Last weekend, B was swept away and spoiled by my parents. In turn, I, too, was spoiled with a whole day of freedom. We ended up snagging DREAM SEATS to the skins game! HAIL YEAH! We usually go to one or two games a year, but this was probably the best game we had ever been to. RGIII ran his record-setting touchdown right into our end zone. The crowd was insane!
Since it was a 4pm game, the night was still young when we left FedEx and we decided to further our date by stopping by one of our favorite sushi spots in Shirlington. Bonsai has a great outdoor seating area and it was the perfect night for it.
Of course, being kid-free, we couldn't end the night there. There has been such great hype about the World of Beer that opened up in Ballston so we checked it out... however, I was not impressed. At all. I guess if I wanted to spend $10 a beer, receive bad service (i'm pretty sure our waitress was drunk and/or high), and eat from their menu of basically pretzels and sausage.... no thanks.
Regardless of the last stop, what an awesome Sunday Funday we had! huge shout out to my mom and dad for making it possible! xo
I seriously sat in my car and watched this lady back in and out of her spot 4 times. And this was the result.
I was desperately trying to find a fall-themed event for Monday, but nothing really caught my eye.
Apple picking sounds great - but we already have plans to go next week... and what in the world am I going to do with bushels upon bushels of apples?
When all else fails -- head to the zoo! We lucked out with pretty amazing weather and free parking! woo!
Afterwards, we hit up a local legend for dinner: The Italian Store in Arlington. With all the excitement that comes along with a to-die-for meatball sub, I somehow left my coach purse on the back of my chair as we drove away. I always joke that the purse itself is worth more than the contents – but with my luck, the day I lose it, I have $400 cash inside. I frantically called The Italian Store and they said that one of their regulars, a federal agent, took it with him for safe keeping. THANK GOD.
Natually, the kid at The Italian Store did not give me the right cell number for the fed, so I freaked out because some kid named "Timmy" kept answering the phone #suburbanpeopleproblems. Eventually, I got it all worked out and positive karma seriously came back to me. All those times I feel like I’m doing something for nothing… that's what makes this world go ‘round.
by Sarah Festa
I heard someone say that cleaning your house with a toddler in it is like brushing your teeth and eating oreos. So true!
The past few weeks have been busy around here, and we just got back from a quick trip to Rehoboth. I returned home to find my kitchen in a funk. No seriously, something was funky because there was a smell in the air. I decided I needed to tackle three things—mop the floor, clean out the fridge of old food, and put a new, better smell in the air. To Pinterest I go!!!
I am not opposed to chemicals; I have my share of 409 and Shout, but if I can get away without using them, I definitely do. I found this heavy-duty floor cleaner recipe on Pinterest and went to town on my floor. The mixture didn’t have much of a scent, which I was ok with since I had enough smells going on as it was. The cleaner worked great—definitely going to be using this again.
1/2 cup white vinegar
1 tablespoon liquid dish soap
1/4 cup baking soda (I used the Super Washing Soda)
2 gallons hot tap water
There were definitely some culprits for the smell inside the fridge. I took care of throwing those things out and wiped down the shelves. I have seen lots of people on Pinterest pin the idea of using Glad Press ‘N Seal on your shelves to protect from spills and general mess. Once they get dirty you just replace it, keeping your fridge relatively clean. I tried this. I didn’t like it. The size of the product didn’t match my shelves not matter which way I tried to put it, and I thought it was wasteful to have to use 2 pieces on every shelf. Also, it didn’t stick very well. I had just wiped down the shelves and they were a tad wet, so I dried them off and that didn’t even help. Oh well!
I found a few recipes for stovetop potpurri on Pinterest and after consulting with my friend, I decided on the recipe below. This definitely put a pleasant smell in the air. I didn’t recognize it right away since I was in the kitchen working, but once I left and came back I could tell it was there. It’s not overpowering; it just happily lingers. I love that you can continue to use this time and time again. Again, this was another great chemical-free solution to my issue. Success!
One whole orange, quartered
1/2 cup fresh cranberries
1 T whole cloves
3 cinnamon sticks
A shake of grated nutmeg
Overall, I was able to get a lot of this work done during nap time. As to not feel like I am cleaning all day long (which I still feel like I am), I set my microwave’s kitchen timer for cleaning. I usually set it for 30 minutes, but because of the scope of today’s work, I set it for 60 minutes. I find that I am way more productive when I am racing against the clock; you can get a lot done in 30 minutes! When that timer beeps I drop what I’m doing—hands up, Top Chef style.
For now, my kitchen is funkless, but give it about 24 hours for something else to happen; I have a toddler and lots of meals to cook. Oh well, better enjoy it while it lasts.
by Jennifer Hemmick
I have always considered myself to be technologically savvy and up-to-date with most trends. It really was surprising that my love affair with Pinterest took some time to develop; it progressed slowly and developed similarly to the Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’s 5 stages of grief (can you tell I have a background in Psychology?). There was:
1. Denial – What is Pinterest and what is so great about it? Me join Pinterest? No way. I love Facebook and don’t need anything else in my life.
2. Anger – Why didn’t I start using Pinterest before my last party? It would’ve been so much better!
3. Bargaining – If only I had tried that recipe I found on Pinterest instead of making up my own…
4. Depression – All these people on Pinterest have such great lives and they can do EVERYTHING! They cook, they bake, they tackle DIY home projects, they spend time with their kids. I feel so inadequate!
5. Acceptance – I cannot attempt to recreate everything I pin (I spend WAY too much time on Pinterest and there aren’t enough hours in the day for me to do everything I wish I could), but I vow to at least try some of them out.
I finally decided to try some of my pins out. I do not consider myself a professional “pinner; ” I am not a chef or incredibly crafty and my time-management skills are more than questionable. The way I see it is, more than likely, most of Pinterest users are like me. So here I am, just trying to make my life easier (and hopefully yours), one pin at a time!
Which brings me to this, my first “I pinned it!” post. A couple of weeks ago I found a Crockpot Beef and Broccoli recipe that I’ve been dying to try. The weather is finally turning, and while I wasn’t exactly wishing for another tornado watch/warning, this rainy day is perfect for a Crockpot meal!
I’m relatively new to slow-cooking and I haven’t found many recipes that I really like, so while I was hoping this would be THE Crockpot meal to change my mind, my expectations weren’t high. I read all the blog comments before I decided to make this and asked my butcher for a cut of meat that wouldn’t shred after being in the Crockpot all day. He suggested a shoulder roast, which is what I ended up using. I made some small changes, but for the most part stuck to the directions. My 5-year-old gave it two thumbs up and my husband ate two bowls of it! Here’s the recipe:
1 pound boneless beef chuck roast, sliced into thin strips (I used about 1 ¾ pounds of the shoulder roast)
1 cup beef consomme
1/2 cup soy sauce (I used low sodium)
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons sauce from the crock pot after being cooked
Fresh broccoli florets
Hot cooked rice (we’re brown rice lovers, so that’s what I used)
1. Place beef in a Crockpot.
2. In a small bowl, combine consommé, soy sauce, brown sugar, oil, and garlic. Pour over beef. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. (Mine was done in 4)
3. In a cup, stir cornstarch and sauce form the crock pot until smooth. Add to crock pot. Stir well to combine. (I used cold water instead of sauce)
4. Add broccoli to the crock pot. Stir to combine.
5. Cover and cook an additional 30 minutes on high (the sauce has to boil for it to thicken)*.
6. Serve over hot cooked rice.
* I transferred everything to the stove and boiled until sauce thickened. Add more cornstarch if needed.
Jennifer Hemmick is mostly a stay-at-home mom and housewife extraordinaire (or trying to be!). She has a background in Psychology and worked primarily with at-risk families and youth in Northern Virginia and south Texas, where she is originally from. Jennifer enjoys reading, cooking/baking, music and working out. She is also very fond of parenthesis and ellipses.
Found these little guys in my back yard!
So stinkin' cute right now... but they will soon be destroying all of my flowers.