix - it's not for lack of loving the books, because I do its just that another book comes along peaks my interest and then I am off and running. My quest is to finish these two books, plus the AC/DC book I've been reading AND the fourth book I'm in the middle of too so I can clear the way for more reads. Any suggestions for summer reads is appreciated but don't mention Twilight, I won't read that.
  • I made crock pot chicken and dressing last night and it was SO tasty. I used this recipe that is simple, not a lot of ingredients and ended up being perfect for a Thursday meal. We usually try to eat something simple, and have it prepared before our favorite tv shows start on NBC Thursday's line up. We ended up watching the shows a lot later last night due to my BFF calling me. We haven't talked in a while so it was amazing to catch up... we need to do that more often. Thank goodness for DVR. Mike keeps coming up with theories to save us money on our cable bill but the princess in me is not ready to give up my DVR... 
I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend! I'm ready for the festivities for Sunday, the food, the family and hopefully the relaxation of the weekend. I have told myself I need to attempt to do two things this weekend... clean out the fridge and scrub it, and clean out the linen closet... anyone want to take bets on these things happening?

UPDATE: You know it's been a long day when it takes you until 3:12 PM, and after countless bathroom breaks before you realize you've been wearing your underwear inside out ALL. DAY. LONG! Damn, girl... I need a drink!

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April 05, 2012

the reuben challenge

I'm not sure if many of you remember me discussing this new theme I wanted to run with about things I've tried and whether or not I liked them. One reader, a favorite of mine, aka Kallay over at kalllaydoscope was listening to me the day I vowed I had never tried a reuben sandwich. I believe this post caught her eye because like me, she had never tried one in her life either. I shouldn't have felt so alone in this, my husband had never tried them in his lifetime as well.

Suddenly it was born, the Reuben Challenge. Both Kallay and I set out to find this sandwich. We wanted to hunt it down, and try it out. At the least if we didn't like it we at least gave each other something fun to do with our time and something to blog about, right?

THE REUBEN CHALLENGE
IMAGE BY KALLAY • I didn't have my crap together to take pictures!!!
In the past I've always, always, always snubbed my nose at this sandwich. Corn Beef? Sauerkraut? Blech, no thank you! Oddly enough I love Rye bread, as well as pumpernickle. Judging by my mid section you could say there was never a carb that I met that I didn't fall madly in love with. For years my parents made these sandwiches for dinner. Looking back I wish I would have given in and tried it. It was one meal my parents never forced on me, instead I ate pizza or made my own sandwich. Since my mother's passing it's one regret I have, not sampling her homemade reuben sandwiches.

REUBEN TEST #1: Montagu's Sandwich Shop
I'm sure you're asking yourself, Number 1? Yes, to be scientific I tried the sandwich two times, from two different places. I had heard from a few friends that the reuben sandwich at this place in particular was killer so Mike and I headed over there to sample it one day for lunch. What I enjoy about this little sub shop is that they cook everything right in front of you so I was not only able to eat the sandwich but watch it constructed. As they set the plate in front of me I took a quick sniff of the sandwich. {I smell most everything if I've never tried it before.} And I took a small bit of the meat off the plate to sample it. I had never had corn beef so wanted to see what all the fuss was about without the kraut. It was salty, almost too salty for my liking. To be fair I've had subs here before and had the same complaint. I guess it's the special spices they use, and they must be heavy on the salt. No time like the present it was time to dig in. I took my first bite and immediately my mouth was flooded with the sour bite of the kraut, but honestly I sort of liked it. I'm a big pickle fan, so the tartness of the kraut was a nice compliment to the saltiness of the meat. The rye bread was simple, I would have loved to have a thick marbled slice like Kallay's sample pictured above. All in all the sandwich I thought was great. I wouldn't say I had a new favorite sandwich, but I did enjoy it.

I'm not sure what made me decide to try the sandwich again. Maybe it was the fact that while I enjoyed the meal I wasn't as wowed as I thought I would be. Everyone always raves about reuben sandwiches and I started to worry that maybe my first one wasn't all it was cracked up to be... even though friends had raved about it. I went with the second, affordable option that other friends had raved about and that was the reuben sandwich at Arby's. Uh, yeah... you read that right. Arby's. Let's just say our town is slightly lacking in the awesome Deli department, ok?

REUBEN TEST #2: Arby's, yes... Arby's - It's Good Mood Food, right?
Again Mike was my wing man and decided to again sample the Reuben sandwiches with me. We both ordered the basic reuben - they have one with turkey meat as well but I really didn't want to taint my experiment with a new meat.

Arby's had a bread that was a bit more marbled like Kallay's sandwich which got me sort of excited. They had plenty of kraut, lots of meat and just the right amount of swiss and Thousdand Island Dressing added. I took a bite and wasn't really flooded with a much different flavor. I started to think well maybe all reuben sandwiches are created equal and I need to get over this desire to find the perfect one to love it like everyone else does.

I wasn't over the top wowed but as far as fast food sandwiches go, it was pretty damn tasty. I'd order it again if I got the hankering for something savory and sour... doesn't happen often but sometimes I do.

THE VERDICT:
While I don't see myself calling the reuben my favorite sandwich of all time, I will say I enjoyed keeping an open mind and trying it, not once but twice. Both sandwiches were tasty and I sort of see myself trying this treat again, maybe at a more fancy bar or restaurant. One local establishment has a new sandwich entitled the Grouper Reuben. Deep fried fish with the toppings of a reuben, might be interesting. 

Please head over to Kallay's blog and read about her experience!!!

I look forward to doing more of these posts so stay tuned. I have a few to share about the food on my honeymoon as well!


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