Fall Background

October 03, 2013

Fall is Here!!

Welcome Fall! Finally, autumn is upon us! 

This is my ab-fab favorite time of year. Followed closely by Spring, of course. It has to do with the whole death/rebirth cycle of the seasons. Yeah, I like winter too - I'm a mid-westerner at heart, after all. But to me, fall and spring are the heart of the cycle. 

Oh, and my birthday is in just 25 days, I'll be 38 this year. Crazy, right? I know!

And Halloween is just a few days later. OK, 3 to be exact! Best. Holiday. EVER. 

Cooler weather. (And the start of cold/sinus problems. But I'm starting early this year and getting it out of the way. I hope.)

Soups, stews, baking... 

In many households, fall even means the start of new television programming seasons. We shut off our cable earlier in the year. It was an expense I could no longer justify, and Boy Wonder agreed with me. We have a Netflix subscription and the Internet. Need I say more? Absolutely. I don't want to return that that mindless, useless TV-addicted blob I was just this time last year so I am allowing myself just a handful of shows, no more. Haven, Warehouse 13 (which only has a few episodes left, so doesn't count on my total tally), CSI, Psych, The Mentalist, Sleepy Hollow, and Boy Wonder wants to add the new James Spader show, possibly Agents of Shield (as if you doubted!). I have, at heart, just 4 shows I want to watch. I'm good with those. 

So, have we all acclimated/resigned ourselves to the fact that I'm not going to be delivering new recipes each week? I find that other people are so much better at the recipe creating than I am, so I'll let them do it. 

Tonight, I'm making this Thai Curry soup. They say it is supposed to mimic the deliciousness which can be bought at Noodles & Co, so let us hope they are right. I'll let you know...

I'm also going to be making this Apple Butter, except I'm using Irish cream instead of the Rum. And my next batch will use some cinnamon schnapps instead of the rum. Oh look, Spidergirl was creative!

Now, my nose is running. OK, this part of fall I can totally live without. 

What's your favorite part of fall?

September 05, 2013

Football season is here

Football time, eh? I admit - I don't know enough about the game, but I still enjoy watching with friends and family. Personally, I do it more for the companionship and, let us be completely honest here - the food. Don't shoot me or anything, but I just don't enjoy televised sports. I mean, how much of the game are you REALLY watching in that allotted three hours? Maybe 45 minutes? Yeah, no thanks. 

So for me, football and baseball season are more about the camaraderie found in friendly team bashing and good food. This household consists of (1) Red Sox/Oilers fan, (1) White Sox/Raiders fan, and (1) Cardinals/Rams fan. (And yes, Boy Wonder knows the Oilers no longer exist, but he and I also know they still have a better shot at winning the Superbowl than my Raiders do!

I want something super easy today, so we have a 3 cheese and broccoli soup bubbling up something fierce in the crock pot. I added a bottle of Rangers to it - I think that IPA will really add a bite to the soup. My 3 cheeses are going to be an apple smoked gruyere, Australian sharp cheddar, and then regular cheddar - or a colby jack blend if I have that. I have a cheese thing. I like cheese on/in just about everything. But typically not fancy schmancy expensive cheeses. So there is a lot of shredded cheddar on hand. 

We are also going to make loaded potato slabs (baked slices similar to what you get at Buffalo Wild Wings) and nachos. I love finger foods! 

Oh, and I made Boy Wonder a pumpkin spice cake. Not from scratch, though. I just wasn't in the mood for that much intensity today. I woke up with a fierce migraine but still had to get out and about! 

I also just wanted to update y'all a bit on some stuff I've blogged about before: 

Boy Wonder and I did all that wonderful (read: horrible) shopping last week. We went to two stores and spent more than we normally would to buy the ingredients for 15 crock pot meals, several of which could/would be doubled. We justified it by saying, even if we don't double anything, we have enough meals for approximately 3 weeks. 

And then the food just sat in the refrigerator. That's just how we "do", apparently. So, one week later we are getting ready to prepare everything and what do we discover? The great majority of the meals we chose are not of the freezer variety. So, we prepared the two that are and moved on. On the list there are actually more than just the two but we had one of them last night, and the other earlier in the week...

(To be perfectly honest, neither Boy Wonder nor I are of the Type A persuasion that seems to be necessary for all this champion level organization.)

What we have had so far: Sweet Potato Cottage Pie (it is listed as shepherd's but I use hamburger, not lamb) that Boy Wonder made as a casserole for the oven as he didn't realize it was a crock pot recipe. Like all the cottage pies we have made this year, it was really good. Last night, I made jambalaya. The jambalaya was one of the freezer meals that could be doubled, so I actually prepared a bag as I prepped for instant use. That was super convenient. 

And last night, we had a nice little date night. We sat on our bed and watched Burt Wonderstone, eating popcorn and junk. Much like the first Anchorman for me, the beginning of this was a bit rough for Boy Wonder, but once you get past that bit, it's absolutely hilarious! We also rented the 2nd Sherlock Holmes but didn't watch it. Maybe we'll watch it tonight since I'm supposed to return them tonight, but I don't see it happening. That migraine is kicking my butt today. 

Tomorrow is another new day. Hopefully it will be pain free and fun. We've been slacking on our gym attendance, but we're getting up early tomorrow and going. No matter what. 

I do hope you've had a good week so far and continue to experience that as the weekend unfurls. 

August 31, 2013

Have you ever wondered...

Have you ever wondered what you'll find if you click on the "Next Blog" 15 times or so? I always wonder about the blogs I'm grouped with/near, so I do this quite randomly. How else am I supposed to know there are blogs out there that I want to read? 

As an aside, is it nosiness or actual interest that has us searching the blogs of strangers for words of wisdom? I admit to sheer curiosity, which could very well be nosiness. And interest. I am one of those freaks who, for the most part, is actually interested in the lives of others. Not just their dramas and their troubles. Not just their heartaches and sorrows. Everything. People fascinate me. It's why I continue working in Customer Service. Maybe I should have gone for my Psychology degree? 

So I pulled open my blog this afternoon and clicked on "Next Blog" about 15 times. They were all in Finnish and I chose not to have Google translate them for me. A few looked like those "let me scam you out of your money" blogs that try to convince you that you can make money online just by investing in something they've done. A few looked like personal blogs. One was a Finnish rock band - I know this because it was actually written in English! The great majority of them haven't been updated in years. 

And of course, these groupings change. My second go-round had me bundled with a bunch of Anime blogs. 

Oh, so it's all random? Like life, I suppose? Well, OK. I guess that doesn't really help me figure their pattern out, does it? 

Today was a very hard day at work. I'm really over it and I'm ready to move on. 

August 30, 2013

DIY Laundry Detergent

I don't much care for PINK, but today it fits. I'm almost 38 years old. I've learned not to argue with myself. (Finally)

Boy Wonder and I are big into saving money whenever, wherever, and however we can. So we've often done the homemade detergent route. OK. Once. We did it once. We made this recipe but I didn't care for the inconvenience of the liquid. So I found this recipe. I bought everything except the baking soda and the Purex Crystals. I have to go back for the baking soda but I'm mixed on the crystals. I don't necessarily want fabric softener in all of my clothes, and Boy Wonder does not want frilly scent all over his. 

(Frankly, I don't blame him. I've always considered that a way of branding your man. A) If he's a good man, you don't need to warn other women off. 2) If they are "that kind" of woman, they want a taken man.)

But I do so like soft clothes...

Anyway, this was encouraging because it says it lasts about a year. I need something that will last about a year! We did our grocery shopping today - I spent about $200 (including the laundry stuff and  various other cleaning products that we do not buy each week). It seems like a lot, so I have to keep reminding myself that it should last about 3 weeks! (So if $50 of it was cleaning product/paper product and $150 is grocery - that's $50/week for 3 adults.)

The house needs a good "Spring Cleaning" so I've been buying extra stuff lately in order to tackle that. I'm no molly maid, so I'm thinking one room a day, other activities permitting. 

We might have to move in a few months due to a tax situation on the landlord's part. I'd rather not try to find a place that will allow us to live there with our 4 dogs and 2 cats and 3 adult humans. Only because I think it will be expensive and difficult - especially as we want a house with a fenced in yard. UGH. 

So, back to Wal-Mart so we can pick those things up. I'll update about that laundry recipe later. 

August 22, 2013

Family Fun Day

I've made it fairly clear that Boy Wonder and I are broke, right? I hope so. WE. ARE. BROKE. Poor. Rich in love, well-off in possessions, and yet still poor in cash. And surprisingly no, not because we are well-off in possessions. Still...

I love to spend time with my Husband. Even when we are arguing over something silly, we are still right there with each other. I tend to joke that we're co-dependent. Maybe it's true. Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn. 

Yeah, I went there. Sue me. I'm still learning the Blogger format and having fun while doing so. Plus, that is totes an awesome movie. One of my faves. If it were available to stream on Netflix, I'd say go watch it. As it is, I can only echo a resounding WTF that it's not on Netflix. SRSLY???

So anyway, Boy Wonder and I have this blog together, even though I've already warned you that I do most of the posting. But now that he's working again, our together time is lessened - I mean, we're not together at the gym every day now. In fact, we might have to start doing our cardio separately. I'm confused. 

Wanting to ensure that we continue our dates, I decided to find something we can do together, just an hour or two a week. Something that he likes to do more so than I. So, he's a gamer. I'm not. But, we are going to try this. I found Aion is a free game to download and play, so we're going to try that. 

Tomorrow, we'll do the gym for an hour or two, then come home and play. Well, tomorrow or Saturday since we still have to do our grocery shopping. Either way, I'll let you know how it goes!

August 18, 2013

In the Habit

Boy Wonder and I have recently started exercising. For reals. Exercise. Yes. Me. Voluntarily moving my fat ass to and fro in an effort to shed fat from the ass and belly. And to build muscles. 

Creating a new habit is hard. I hate the gym. I love the accomplishment. We joined Planet Fitness about 2 1/2 months ago. Being complete noobs, we kind of muddled our way through - trying all the different machines and using each of the cardio equipment. They have a very awesome 30 minute circuit room - it targets a whole body workout + cardio in 30 minutes. And you really have to work at it; really create a sweat. 

Then we met with a personal trainer. We did what he said. And nothing. 

Then we met with a new personal trainer. OH. MY. GOD. 

I think I'm going to die. 

So, we'll see if this works for us. I really hope so because something has to change, right? 

(And yes, this is mostly to set up the label for "exercise" so that I can create the category, lol...)

August 17, 2013

What to read next...

Spider-girl here. Let's talk books, and reading. 

Are you an avid reader?? A careless reader? Not a reader at all? Boy Wonder is what I might consider a careless reader. After an unfortunate issue with a favored author, he has very little interest in reading. 

I, on the other hand, could probably be considered a voracious reader. I will attempt to read just about anything. Yes, I am particularly fond of historical romance, paranormal romance, chick lit, and fantasy but I'll read other stuff too. 

Money is tight in the Wonder Household. To put it plainly: we are cash strapped, credit unworthy. No bigs. We survive and thrive. We are learning to make do with less and even make our own. I especially enjoy the making of our own. 

But, this means that I cannot buy new books as often as I would like. Not even 'previously owned' books. Thankfully, there's a Kindle app for that. And did you know that there are a zillion and one free books available on Amazon? No? Well, I did. I love my Amazon free books. 

The problem? It's a first world one, to be sure - I've become spoiled by actual printed books that have been professionally edited. If the story is good, the occasional spelling or grammatical error is easy to overlook. If the story is no good, however? Well, then it depends upon whether or not I have something else to read already lined up. As it stands, I have close to, if not more than, 1500 books in my Kindle library. And yet I am always verging upon the precipice of "I don't have anything to read!!"

Right now I am enjoying I Bring the Fire Part I on the Kindle app for my phone, while reading Allerednic - A Regency Cinderella in Reverse on my PC Kindle app. No, I don't actually own a Kindle. Why spend the money on one when I have a free app on my Smartphone? These are both enjoyable in completely different ways. I Bring the Fire is a bit stiff. I'm biased, but I think I could have done it better - had I only had the idea first. 

But these books will be finished within the next few days. So, the question becomes: What shall I read next?