Category Archives: Uncategorized

Chi Town

Full Disclosure: I don’t even know how to pronounce Chi Town or if it’s a thing people actually call Chicago or if I read it once and now am making it a thing. Regardless, I went to Chicago this last weekend.

I know, I know, I’m very well traveled and cultured, I get it.

I kid.

My good friend Jenna is getting married next month and her sisters threw her a bachelorette weekend in their hometown to celebrate. I was lucky enough to be included and it was such a blast. I’m not sure how they did it but they managed to fill the weekend with really fun things that didn’t cost us all a fortune to attend. Ya know those bach parties that cost hundreds of dollars because every event is expensive, plus plane tickets and hotel and all that stuff? This wasn’t like that. I bought the plane ticket and stayed at Jenna’s house and gave a very small amount of $ to her sisters to cover costs and ended up having the best time.

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We went to a cute and super yummy restaurant for dinner then went to stand up comedy. I’m a small town Idaho girl, I’ve never experienced stand up comedy live, but it really is just like it looks on the Netflix specials! That’s right, small tables with a candle in the middle, packed full of people, a tiny stage up front, the real deal. There were 4-5 short sets and then the main guy, Jonah Ray, who I guess hosts Mystery Science Theater. It was funny and a good time. But it didn’t end there. After, we walked to a little bakery where I ate the most delicious cheesecake I’ve ever had, hand to heart. Then we went back to Jenna’s house where 7 or so of us had a sleepover.

The next day we had brunch with Jenna’s friends and family and then went to a Korean spa. Okay, have you ever been to a Korean spa? Again, small town Idaho here. I’m sure I sound like such an idiot. But it was so fun. You pay to get in and from there you can use the pools (all nude, no swimsuits allowed. WHAT?) and go into any of the rooms. There’s a crystal room, charcoal room, oxygen room, and the hottest room I’ve ever stepped foot in my entire life. Then you can pay to get massages, scrubs, facials, the works. We were there for a few hours and it was heavenly.

Quick weekend, jam packed with fun, celebrating one of the kindest, sweetest people I know. Perfection.

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*GIVEAWAY*

It’s been far too long since I’ve done a giveaway and they are my very favorite posts! And on a blog like mine, your odds of winning are pretty damn good because I’m not an influencer.

Hold up. Yes, I’m an influencer. I’ve influenced my children to do silly things for the sake of IG posts, I’ve influenced my friends to drink far more than they should and, also, do silly things like sing karaoke and take stupid selfies. So I take that back. I’m one hell of an influencer. But when it comes to people looking to me for great ideas in the world of style and cool, well they’re disappointed. BUT I do like giving things away especially when they’re books.

NAME DROP: My friend Leni Zumas happens to be an incredible writer. Start with her short stories then move on to her novels, her latest being Red Clocks. It’s getting a lot of attention right now especially because it’s set in a too-close-to-home dystopian future where abortion is banned and there are strict rules on IVF and adoption and it’s just a little lot scary given our current situation with our current administration. Gag.

 

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Leni suggested I read Women Talking so, of course, I did. Loved it. Quick summary: it’s about a group of women in a Mennonite community who devise a plan (whether it’s an escape or another option) to stop sexual assaults occurring within their community.

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And yet another book you must read is Mother Winter by Sophia Shalmiyev. Her writing is lovely to read, almost poetic, and the story is fascinating and heartbreaking and very well told.

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I’m giving away a copy of EACH OF THESE BOOKS to one person! Yes, three books, one winner. All you have to do is comment on this post. Comment whatever you want. Tell me I’m the best, tell me the memes I share on IG are shit, tell me I’m the best influencer in your life, it doesn’t matter what you say, just say something.

Happy Monday!

Teriyaki Beef and Veggies

I’m sharing this not because it’s some amazing thing I’ve discovered and I think I’m basically Smitten Kitchen. No way. I’m sharing this because I’m NOT a good cook and I found something that is so damn easy that you’d have to be a real dud to mess it up. And that kind of thing should be shared.

So first: Get some steak. You guys, I know nothing about steak. I know what brisket is and I know what flank steak is. Show me a london broil (is that a thing?), a roast, a t-bone, or any other cut of beef and I’ll tell you it looks like beef but might be pork because…I know nothing. So basically from Safeway I grabbed one of the pre-cut, pre-packaged steak things with 6 steaks in it. It wasn’t horribly expensive so I know it must not have been top of the line.

So anyway, get the steak. Cut it into strips. Put it in a gallon ziplock with a bottle of teriyaki sauce, whatever is your pleasure. We used Panda Express and it was delicious. Let that marinade for an hour or so.

Buy the pack of stir fry veggies you see next to the pre packaged salads. I added potatoes too. Put them on a baking sheet and drizzle olive oil over them and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Stick em in a 400 degree oven.

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Cook the steak strips in a pan over medium high heat until cooked through — just a few minutes each side. Cut into pieces.

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Make some white rice.

Watch the veggies – I never time anything I cook (one of the many reasons why I may not be the best cook), I just watch it and when it feels and looks done, I say it is.

There will be saucy juice in the pan after you cook the steak – don’t throw it out. Drizzle it over the steak pieces.

Put it all together into a bowl and HOLY CRAP you’ve just made dinner.

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*bow, bow*

Browned Butter Brown Sugar Cookies

These cookies. They’re everything.

 

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They’re gooey and soft and so freaking delicious.

Ingredients:

1 3/4 stick butter

1/4 cup white sugar

2 cups dark brown sugar

heaping 2 cups flour

1/2 t baking soda

1/4 t baking powder

1 egg plus 1 yolk

1 T vanilla extract

  1. preheat oven to 350
  2. melt 10 T butter in pan until it starts to brown (whisk constantly). Put it in a bowl with the remaining 4 T butter
  3. whisk together 1/4 C brown sugar, white sugar, flour, baking soda and powder
  4. Add the rest of the brown sugar to the butter mixture and mix, then add egg and yolk plus vanilla.
  5. roll into balls and place on parchment paper on a baking sheet
  6. bake for approximately 12 minutes, or until edges start to darken. The middle will appear to be raw but it will firm up a bit.

 

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Enjoy!

(adapted VERY slightly from Dinner then Dessert)

Trivia Night

I love a good friendly competition and trivia at Blackbird Pizza is just that except not always friendly (the vegan team can suck it). I love winning and I knew I had to ask the smartest person in our family to come if I wanted to increase our odds of winning even more. I also had to bribe with pizza and pinball.

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Luckily, pizza is his love language and he was all over it. He also knew the answer to a few questions the rest of us didn’t. I wonder what it’s like to be Jamie?

Welcome to the Titanic Swim Team:

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Could we have done better? Yes. We could have gotten first place. But instead, Josh messed it up with his lack of knowledge about the number of Native American reservations in the US. Second place we came and to be honest, that was just fine with us.

Passover 2019

This year Jenna and Isaac (our very best Portland friends who we celebrate lots of holidays with) went to the midwest for Passover/Easter so I decided I was going to just do it. I was going to host a Passover seder. Listen, I’ve never hosted one before and it’s not just a “serve dinner and converse” type deal. I went through so many Haggadot to find one that would be appropriate in length for 6 kids but that adults wouldn’t find boring.

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I ended up using this one:

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You can download it here, actually.

It was perfect for us. To get ready for Passover I forced the kids to watch Shalom Sesame a few times and Prince of Egypt. I got out all our Passover books and during reading time at night, that was what was available. I’m such a mean mom.

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We played Spot It! Shalom over and over and we were feeling very Jewish by the time we had to leave for the coast (we celebrated with Papa and Lala and Josh).

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I made matzah kugel (gross), matzah crack, brisket (amazing) and my mom made salad and carrots. The table looked beautiful.

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The kids had stuff to do during it so they weren’t completely bored but it wasn’t a super lengthy Seder.

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Josh hid the afikomen and the kids raced to find it.

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Luke found it and got a prize.

Come to find out, matzah is well-liked in our house.

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Passover was great.

The next day was Easter and my mom and dad had an egg hunt for the kids. ON THE BEACH.

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It was a beautiful day. A little chilly but not cold. The kids had a blast.

 

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We’re so lucky to live so close to the ocean, to my parents and my siblings. We get to celebrate everything with family and it makes things extra special.

Fashion Fridays

Forever ago, I used to document silly but fun things – like my kids’ fashion. Ya know, what they wear. I don’t know why, probably because I spend so much of my damn time looking at kids clothes and we rarely do anything that I feel like it can be a waste of adorable clothes. That makes no sense and it’s so self centered but…aren’t we all a little bit?

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Shirt from Ahoy Amigo, skirt from Pepper Kids Co. Necklace is an Ollie original.

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This silly romper is Ahoy Amigo. We kinda love them.

The other kids rushed out the door before I could catch them. If we’re being honest, their getups weren’t really that adorable. We’re talking Adidas shorts and tee shirts. Meh.

 

Happiest of Fridays to you!

 

(PS, if you follow the link, they send you to the exact item. And no, I’m not getting paid for it or getting free stuff but IF YOU’RE LISTENING, AMAZING SHOPS, I WOULDN’T BE MAD IF I WAS!)