10 February 2013
Some girls are into make-up and hairstyling and other sorts of beauty routines. I'm not really one of those girls. Now, don't get me wrong, I love a killer sparkly eyeliner. But make me actually have to style my hair and I'm done. I went to get my hair cut this week for the first time since our wedding. Yes, four months +. Needless to say, my hair was long. And annoying. As in, hair-in-a-ponytail/bun-everyday annoying. So my hairstylist chopped it. I asked for shoulder length. It ended up more chin length (my hair is getting a little curlier every year since I hit 30). And I really don't care. Less shampoo to use, I figure.
I make up for my non-girly tendencies in the beauty routine category by being super-girly in other categories. Number of decorative throw pillows? Check. Cute shoes and scarves? Check. Pretty dresses? You bet.
And I like putting on a frilly apron and baking up a meatloaf. Meatloaf made of oatmeal (yet another thing in our pantry that we have way too much of) instead of meat. Baked in muffin tins for cute little meatloaves. Yes, sometimes food does = love. I find baking meatloaf for the hubby a romantic enough gesture that it'll be what a serve him on Valentine's Day for dinner when he gets home late. Maybe with a BBQ sauce heart on top.
14 January 2013
I have a love/hate relationship with duvets and duvet covers. In the winter, when the nighttime thermostat is turned down to the low 60s, I love it. But when I'm trying to wrestle the actual duvet into its freshly-washed decorative cover, well... I've also come to realize that the hate part is directly proportional to the number of black cats owned.
After writing yesterday's post, I got a motivated bug in me and went to the grocery store, made vegan butterscotch pudding (fail), baked vegan biscuits (win), changed the bed linens (see above), and other assorted productive tasks. Oh, and I burned a scented candle and blasted Miranda Lambert (my current obsession). So thank you, sporadic blogging venue, for giving me a kick in the rear and getting me going again.
13 January 2013
There are some days when I am really very good at being domestic. I get up early, do chores like laundry or dishwasher-unloading, cook something, and all while having music playing in the background and scented candles burning. And then there are days where all I want to do is watch reruns of whatever Housewives series is playing on Bravo while huddled under an afghan on the sofa. Today is a mix of one of those days. Mostly because I can't find anything I want to watch on television.
When I lived alone, lazy days were nothing. Being married, I now feel the need to err on the side of domesticity. And when I don't reach domestic goddess status on a day off (especially on a day the hubby is working), I feel guilty. I always have big plans. Cakes I can bake. Soups I can make. Rooms I can clean. Stacks I can organize.
Today I have: 1) cleaned up the breakfast dishes (from a breakfast the hubby cooked before work) and 2) unloaded/loaded the dishwasher. And it is 2:00 in the afternoon. There is a whole list of things I also need to do today, but instead I sit playing with photo effects on Picasa and catching up on months' worth of blog reading.
I am not a domestic goddess role model today. Martha would be very disappointed in me.
12 January 2013
Being January, and the start of a new year, I had high expectations for what I could accomplish this month. Days off turned into lounging in bed days with some laundry and soup-making thrown in for good measure. I don't love eating soup, but during these chilly winter days I do love making soup. Plus, there is the bonus of having days of workday lunches ready to go in the freezer.
A big cauliflower bunch in the organic section at Wegman's was calling my name. Add in some white Hayman sweet potatoes from the farmer's market for the warm and spicy Sweet Potato Cauliflower Soup from Manifest Vegan. Hayman sweet potatoes are white in color, so the resulting soup was not light orange but instead was warm beige. Maybe not the most photogenic, but quite tasty!
We've been struggling to stay in our grocery/dining out budget over the holidays and I am determined to make it work in January. We have less than $100 left for the month, so I've warned the hubby that we'll be doing a "purge the pantry" set of recipes in the coming weeks. Hush puppy mix. Large jar of pear halves. Oatmeal.
02 January 2013
Happy New Year! It is hard to believe that 2012 has come to an end and that December is now a not-so-distant memory. I'd been making plans to put together a long post on our September wedding (complete with professional photographer photos), but that will have to wait. I mostly want to do that post for myself, so that the lovely details don't get lost to the passage of time as they are apt to do...
The past month had some wonderful moments and some sadness mixed in. We decorated the house for Christmas, sent our our first family photo holiday card (which used our wedding photos), shopped for gifts, and enjoyed a date night to see Skyfall. We saw friends and family for the holidays, which is always lovely. We also mourned the unexpected passing of the hubby's stepfather on December 8. Mid-December was a blur for us both, but especially for the hubby, and I know our marriage had its first real test during that time. Somehow, we've come out the other side and here it is January 2013.
Throughout the month I worked on new recipes from various vegan cookbooks and blogs. My favorites included:
~ Chickpea cutlets from Veganomicon (p. 133) - these are super-easy to make (chickpeas, bread crumbs, vital wheat gluten, spices) and give you a meaty main. We baked them (instead of pan-frying) and topped them with Heinz chili sauce. Next time with gravy (like a vegan version of chicken-fried steak).
~ Quinoa-Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
~ Sweet Potato Surprise with Kale - oh. my. goodness. This was delish. But I'm a mac & cheese fiend, so I may be a bit prejudiced.
Both the hubby and I had New Year's Day off and we spent it just as we wanted: reading and lounging together. Oh, and eating black eyed peas and greens [Hottie Black Eyed Peas, to be exact]. Here's to a lucky and happy and healthy new year!
28 November 2012
I almost have paperwhites blooming. Just in time for the doldrums of winter to set in. Our little house does not have the best light for growing plants, so I am always pleasantly surprised when some botanical experiments actually work. The paperwhites were a gift from my mother-in-law and they are sitting on our coffee table in the living room (north and east exposure - blah). But the low light seems to please them just fine for now.
The begonia in the kitchen, on the other hand, is faring far worse. I think she needs a little trimming to get back her bushy figure. The old gal is getting a tad leggy (east exposure there). But apparently begonias can do just fine with low light, so maybe I just need to find her a better spot so that she's not all lopsided.
And the orchid, oh the orchid, in the office (gloomy north exposure only) needs some repotting. Major repotting. She came home with me from a friend's wedding back in 2010 (maybe?) and has been doing pretty well, but now is producing all runners/roots and no blooms. Once I get my act together, I'll be following the great directions on Plantgasm on repotting orchids (and by the way, I love that site name).
Needless to say, my green thumb is itching just a bit. I'm making note that when we move that I need some southern exposure windows for some serious house plant love!
13 November 2012
You know how the days fly by and then you look back and think, huh, nothing exciting really happened, but man that was fast? This is how I've been feeling the entire month of November so far. For instance, I am finding it very hard to believe we are pretty much halfway through the month already. Where did the days go? The weather is cold and rainy today. We have the big duvet on the bed now, and the cats are now attached to it like glue. And normally are so "helpful" when we are making the bed in the morning or trying to turn down the covers at night.
We had our first Halloween together in our little house and I had major high hopes for trick-or-treaters (given that I ran out of candy last year). Such high hopes that I bought three jumbo bags of candy at Target. And we had maybe one dozen kids all night. And all night the mister paced outside to the front stoop to look up and down the street for kids to flag down. It didn't help that the large majority of houses on our block were boycotting the holiday (even the lady who already has her Christmas decorations up seemed to have no interest in celebrating). So now we have chocolate and Sour Patch "Zombie" Kids to last us through the winter.
This past weekend we had the mister's mother over for dinner. He made stuffed mushrooms and fancy drinks for cocktail hour and I made successes from the past for dinner - Chesapeake Tempeh Cakes and Kale & Potato Gratin. Yes, we fed a meat-eater tempeh and she actually ate it and seemed to like it!
Other things on the menu these past couple of weeks:
~ Breakfast for Dinner with Blueberry Oatmeal Waffles and apple-sage Field Roast sausage
~ Spaghetti and Beanballs (from Veganomicon p. 189)
~ Butternut Squash and Apple Soup (from Ina; I use about half the curry) with crusty bread and salad
And now we are gearing up for Thanksgiving. Spending the day with the mister's family in Richmond, Virginia. A football game and oyster roast followed by traditional dinner. Should be fun to have our first Thanksgiving as a new family. Especially considering that last year I was in Texas for my grandmother's funeral, this year should be full of lovely new traditions.