Friday, July 30, 2010

The definition of delicious

Friday, Friday, FriDAY!  WOOT!!  The weekend is finally *almost* here.  I've got a good weekend lined up.  Tonight we're sans 4-year-old so we're actually going OUT to eat!  It's only to pizza, but can I tell you?  It'll be so nice to have a meal without having to worry about how Mr Nate is going to act!  It'll even be partially quiet because we'll just have Mason with us and he's always happy.  And if you're feeding him - even better!  On Saturday we're having our besties over for game night - that's ALWAYS a good time.  Sunday is time to get caught up on all the chores and such around the house.  It's work, but it's at home so it's not a big deal.  Now all I have to do is get through the rest of the work day - about 4 1/2 hours.  I can DO it!

Today I bring you a recipe I snagged from From the Kitchen of Mrs. Bettie Rocker.  This is the awesome!!  The hubs called it MAGIC.  The hubs doesn't ever complain about the food I make, but he'll be sure to tell me when he likes something.  So for him to say this was magic, that's saying a lot!

Basil Serloin with Potatoes

8oz beef sirloin steak, cubed (3/4 inch)
2 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 tsp dried basil
3/4 tsp seasoned salt
2 tsp olive oil
1/2  medium green bell pepper, cut into wedges
1 tsp all-purpose flour
8 oz. new red potatoes, thinly sliced
1 large tomato, coarsely chopped
1 small onion, cut into 1inch wedges
1/2 can low sodium chicken broth

Combine steak, garlic, basil and salt in a medium bowl and set aside. Heat oil in large non stick skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, cook steak and bell pepper 3-5 minutes or until browned and steak is medium rare, stirring once or twice. Remove from skillet.

Whisk flour into remaining oil in skillet over medium high heat. Add all remaining ingredients. Cover, reduce heat to medium and cook 8-10 minutes or until potatoes are tender, stirring once or twice. Add beef and bell pepper, cook 2 minutes or until hot.

NOTES:  I doubled this recipe because I couldn't find a pack of serloin that was smaller than a pound.  But, boy am I glad I did.  This was so good - we almost ate the entire dish because it was so good!

This was so well seasoned.  It smelled delicious as soon as it started cooking.  If only this were smell-o-vision!  I don't usually care for green bell peppers, but I make an exception for this!

And then you throw in the potatoes, tomatoes and onions with chicken broth - YUM!!!  Just seeing these pictures reminds me how drool-worthy this recipe is.

This picture does not do this recipe justice.  I know I keep saying this, but this was SOOOO good.  I'll definitely be making this one again very soon.  Seriously.  It's a wonder that Mrs Bettie Rocker doesn't weigh 300 pounds.  Between this AND her awesome desserts?  Just kill me now!!

So - GO!  Go to the store NOW to get all you need to make this!  You will NOT be disappointed.

Listening to: Makes Me Wonder by Maroon 5
Mood: TGIF

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Challenge Accepted - Part 7

Meh.  It's Thursday.  I've got some wierd anxiety thing going on today.  It's not horrible - just annoying.  And the fact that it's annoying me probably isn't helping.  LOL 

Today I bring you my submission to PHD's weekly challenge: Vampire.  The directions are to create a manicure sutible for a vampire.  Unlike the last challenge (you can link to it HERE), I knew what I wanted to do pretty much right away.  And I didn't have to go out and get anything new for colors (even though I did - but that's a story I'll share in a moment).  I had Monday off, so I got to it that afternoon.

I am still wearing this today and it's Thursday!!  I know I say this about most of my entries, but I really like this one.  Red is my favorite color and I love the way the black came out.  This one actually translated pretty much the same as it was in my head.  And it was pretty easy to do, too.  Just a little time consuming with the clean up because we all know what a PIA black can be! 

Here's what I used.  Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Black Out and Finger Paints Primary Color.  Here's the little story.  My bestie sent me a text Sunday afternoon telling me I *had* to get Black Out because it was the BEST black she's ever used.  Seriously?  And, of course, I needed black for this mani, so while out shopping on my day off, I picked it up.  Previously my go-to black was Pure Ice Black Rage but I wasn't happy at how fast it chipped.  Good thing I listened to my bestie because this is a great black creme.  There's nothing super special about it, but the formula is good and it has that wider brush that all SHs have now.  AND - I haven't had any chipping...with 3 days of wear.  There's a little tip wear, but that's to be expected with all I do with my hands during the day.  Primary Color is an orange-based red.  I usually go for blue-based red but I like this one.  It's bright and well pigmented.  I could've gotten away with one coat if I were careful about application.  It's been kinda hit and miss with FP formula, but this one wasn't too thick nor too thin.  Good stuff.

If you don't know or haven't tried a chevron tip, it's really quite easy.  This is the first time I've tried it and I was surprised it came out so good.  Paint your entire nail with the base color - let dry.  Take your second color and starting about 2/3 to a 1/3 down the nail on the side, drag the brush up in a diagonal line to the top edge of the nail.  Repeat on the other side.  Simple as that!

Just a little close up.  You can see where I needed to do clean up around the black near the skin of the finger.  It took forever to get this all cleaned up and it wasn't until I washed my hands quite a few times that all the black finally came off.  I had black polish on the skin next to the nail and some even bled to under the nail.  Not looking forward to getting it all removed tonight because I'm really wanting to do a lighter look tonight. 

We're having game night with the bestie and her hubs (who just happens to be the bestie to my hubs) on Saturday.  I'm making a new dessert for the occasion.  If it's any good, I'll post it next week.  Cross your fingers!

Listening to: Waking Up by 10 Years
Mood: anxious

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

MmMmM - Tangy!

Happy Wednesday, Kitschies!  It's raining here in good 'ol Albuquerque.  Well, it was a few minutes ago.  That's what I love about weather here in the Land of Enchantment.  If you don't like it, wait 5 minutes and it'll change.  Such is the weather during monsoon season.

While surfing around the blogs I stalk, I ran across some *awesome* recipes on From the Kitchen of: Mrs Bettie Rocker.  I love this blog!  She tempts me/us with drool-worthy recipes on a constant basis, a few of which I've actually made myself.   A couple days ago I asked what I should do for entries on my blog and she mentioned that I could do some of her recipes.  Don't mind if I do!!

Tangy Breaded Pork Chops

1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup prepared ranch salad dressing
6 bone-in pork loin chops (1/2 inch thick and 8 ounces each)
In a shallow bowl, combine bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese. Place dressing in another shallow dish. Dip pork chops in dressing, then roll in crumb mixture.
Place in an ungreased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan. Bake, uncovered, at 375° for 25 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 160°.
NOTES:  I used boneless loin chops because I don't like to eat things off the bone.  The recipe calls for an ungreased pan, but I lined the pan with parchment paper - it makes for super easy clean up.  I sprinkled a little extra shredded Parmesan cheese on top before baking.

 Ready for their trip to perfection.

 Mrs Bettie Rocker served hers with potatoes, but we did pasta and steamed carrots.

Kid tested.  Mother approved.

If you click on the link that's connected to the recipe title, you can see her original post.  She posted an awesome baked potato recipe with this one, too.  The potato recipe is also the awesome, but it's been too hot in the house to bake those, too, so we opted for some *cooler* sides.  I can't wait to make those potatoes again. 

All 3 of the boys (the hubs included) loved these pork chops.  They kinda remind me of Shake 'n Bake, but it has a better flavor, a tang (good thing - it *is* TANGY breaded pork chops, after all).  I'll definitely be making this one again.  Thank you to Mrs. Bettie Rocker for posting this great recipe!  The hubs thanks you, too.  She also "hosted" a recipe swap late last week.  The participants (including myself) got paired up with 3 other people - we wrote out 2 recipes (main dish and dessert) and sent them to our peeps.  I sent mine out yesterday: Spicy Baked Chicken, Bacon-Topped Green Beans and, as a special bonus, Fudge Pudding Cake.  I can't wait to get my 6 new recipes!!  Don't worry - I'll share 'em with you! 

Listening to: I'm Like a Bird by Nelly Furtado (meh!)
Mood: chillaxin

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Box 'o fun!!!

Today was my Monday. Thankfully, it was a little better than the usual Monday. My back is still bothering me and that's a huge drag. I was in a blah mood on the way in to work this morning and then my bestie sent me a text that brightened my day. There's a reason she's my bestie!!

Game Swap Button

Anyway...I participated in Mamarazzi's Swaparazzi: Game Swap. My swap partner this time was none other than Mamarazzi herself! No pressure there. If you're not familiar with Mamarazzi, she's the owner/contributor to Dandelion Wishes. She throws the BEST swaps. Next time she has one, I'll link to it, and you should participate. So much fun!! I digress. I got my box 'o fun from Ms Mamarazzi yesterday. And I just so happened to be I ripped right in to that sucker!

 Look at that box!!  She's got awesome handwriting.  And the little designs on the box were so cute!  I *almost* didn't want to open it.  Yeah, right!!

Everything was wrapped in pretty pastel paper.  And every package had a little "...because..." note.  So cute!!  

Look at all my stuff!!!  I felt like a kid on Christmas morning.

Now to the GOOD stuff!!
1. ...because EVERYTHING is better with Goldfish.  Hello, it smiles back...awesome!  Goldfish snack crackers!
2.  ...there never seems to be one of either of these things around come game time!  Notepads & pens
3.  ...sweets & sours!  Mike & Ikes and Warheads
4.  ...because this is an absolute must for game night!  Microwave popcorn
5. play in the background...because good tunes make an evening fun!  Mix CD
6. ALL TIME family favorite!  I happen to be the current champ!  Phase 10
7.  ...we could play this one all day & night!  Perfect for taking to the beach or picnic too!  Triominoes
8. are special...this one is not even in stores yet!  Wooo hoo!!!  Trivial Pursuit: Bet You Know It

She really went all out with this package!  Not only did I get a new game, I got 3 new games!!  I have other Trivial Pursuits, but not this one.  How could I?  It's not even in stores yet!!  I've never played Phase 10, but I'm always up for a new game!  And Triominoes...we used to play this when I was a kid.  Can't wait to play it again!!  I'm loving the mix CD - it reminds me of The Blend on XM Radio that we listen to at work.  *sigh*  So much good stuff!!  Just in time, too!  We're having a game night with the bestie and her hubs on Saturday night.  Yay for perfect timing!  On top of all that great stuff, she threw in a couple $5 coupons towards a new game.  I think I might just have to use one (or 2) of those!!  THANKYOUSOMUCH Ms Mamarazzi!!  You spoiled me. :)

So...go NOW to check out what other swappers got.  I can't wait to see all the games other people got.

Listening to: The Ocean Breathes Salty by Modest Mouse
Mood: lucky

Monday, July 26, 2010

Strawberry Fields Forever

If you haven't seen Across the Universe, you should definitely check it out!  I grew up listening to the music of the Beatles and I sang along to this entire movie.  I didn't think I'd like it, but I really did.  OK - the end of that one is a little gory, but it kinda fits with the cake at the end.  LOL  Now you HAVE to read on to see what I'm talking about.

Happy Monday, Kitschies!  Yep - it's Monday again, but this Monday is a little bit different than the routine for me.  Both my docs are out which means NO PATIENTS which also means I don't have to be in clinic today.  WOOT!!  I got to sleep in just a little bit and then I hit the ground running.  I've gotten quite a bit done and I still have time left in my day.  The only bad part is that my back is bothering me.  As soon as I'm finished doing my stuff around the house, I'm going to set myself up in bed with an ice pack and a book.  I can't leave my readers hanging, so I'm doing my post despite the pain (this is where you feel sorry for me).

I was really wanting to try a new recipe this weekend.  And I was craving something with strawberries, but not a pie.  Then I happened on a recipe for strawberry cake that used fresh strawberries.  Perfect!  On Saturday, my son and I baked up this cake. It's a near FAIL and you'll see why toward the end.

Strawberry Cake

1 package white cake mix
1 package (3 oz) strawberry-flavored gelatin powder
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs, slightly beaten
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup mashed strawberries

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 lb confectioners sugar
1/4 cup mashed strawberries

Combine cake mix and gelatin powder in a large bowl. Beat in oil, eggs, water, and strawberries. Pour into 2 9-inch round greased and floured cake pans. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool and frost with strawberry icing.

For icing, beat the butter and confectioners' sugar together until smooth. Add strawberries. Spread between cake layers, then frost top and sides.

NOTES:  You might think that a cup of vegetable oil seems like a lot, but it wasn't.  The cake wasn't oily - it was nice an moist.  I started with 3/4 cups mashed berries, but I think I ended up using about a cup.  I increased the amount of berries in the frosting, too.

I don't have a food processor, so I used a potato masher - it worked perfectly!

My little helper, Nate.  He loves to help me in the kitchen.

Ready for the oven.

Half the fun is the clean up!

OK.  Here's where it almost goes wrong.  It's been SUPER humid here the last 3 or 4 days.  Saturday was no exception.  On top of the external humidity, we have an evaporative cooler which means it's humid inside, too.  FUN!!  So, I don't know if it was the high humidity or what, but the frosting did NOT turn out very good.  It tasted fine, but it looks like pureed vomit.  Seriously.  UGH!

How disgusting does that look?!  I can take it - just tell me.  I even threw the remaining "frosting" in the fridge to see if it would firm up.  Yeah.  Notsomuch.  *sigh*

At least it doesn't look so bad when it's being served.  A little side note - there is no food coloring the cake.  The red of the strawberries made the white cake that pink.

Nate showing off his piece of cake.  He really is a good helper.  And he's always so proud that he helped Mommy. <3

Well, dear readers, I'm off to get some more stuff done around the house.  I hope you're enjoying the start of you week.  It'll be back to work as usual for me tomorrow.  OH!  And before I forget...check out From the Kitchen of: Mrs. Bettie Rocker.  She's hosting a link party for the next week.   I'm throwing this recipe in the mix (I don't know why).  She's got some AWESOME recipes on her site (two of which I'll be posting soon).  She is vegan, but the rest of her family isn't - we benefit from the best of both worlds here!

Listening to: New Born by Muse
Mood: ouch

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Taking Chance

 You will rarely see a movie review from me.  However, on the off chance that I see a movie that moves me so much that it chokes me up the following day or affects me in some deep way, I will tell you about it.  Last night I watched Taking Chance.  I told a coworker that I was planning on watching it and she said she cried through the whole movie.  I cry at movies anyway (well, not at Star Wars like the hubs), so if *she* cried through the whole movie, I knew I was going to be a wreck.  By the third scene, I had tears rolling down my face.  By the middle of the film, I was crying.  By the end, I was sobbing.  The thoughts of it today still bring tears to my eyes. 

Taking Chance is an HBO movie based off the events of Lt. Col. Strobl escorting a fallen Marine, Cpl Chance Phelps, to his resting place.  The movie (1 hour, 18 minutes) follows both Strobl and Phelps' journey "home", the policy and procedure each goes through and the reaction of people around them.  I respect our military.  I respect the fallen.  I never knew with how much respect the fallen soldiers were treated.  These people made the ultimate sacrifice protecting our way of life.  Whether or not you agree with this war we're in, you will never look at another service person the same - especially the ones who have served over in Iraq - after seeing this movie.  And you'll definitely listen with a heavy heart when you hear that somebody in your town has become a casualty in the war.  I *almost* turned off the movie about 1/3 of the way in because I was having a hard time watching, not that it was bloody or gory or anything like that.  This movie was mentally draining.  Even though I'm telling you how hard it was to watch it, this is definitely one of the best movies I've ever seen.  It's not a movie that you'd want to watch over and over again - it will stay with you for a long time.  I appreciate each and every person involved in preparing/escorting/finalizing a fallen soldier's body.  I never realized how one solider could affect so many people - known and unknown to them.  The thing that got to me the most is how dedicated Strobl was to helping Chance make it home.  He rarely left his side and was on-duty the entire trip (which lasted a couple days).  I don't know if every escort is as strict as he was, but if they are, I have a huge amount of respect for them as well. While you're waiting for Netflix to deliver your disc, take a look at this interview by Kevin Bacon about the film.  Watching this today after watching the movie last night, I get a lump in my throat.  There are so many gripping scenes.  "Colonel. Whenever you're ready."

Interview with Kevin Bacon

I've rambled enough about this.  I highly recommend this movie - just have a box of tissue with you while you watch it.  Last night, I almost (not quite, but almost) wanted to track down my ex to tell him I appreciate his service in the Air Force.  Please, if you know a member of our Armed Forces, thank them.  They are the reason we enjoy such freedoms in the United States.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Challenge Accpeted - Part 6

Happy weekend! I hope everybody is enjoying theirs. It's been cloudy all day but no rain in Rio Rancho. It rained cats and dogs up by the mountains this afternoon, but nothing out on the mesa. I was up by the mountains because my bestie, Wendi, got her nose pierced and it looks great! A couple days ago she mentioned she was thinking about it, and then another friend and I egged her on and she decided to do it today. She did so good - not even a squee nor a tear did Ms W shed!

Today I give you the weekly Polish Hoarder Disorder challenge - Color Accent. We are to use black, gray and white with one accent color of our choice. I had a hard time with this one. I wasn't feeling very inspired all week and though I ended up submitting two looks, the first wasn't my strongest work.  Here's a LINK to the challenge gallery.  There's a lot of great entries this week!

This is my first entry.  The hubs and I sat down at lunch one afternoon and he had this really great idea.  Have the white as the base color to be the daylight sky.  The gray would be twilight and black would be the night sky.  The accent (ring) finger would have a setting sun with rays of light shining up.  It looked great in my head.  It looked great on the sketch.  On the finger?  Notsomuch.

In this one, you can see  I added just a touch of holo glitter at the very tip of the ring finger - it's supposed to be the stars.  If you click to make the image bigger, you can see the "stars" better.

Here's what I used.  Pure Ice Black Rage, Finger Paints Easel Come, Easel Go, Finger Paints Papier Mache, Sinful Colors Let's Meet and a couple different brushes. 

In theory, the idea was good.  I don't know if I was just feeling so uninspired that it didn't come out right or if I just lack the skills in execution, or what.  Either way - meh!

Now, the second look I like much better.  It was rather slow at work on Friday and I was by myself.  So, while surfing the internets, I decided to look for black and white nail art designs.  I came across a couple good ideas and then I found my inspiration.

I did all my nails black except for the accent finger (again, the ring finger) - that one was white.  On the white I used my dotting tool and made silver (aka: gray) eyes and whiskers and a red nose.  Then I painted on a red bow: my splash of color.  This came out much better than the first submission and I'm quite happy with it.  It's cute. 

This is my submission photo.  I was really hoping for sun today for a no-flash outdoors picture, but there was no sun to be seen all day!  You still get an outdoors picture, just not sunny.

Here's what I used for this one.  Pure Ice Black Rage, Finger Paints Papier Mache, Finger Paints Easel Come, Easel Go, China Glaze Vertical Rush, a striping brush and a dotting tool.

I realized from this challenge that I don't like all white fingernails.  They're distracting.  Way more distracting than black fingernails.  However, black is a bigger PIA to clean up.  Oh, and so is that sparkly silver polish.  I did what I could, but you can still see it on my fingers in that second picture.  And one more thing - I waited longer than usual to put topcoat over the design because I didn't want the red to drag.  Well, even though I waited, it still drug the red a little.  A little side note about Pure Ice Black Rage: in the direct, bright sun, this isn't just your run-of-the-mill black creme.  It has little tiny sparkles, almost holo particles.  I've only seen it once or twice, but it's so pretty.  OK - one more picture...just for fun.

Finally I can rest with a design I'm happy with.  I can't believe this one was so difficult for me!  I had a dream early this morning that I had painted over my black fingers with pink polish - but I didn't remember doing it.  And then when I went to touch it, the pink came off in big flakes.  WTH?!  I guess I need to let go of this for a little while.  LOL

Coming up in the next week or so, you can expect some recipes (including strawberry cake, serloin and potatoes and pork chops) and some more nail art.  And beginning August 4th, the bestie and I will be posting in Workout Wednesdays - our struggles through an intense 30-day workout program.  FUN!  Speaking of the bestie...take a look at my banner!  She made that for me!  I love how it combines all 3 of the things I post about in the blog (family, recipes and polish) and she included a skull, too - makes me think of her. :)

Well, I'm off to watch Taking Chance.  My co-worker told me she cried from beginning to end - just great!  Good thing the hubs is out playing with his bestie tonight.  But that's not until I put the frosting on the strawberry cake - yum!!!

Listening to: Heads Will Roll by Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Mood: Inspired

Friday, July 23, 2010

Do the Funky Chicken!

TGIF!! I have been feeling rather uninspired the last couple days, and today is no different, really. It IS Friday and that's about as good I get today. Let's hope it gets better because it's only 9:00 and if it's like this all day, I'm gonna have a sad.

Anyway...I told the hubs that I need to make something from a new recipe some time this weekend. I'm about out of recipes and nails to show you. Can you believe it? I really need to get out of this funk and get to it already! So, here's my question. What do you want to see? Recipes? What kind? Dessert? Main dish? Any specific type of food? More nails? What colors? Art? More kid pics? Etc, etc, etc. What do YOU want to see? Drop me a line in the comments or shoot me an email to Help me get out of this funk!!!

Now. For the matter at hand. Last week I tried a new slow cooker recipe. I love hot wings, but I *hate* to eat food with my hands. I really don't like my hands to get dirty and I think that's from the years and years of working in a medical office - do you know how many times I wash my hands throughout the day? Crazy. So, when I found this recipe, I jumped on it. It didn't photograph very's only chicken and sauce, after all, so you only get one pic. Funny story with this one. This is the dinner that almost wasn't. My coworker asked me what we were having for dinner and the thought of OMG did I turn the crockpot on?! hit me like a slap in the face. I *hate* that feeling. I was either going home to a house full of yummy smells or a pot full of spoiled chicken. Usually I turn the crockpot on with a light timer, and I remember turning on the timer, but I didn't remember setting the time (I was in a hurry that morning). Luckily, in my haste, I bypassed the timer altogether and plugged the crockpot into the wall. So, it had been cooking for a LONG time by the time we got home (like, 12 hours). It wasn't horrible, but the chicken was a little dry. Here's recipe that almost wasn't.

Buffalo Chicken Breasts

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1/4 cup hot sauce
2 Tbsp vinegar
2 Tbsp melted butter

Place chicken in crockpot. Mix together remaining ingredients and pour over chicken. Sprinkle with paprika. Cook on Low for 6 to 8 hours.

NOTES: I did a few things different for this recipe, based on the suggestions of others who had tried it. I used Frank's Wing Sauce for the hot sauce, but you can use whatever you long as it's hot! 1/4 cup? That's not even enough to cover 1 chicken breast. I don't know where they got that. I used however much it took to cover all the pieces. I think it ended up being at least a cup. And with the increase of sauce, I increased the other ingredients accordingly. Instead of vinegar, I used Worcestershire sauce. I didn't use Paprika - it's already that wonderful orangey-red color - why add more? Before I took it out of the slow cooker, I shredded the breasts with a fork. Served on burger buns with bleu cheese dressing.

I really liked this. The hubs had cheese on his because he doesn't like bleu cheese anything - I shoulda put some on his and not told him because he kept saying that it was missing *something* but he couldn't tell me what that *something* was. Thanks, hubs. Thanks. LOL I wasn't shy on adding meat to the buns and we still had a bunch leftover. I think it would easily make 6 sandwiches.

Enjoy your Friday, dear readers. I'm off to get some work done (I think my boss would appreciate that).

Listening to: What About Love by Heart (chick rockers ROCK)
Mood: Uninspired

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

What now?

We made it half-way through the work week, Kitschies!! I hope this week has been treating you well. It's raining tonight - FINALLY! I have a weather barometer for a knee so the rain is a very welcome relief.

A little bit of a different post for me tonight. As I mentioned in my post yesterday, I've hit a sort of a creative road block. It's not horrible - I can still be creative. I'm just in a permanent block with this week's nail challenge. However, in other areas, I've been rather constructive. I had a notice pop up on my blog this afternoon that said my background from will disappear after Friday (and I can't even access that page to see what the heck is going on there). That sorta lit a fire under my butt and I went searching for a new background. Obviously, I've found one, but I don't *love* it. It'll do, pig. I found this one (and many other possible choices) at Simply Blog It Backgrounds. All their backgrounds and headers are free - that's my kind of deal! Like I said, I don't *love* it, but I had already made the header (all by myself, I might add), so I was on a mission to find something that worked with that. Speaking of banners, my BFF told me once upon a time that she'd make one for me. I know she's busy, so I decided to try my hand at it. Like the background, I don't *love* my header, but it'll do, pig. It'll do.

And so I don't run out of things to post, I decided to take a pic of what my road block looks like.

There's a bunch of polish sitting there - taunting me. Those little boogers are Zoya Trinity, Pure Ice Black Rage, Finger Paints Papier Mache, Finger Paints Easel Come, Easel Go, Diamond Dry top coat, Zoya Mimi and Seche base. That's in addition to various nail art tools, a big bottle of acetone and a black and white pic I printed that had "inspired" me earlier in the day. *sigh* It'll come back soon enough, but it's like something that you just can't quite remember and it's right there on the tip of your tongue. Frustrating!

And a couple randoms. This is what happens when the hubs gets the camera.

The hubs snapped this rather unflattering pic of me while I was doing research for a new recipe. See the In 'N Out shirt? He got that for me when he was in Phoenix in February. I loves me some In 'N Out, but the closest one to Albuquerque is Phoenix - not going there *just* for a dang double-double. LOL Especially not in the Summer.

Another rather unflattering picture. *sigh* Hey, hubs...if you're reading this, I'd really appreciate it if you'd warn me when you're going to take a pic next time. LOL Anyway, he said this is *proof* that I'm somewhat domestic. I don't see how getting a bag of grapes out of the fridge for the little one is proof of my domesticity, but whatever.

There ya go. That's what I've been up to this evening. Now I'm going to go read some of my book (A Change of Heart by Jody Picoult, if you're wondering) while I wait for the hubs to finish his workout. Speaking of working out, the BFF (here's a linky link to her blog if you want to check her out ahead of time - and you should) and I are going to start Jilian Michaels' 30-Day Shred on August 1st. We'll be blogging about our experiences in a weekly installment titled Workout Wednesday. Be sure to tune in to both our blogs and cheer us on - I have a feeling we're gonna need all the help we can get!

Listening to: Optimistic by Radiohead ( Pandora trying to give me an attitude adjustment?)
Mood: relieved

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Cue Garfield

Ah...Tuesday evening, Kitschies. What are you doing tonight? I'm trying not to melt and I'm arguing with my nail polish. Why? No. I'm not insane. I'm having a creative block that was induced by PHD's latest weekly challenge. I know I'll have a breakthrough at some point, but right now, I'm arguing with my brain and my polish because it is just not coming out the way it's *supposed* to. Do you ever have moments like that? Maybe it's my brain telling me I need to sit this one out. But I refuse!

Enough of that. Time to let things be for a bit. On to the post at hand. The hubs and I usually like to plan out our menu for the week so we can try to prevent multiple trips to the grocery store. Last week, he asked me what my favorite pasta is. That's easy: lasagna. Specifically, MY lasagna. But, HELLO!?! It's flipping hot! The last thing I want to do is spend a bunch of time in the kitchen in front of a hot stove/oven. But that's exactly what I did. It ended up being a good thing because we had a bunch of leftovers and that means I didn't have to spend a lot of time in the kitchen putting something else together! I don't remember where I found this recipe, but I have yet to try any other lasagna recipe.

Lasagna with Meat Sauce

8 oz lasagna noodles
2 Tbsp salt for cooking noodles
1 Tbsp olive oil
16 oz low fat ricotta cheese
8 oz sliced Mozzarella cheese
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup finely chopped onions
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 lb ground chuck or round
1 large can (28 oz) tomatoes
1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
2 tsp salt
pinch cayenne pepper
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp dried basil
1 bay leaf
2 cups water

Start sauce about 30-45 minutes in advance (or the day before).

Saute onion and garlic in olive oil until onions are soft; add ground beef and brown. Pour off excess fat. Add remaining sauce ingredients; stir well. Simmer slowly, uncovered, for 1 hour.

Cook noodles in boiling water with 2 Tbsp salt for about 25 minutes, or until tender, stirring frequently to prevent sticking. Drain; add 1 Tbsp olive oil. Arrange noodles in a shallow 2 1/2 qt baking dish. Make 3 layers each of noodles, ricotta cheese, Mozzarella cheese, meat sauce and Parmesan cheese. Bake uncovered at 325* for 45 minutes.

NOTES: I use a 9x13x2 glass baking dish. This really seems to be the perfect size. I always spray the bottom of the baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. I don't know if any of you have any helpful tips to spread the ricotta cheese, but I usually just use my fingers and glop it on and then try to spread it out as evenly as I can. It comes out ok in the end, but it sure is a pain in the butt. This was enough to feed both the hubs and I for at least 3 meals. hot in the house - you can see the steam in the picture!

Ready for the oven.

Fresh out of the oven

Ready to enjoy!

I have a question for you, my beautiful readers. When you have a case of creative block, what do you do to unblock? When you have a great idea in your head but it just doesn't come out right, what do you do? Do you just keep at it, hoping that it'll work itself out or do you do it once, realize it's not working and then move on? Where do you go, what do you do, for inspiration? Do you have a sure-fire, go-to thing that always inspires you?

Listening to: Spotlight (Twilight Mix) by Mute Math
Mood: frustrated

Monday, July 19, 2010

Why I heart blogging

Happy Monday, Kitschies! It's that dreaded day of the week again. I always have a hard time getting back into the swing of the routine, but today wasn't so bad. I didn't have to get up *quite* as early as I usually do because Nate had a doctor's appointment this morning. It was nice not having to rush around the house, but I'm not willing to get up earlier just so I can take my time in the mornings. I like sleep. Know what I mean?

I heart blogging. Really. It's been such a great creative outlet for me. On top of that, I love to stalk the other blogs and see what everybody else is up to. I love each and every blog I follow - they area all unique and they've provided such inspiration. And even better than that, I've "met" some awesome people. One of those people is the beautiful Annie from Nailstah. Not only does she give awesome swatches, her nails are perfect AND she takes the time to respond to each and every comment on her posts. I love when a blogger takes the time to mingle with her followers. Anyway, a couple weeks ago, I commented on one of her posts about a ChG holo. I mentioned that I didn't have any ChG holos and that I'd had my eye on one of them forever. She responded that she could send me one of her holos, if I wanted. OF COURSE I WANTED! LOL How cool is that?! Then early last week I got a bubble mailer delivered at work. My coworker brought it back to me and told me I had to open it *now* because she wanted to see what colors I got. COLORS?! I was only planning on 1 and she gave me 3!! AWESOME!! I tore in to the package and look what I got!

Branding Iron and Divine Inspiration. Branding Iron has been on my lemming list from day one. Seriously. This is a gorgeous, deep red shimmer. SOOOO pretty!!! Divine Inspiration is a pretty rose creme - this is my kind of color. *sigh* If only there were more days in the week to try out all my polishes! And then...the one I was drooling over...

China Glaze holo in BFF. It's SOOO pretty and SOOOO holo! I don't have a swatch for it yet, but you can check out Nalistah's original post for a good swatch. In the shade, it's a pretty rose color. In the sun/direct light it's so holographic - it's hard NOT to look at. I wore it over the weekend for a trial run and I loved it. It's a little persnickety because that's just the nature of holo polish, but the end result is worth the trouble. When I wear this for a real mani, I'm definitely going to have to take my time because it's an eye-catcher and I don't want people looking at my tips and thinking "well...I could've done better than that!". LOL I'm sending a BIG thank you to my dear Annie at Nailstah. I love the holo and you NAILED (heh - get it?!) the other two colors. YOU ROCK!!!

Now it's your turn. Take a gander at Nailstah and tell her Megan from Kitschy Suburbia sent you! Oh, and if any of you are interested in a swap, I have more than a couple I could trade with you. Just leave me a comment or send me an email at and we'll see what we can do. Ah...I love blogging.

Listening to: Lounge Act by Nirvanah
Mood: Kitschy!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Challenge Accepted - Part 5

It's the weekend!!! I hope it's cool where you are, because it's not here in Albuquerque. I'm hiding out in the house with all the shades drawn and the cooler on high and it's still super hot in the house. All I want to do is lay on the couch and veg, but two little kids make that a little more than impossible.

Today I bring you Polish Hoarder Disorder's weekly challenge. This week, it's Fashion Inspiration: Betsey Johnson. She gave us a link to Betsey's collection and we had to pick a dress we could replicate the pattern or style of one of the dresses. Hmmm...for me, this was going to be a little more difficult that the others because I don't have a Konad. After going through page after page, dress after dress, I finally decided on a dress. I *almost* didn't want to do this challenge because I loved the mani I had on at the time. But once I got into this one, I really liked it. The dress and the resulting nail design really remind me of the 80's. So do most of Bestey Johnson's designs. LOL

I started with Loreal Waters Edge as the base on all my nails. It's a pretty minty blue creme that applied really easily. I had initially tried this over white because I felt the blue wasn't quite light enough, but with all the decoration on top, I think it really was the perfect blue.

To make the splashes of color, I used a fan brush and randomly brushed on acrylic paint in Canary Yellow, Licorice and Valentine Pink. Since the dress is made of jersey material (ie: t-shirt material), I opted to use ChG Matte Magic to dull the finish. I had just gotten that in the mail from earlier in the week, so of course I had to play with my new toy!

And here's the finished product. I was really happy with this one. It's actually a design that looked just as good on my nails as it did in my head (that doesn't happen often).

This is my submission collage. After seeing all the great entries, it made me realize that I need to take a little more time with the collage because there are some great ones this time around. Like every week, I'll be anxiously anticipating PHD's next polish challenge - they're so much fun!!

As always, thanks for stopping by! Enjoy the rest of your weekend.