I am so excited this year. I think it’s just something to look forward too. Also, almost the end of the year and I am really ready for this year to be over. I am ready for a new president. I am ready for a vaccine eventually, once all the important people are taken care of. I am ready to be able to plan a vacation again soon with our friends and family. I am ready for a thanksgiving with everyone and to be able to celebrate birthdays together. I would love to see my mom again for a bit and my in law’s. I want to have book club with boozy brunches and lots of laughing. I’m ready.
My sister’s birthday is on Christmas Eve. Her job went remote again just in time for her to quarantine for 2 weeks so her and my niece can come celebrate! It sucks because they cut her hours but I’m happy because they can come over and hang out. For her birthday I ordered a Carvel Ice Cream cake and we’ll order Lomo Saltado for dinner. Then we can rent a movie to watch. After they leave, I’ll make some cookies with the kids for Santa and hopefully we can call it an early night.
The kids kind of believe in Santa still. They both know that my husband and I do a lot of the gifts, but they think Santa brings a couple. They’re 9 and 11 and they go to public school. They have been on the fence about Santa for years. When they ask I just tell them that he’s real if they believe he’s real. I still believe in the spirit of Santa.
Then Christmas! I feel like I went a little over board this year for everyone. I just wanted something to really look forward to, and I am really looking forward to giving everyone things and hanging out. We had it because we didn’t go on vacation at all (staycation didn’t really count). Also, my husband and I were lucky and our jobs went full remote pretty easily. We are fortunate, I know. I am reminded to thank god every morning when I read the news. My sister and niece will be coming back over after they wake up and do their morning Christmas stuff. We will exchange gifts, relax and I’ll cook. This year it’s prime rib with smashed potatoes, carrots, mac and cheese, biscuit’s and monkey bread. I’ll make brownies and cookies for dessert. Then we’ll probably watch another movie or some of those extreme shows and hopefully go to bed on the early side.
That’s pretty much it for our Christmas this year. What are your plans?
I know I am really late for this review. I always put off getting an Instant pot because I have a lot of the appliances that it is supposed to replace. The Instant Pot Duo we purchased is an 11 in one 6 quart appliance. I bought one for my mom for Christmas and a couple cookbooks that I found on Amazon. It went on sale for $50.00 less the week after I bought my mom hers. I decided that I would buy my own and then we can exchange recipes and both learn how to use it together.
I am pretty sure if my mom has no one to talk to about how to use it, it will stay in the box in her dining room and collect dust. So I am doing us both a favor. First thing, what does it do??? Everything. Slow cook, sauté, pressure cook, air fry, dehydrate, steam, sous vide, warms, roasts, bakes and broils. Whew, that’s a lot.
We have a pressure cooker… Although I am scared to use it so I am actually a little excited about not being so scared anymore. We have a slow cooker. We have a dehydrator. We have an oven and stove top.
I was going between the instant pot and the ninja foodie. We have a few ninja appliances and I really like them. The reason I picked the instant pot was because I was originally sending it as a gift to my mom and I read that the controls were easier to use on the instant pot and the ninja foodie took up more counter space.
I like the fact that you can do everything in ONE pot. You can use different cooking methods on one dish. The Instant pot is pretty big. I need to figure out what I can take off my counter so I can put this in it’s place. I plan on using it a lot in the next few weeks so it will stay on the counter… Somewhere.
Day one: We just wanted to test it out so we made Air Fried Steak Fries. We put 2 tablespoons of oil over some frozen steak fries and sprinkled them with salt. Threw them in the basket set it to air fry at 400 for 8 minutes. Tossed them and set it for another 8 minutes. To my husbands and my surprise, they were cooked and crispy! I put mine in a salad with a hamburger patty and thousand Island dressing. I really enjoyed the crunch although it was a dry crunch. You know how when you oil fry something it’s like a wet, oily crunch? None of that, which is fine. I am trying to lose weight and it’s Air Fried, duh.. no oil so no oily crunch. I’m down with it. Clean up was pretty easy too so I will definitely use this for fries in the future. We did end up making steak fries again with 3 table spoons of oil and that helped them not be so dry. We think maybe trying regular fries might be better in order to get more of the crispy, slightly oily crunch because steak fries are so big. We’re going to play around with it.
Day Two: Korean Short Ribs – WW Recipe. So easy! Both my husband and I really enjoyed this. But meat over rice in a bowl with plenty of fresh veggie… Yes, please! This recipe is a keeper and I loved how simple it was to mix everything together, dump it in the pot and pressure cook.
This just smelled amazing when cooking in the pot. This is, I think, the biggest reason why I am loving this so far. I can sauté and pressure cook in the same pot! Just less stuff to clean up overall. I love that there are so many recipes out there too. And I love that I am no longer scared to pressure cook. I have a feeling this will lead to a lot of delicious dinners in our future! This was a keeper. Both my husband and I really enjoyed this. This was the first time I ever made oxtail and they didn’t just melt into the gravy. The meat pulled right off the bone but it was still chunks. I am thrilled that I finally made good oxtail. Now I get to play with the recipe a little and make it my own.
Day four: Whole Roasted Chicken. I am really excited about this. This it the recipe I used: https://natashaskitchen.com/instant-pot-whole-chicken So freaking good. I loved this chicken and it was my first time ever making a whole chicken. It came out super juicy. I told my husband I wasn’t going to make the gravy but we decided to air fry it to crisp the skin a little so I had to drain the juices at the bottom. I figured I should just pour the juice into a pan and at least try the gravy and I am really glad I did. My husband loved it. He actually went back and got more, twice. I know I keep saying it but I love that we can do everything in this thing. I told my husband that it would actually be cheaper to just buy a roasted chicken at the grocery store. The raw chicken was a little over $5.00 and the roasted chickens at the grocery store are $4.99. We both agreed that the chicken I made was better than the grocery store roasted chicken. This recipe will be made again and again and I will be adding my own spin on some of the ingredients to customize to our tastes. Side note: When searching for a 4lb chicken the roasting chickens were all 5-6 lbs. I bought a fryer chicken because it was the only one I could find that was the right weigh (about 4 lbs). A fast google search told me the only difference is that fryer chickens are younger and weigh less but they can be roasted or fried or anyway you want to cook them. Roaster chickens are older and usually weigh 5-6 lbs. One of my friends is on the fence about getting this because she has a bunch of separate appliances already. When I told her how great the chicken came out, she asked how long it took. It took about an hour to cook, release the pressure and then air fry. She said that she could roast a chicken in the oven in about an hour. Ok. I would still recommend the instant pot.
Day five: Pork belly. I used this recipe:https://www.pressurecookrecipes.com/instant-pot-crispy-pork-bell It wasn’t hard to make. I forgot to brush on the oil before air frying and was worried it wouldn’t be crispy. I brushed on the oil and put it on for another 10 minutes to air fry and then I was worried it would be dry or burnt. It was delicious. I do not think I will make this often only because I will gain all the weight I just lost! ( 15 lbs so far!) I am proud of myself that I can make a pretty tasty pork belly now. My husband liked it too. He kept snacking on them and saying they were good and that unless I want him to get fat, I shouldn’t make these that often! I agree! I do like this recipe but I think I will add my own ideas to the mixture and play around with this recipe a little but.. but like every other month, or smaller batches so it’s not so tempting to eat a lot.
Day 6: Rounding out my first full week. Soy sauce chicken. I used this recipe:https://www.pressurecookrecipes.com/instant-pot-soy-sauce-chicken-rice/When I googled it I also noticed that another site I use a lot has a recipe too:https://rasamalaysia.com/ginger-soy-chicken-instant-pot/I think I might try this one next time only because I like a lot of her recipes. I think it came out pretty good. I did not let it rest which the recipe says you should. I was starving so I just dug in. I will be making this again. The master broth is currently on my counter, I just have to figure out how to save it without taking up so much space in my fridge. My husband liked this too
To find my recipe’s I google whatever my ingredient, how I am cooking it and then pick between the recipes that have the highest reviews. Sometimes I will pick two and sort of combine them together.
The thing with the instant pot is of course you can cook your food in other ways but why would you want to? For me, I was nervous using a pressure cooker and I wanted an air fryer. I love that I can pressure cook something, get all that flavor and then air fry it for the crisp. This is totally worth for me. I am thinking about buying one for my brother too for his birthday in February. I think he would like it as a one pot to clean and delicious healthy dinner to eat. This has also given me more confidence in my cooking. I have tried to make oxtail and short ribs both on the stovetop and in the slow cooker before and they always fell apart on me. This past week I have made both using the instant pot and they came out delicious. I can’t wait to make more. I plan on keeping this on my counter and using it at least a couple times a week. If you are on the fence about getting one, I would recommend it.
My daughter is turning 9 this week. I can’t believe it. I feel like time is moving so fast.
Since we are in a self imposed lock down of sorts – Covid rates are going up, up, up around us so we are not going out – we are planning a few fun things at home. First, she’ll have her birthday scavenger hunt!
This is a tradition we started when the kids were small and they really look forward to it every year. Her new bed that we ordered back in August from pottery barn teen is FINALLY scheduled to be delivered. It was on back order until October, and then they said it was still backordered until November… and then it finally arrived and we could schedule the delivery. Turns out the first available day was her birthday so it works out! Her scavenger hunt gifts are all little things to decorate her room too… So for her bday she’ll be getting a tween bedroom makeover.
She also proved for a year that she was responsible enough to take care of a bunny by researching them and everything that needs to be done to take care of a bunny… and keeping her room clean. She picked up Captain Charleston Carrot two weeks ago and he’s really the sweetest little/big thing. He keeps her company while she’s doing her school work and I get to sneak in throughout the work day and pet him too.🙂
I am going to pick up an Oreo Ice Cream cake from the grocery store and then she gets to choose where to order take out from. Usually we would go for hibachi but Covid means delivery. Maybe she’ll still want hibachi.
That’s pretty much it for her 9th birthday plans. Happy birthday to my baby girl. I can’t believe it’s been 9 years already… And I can’t believe she’s only 9 years old.
She’s the funniest, sweetest, most thoughtful little boop and I am really happy to be her Mama.
Whelp. It’s been 2 entire years. I am so proud of me! I love blogging, I really do. I made $10.00 so far in ads. Only 18 more years before I can cash out. haha. I sold zero books through here and have received zero job offers. Not that I was actively pursuing any of that. I guess in my mind I had hoped that it would just happen. It did not.
That’s fine with me though. I blog because I enjoy it. I stopped trying so hard this year and it shows in my numbers. I’ll be down about 1000 views for the year if my readership keeps up through December. I don’t beat myself up anymore trying to promote, promote, promote. That is seriously my least favorite part of blogging. It’s necessary, but so time consuming. I finally gave up on the Author Facebook page. I deleted it last week. I started Facebook again for friends and family and maybe I will post about my books or blog on there occasionally. We’ll see. I kind of like having this little private corner of mine.
I upgraded last year to a business plan on WordPress. It was my Christmas gift to myself hoping that I could install a lot of plug ins and be more easily found on the internet. I installed a few plug ins and I have no idea if it worked. I do know that I was going to go back to the professional plan because I didn’t see any real pick up in traffic and was told that if I did, I would lose everything that I did for the last year. I am basically stuck in this plan until I decide to leave this platform. Which I might still do. I am annoyed I didn’t know I would lose everything. I invested a lot of time in this and I would really be super upset if I lost any of it. So, I am stuck for another year. I’ll see what happens. Maybe I’ll just keep it and make sure I catch the 50% off deals so it’s not so expensive. Who knows.
The biggest thing I learned is unless you have time to invest in it full time… Do it for fun. Do it because you like talking to people. Do it because you love writing and it’s a fun project for you. I realized in the last 2 years that while I would love to make money off of it, if I don’t, that’s fine too. What I love the most about this is seeing people react to my writing. That’s really what this was all about to me. Becoming more confident in my writing and myself. That feeling is worth more than anything. So thank you. Thank you for reading and liking and commenting. Thank you for giving me the courage to keep going. Thank you. After 2 years of blogging, my biggest achievement is you being here. 🙂
If you follow my blog, you already know that Thanksgiving is one of my most favorite holidays.
Traditionally, we have the entire family over and a few friends. It tends to end up being around 20-25 people. Usually, my husband would be frying a turkey outside while I crock pot a ham.
My mom and I start sides around 12pm and people show up around 2. I set out a buffet and everyone digs in and hangs out and it’s just fun to see everyone and hang out.
This year our Covid Thanksgiving looks a little different.
We cancelled the big party, obviously. It really made me sad though. I was still planning on cooking everything and dropping a tray off to my Sister and Niece. Then the school my sister works at shut down almost 2 weeks ago because it didn’t have enough staff to stay open.
Her school is closed until after Thanksgiving. She was tested this past week out of caution and has been quarantining, even though she wasn’t directly exposed. After discussing with my husband we have agreed that there is little risk in having them over. This has made my heart so happy. So I am back to planning Thanksgiving.
Since our Thanksgiving will be small I have decided to have and actual sit down lunch/dinner. I ordered some fun placemats and silly hats from Target and broke out the family serving dishes. I am once again thrilled for Thanksgiving.
I won’t be sad that I can’t see everyone, I’ll be happy we are all healthy and I will make the best of what we can do. I will miss everyone and hopefully next year we will all be able to get together again.
Since starting this blog one of the things I’ve been learning is vulnerability and the power that lies within doing so. It’s weird but freeing at the same time. Those of you who have been following me these past 5 months know that I was born with a disability, because of this disability I was always teased both for how I sounded when I spoke and because I’m unable to walk (YET) I’ve shared that because of it I became numb to emotions as a coping mechanism. The only one I’ve stayed connected with is anger. Anger literally became my best friend. It came everywhere I went even places where it wasn’t invited. It even spoke for me in the majority of situations. Simply meaning that if someone said or did anything I didn’t agree with instead of processing what happened I would instantly become angry and lose my temper. What I haven’t shared is that for the first 8 years of my life my mom was the only one that could understand me when I spoke. That’s until I laid my eyes on one of my favorite celebrities to this day at the age of 5. Even though I seen him for the first time at 5 I didn’t start becoming fully verbal until 8. The full story will be in my book. But I’ve decided to write him a letter. Who knows maybe he’ll actually read it one day. Anything is possible with God right??
I know you may never read this but anything is possible with god, so I’m writing this letter to thank you. Thank you for helping me laugh on my hardest days as a child, seriously I would come home crying from being teased for what felt like all day, catch the rerun of The Romeo Show and laugh instantly. Thank you for technically being my first word, literally other than my mother no one ever understood anything I said until I said your name. Thank you for sharing some of your life struggles in your music. Our struggles might not be the same but by you sharing I’ve realized that storms don’t last forever. Thanks for having issues with Bow Wow instead of Chris Brown because then I’d be caught in the middle and…whew chile I’m getting stressed just thinking about it lol I loveeee y’all both sooo much but let me get back on topic before I get distracted. Thank you for being such a man of god!! Back in 2016 when i was still struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts you began to post your bible study notes on Twitter which made me want to start building my own relationship with him not just believe in him, A year later in 2017 I accepted Jesus as my lord and savior and in 2019 I brought my own bible. Thank you for constantly reminding me that God still loves me regardless of my past. Thank you for letting him use you.
Remember each of our journeys are different don’t let anyone discourage you on yours!!! God can and will use people from all walks of life to help each other🤝
Hey All! November is almost half way done. I can’t believe that. Time is going both fast and slow right now. Weeks seem to be flying by but the days seem to be the same.
The kids schools are both remote right now. Both had cases in their schools that quarantined so much staff, they didn’t have enough people to run in person school. We were home already and now everyone is home. There are still other schools in town open.
Connecticut has 100 towns on their red zone list. My town was one of the first few to go red, so we have been laying low for the past few weeks. We only leave the house for a few things. Food, library (they have a sidewalk pickup), and very rarely either my husband or I will have to run to the office for a few minutes. Other than that, I online shop for pretty much everything else.
Our thanksgiving family feast is cancelled. I tried to cut down my menu for just the 4 of us and I will bring a tray to my sister and niece and it made me really sad. I decided to make everything but half it so we still get the feast. I am doing Ham, fried turkey, gravy, stuffing, cranberry sauce, carrots, sweet potato, mashed potato, green bean casserole, garlic monkey bread biscuits and then brownies for dessert.
Thanksgiving and Easter are my favorite holidays. We host both of those and I love cooking and having all our families over to eat and drink and hang out. Our families come from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut and right now everyone is having pretty big increases in infection rates. We’ll get back to it next year. Hopefully by Thanksgiving we’ll be allowed to safely celebrate together.
I can wait for safe.
I also went a little crazy with my husband last weekend and we ordered almost all of Christmas. That’s slowly showing up to our house and I am getting excited. I just have a few gifts left and as soon as Thanksgiving is over, I am decorating for Christmas and putting on all the Christmas music.
Honestly, the pandemic fatigue is real for me. I miss my friends. I miss just going out and not worrying. I got upset last weekend when I heard one of the people in my book club had a party at their house and I cancelled me going to book club and then left the text conversation. There are 7 of us and we were supposed to meet in a park and have a socially distant picnic book club. I heard party and was like no. Then I was angry. I don’t know if I overreacted but I wouldn’t have felt comfortable going, so I didn’t.
Plus, I know this might sound crazy, but every time I see someone or go somewhere for a bit… Like for my physical, or we had a drive by baby shower for a friend a few weeks ago but decorated the cars together, with masks on of course, but still… I am always counting down for 2 weeks and questioning every cough, sniffle, deep breath, head ache and possible chill. I honestly feel like I am crazy sometimes. We have pre existing conditions in this house so I won’t just chance anything. That’s where I am at right now. As long as we can stay home, I will. I just hope things start to turn around soon.
My daughters birthday is coming up in a couple weeks too. 9, I can’t believe that. She wants her scavenger hunt and a bunny. She’s ok with no party this year as long as she gets to pick a birthday vacation next year. I can’t say no to that. We all need a vacation at this point! She wants to go to Hawaii. Part of that is my fault because for our son’s 10th birthday we took him to Lego land in California. Then we vacationed in San Diego the rest of the week and fell in love with that place. So I planted the seed for the 10th birthday vacation idea. At this point, we might not be able to go anywhere till the end of next year so I’ll be saving for Hawaii. Hopefully it can happen! 🙂
The election voting is over. They’re still counting. In the beginning it looked promising but CNN said that it was a lot of democratic mail in votes. And now they are counting, counting, counting. It’s crazy. The thing I really don’t understand is the electoral college. I mean it doesn’t make sense to me that they 100% vote for the majority. What about all those other people in the state? Especially now.
For Example, Florida. A little more than half the people voted for Trump and the rest voted for Biden. Why do all 29 electoral votes go to Trump? Florida right now has 96% of their votes in. 51.2% Trump and 47.8% Biden. Wouldn’t it be fair to put like 15 to Trump and 14 to Biden? To me, it’s like half the state didn’t vote. It makes zero sense which is really why I never voted before this year. I don’t understand how you turn someone’s vote into something else based on majority. That’s not right. I kind of want to put together a spreadsheet showing what the real electoral votes should be if they actually reflected what the states voted. I might.
I know I might get a lot of people saying “It is what it is, blah blah blah… Because they said so.” It still makes no sense.
I just want a president who doesn’t make me feel embarrassed. I feel like every week these past 4 years there has been something Trump has said or done that has made me think “What the fuck?” Especially this last year with the pandemic and so many people dying and getting ill, where is all the help? I read someone’s tweet a while back that said “For $1.00 a day, you too can help support an American.” I laughed, but it’s serious. There are so many people struggling and dealing with huge loss. It just feels like things are tipping in the wrong direction and still, people are getting richer.
I’m not an economist or politician. I am a mom and wife. I write a blog and have a day job… This entire election process just doesn’t make any sense to me. I know a lot of people feel that way.
I am honestly scared of what’s going to happen in America no matter who wins.
I did vote this year for the first time. I am proud of that. I just have an anxious feeling right now.
On the brighter side, it Trump does win it will be the last 4 years he would have. His two terms would be over. I hope.
Once in a while when I am I driving to my house I am reminded of my own 20 year old words.
I used to work at a radio station as the Street Team. My job was to drive around in a company van and give out free shit to listeners. It was an awesome job. When we weren’t doing events we would be assigned a town to drive around and they would say on the radio what town we were in and to look for us. Usually we would drive, find a parking lot and hang out, get some lunch somewhere and give out whatever stuff we had. T shirts, bumper stickers, stickers, key chains, sometimes movie passes or tickets to places. I looooved that job. It was a team because there were two of us in the van usually.
One time I was with Eddie, a guy in his late 20’s who I made fun of. Like dude, why are you driving a radio van? We had the town he grew up in and he was driving that day. I recently moved to this town, but I still hung out with my crew a few towns over… He took me down some side roads I didn’t know. We went down this one road and I was reading the street signs out of boredom. “Avenue E, Avenue D, Avenue C, Avenue B….” I started laughing and said “where are we? Sesame Street?” Eddie said that it was a nice area and I was like yeah, whatever. Typical 20 year old ass.
10 years later my husband and I bought a house… On Avenue C.
It just cracks me up that it all came around. So every once is a while I’ll be driving home and hear my stupid 20 year old self laughing cause I live on Sesame Street.