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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

You Going Anywhere?

What does this tell you about my life?

Normally, I get dressed as soon as I get up in the mornings....except for Sundays when I put on my robe over my jammies.  I go have some coffee and start the morning wake up calls for the kids, then I go get myself dressed for church.

This morning, I woke up at my usual time....6:30ish.....but this is New Year's Eve.....and I want to be a big girl and stay up until I tried to sleep in.  I made it to about 7:15 before I gave up.

Even though it isn't Sunday, I decided to just grab my robe and head into the kitchen for coffee, letting Rainman sleep in - so he can be the fun one at midnight.

So, I did just that.....and remembered why I usually get dressed right jammies/nightgown is not comfortable unless I am laying down.  My legs stick together and things get all bunched up weird.  So, I stuck it out in the living room as long as I could.  Then I decided to sneak into my room and grab some clothes and get dressed. 

Rainman was awake, but still laying in bed.  I grabbed my stuff, went into the bathroom, got dressed and came out to face the day.

He greeted me with the question, "You going anywhere?"

I said, "No."

He said, "Oh, because you are kind of dressed up."

Care to know what I am wearing? 

What constitutes "dressed up" at my house???

Brown yoga pants and a brown polo shirt....with no bra.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, that is what I have become!  Ha!

Have a Happy New Year.....we are doing our usual, make homemade pizzas, work on puzzles, a few board games and fake wine at New Year's.....and I will be decked out in my ever so fancy yoga pants and polo shirt....(although at some point I will actually need to put on a bra....because my chest is to the point where it is actually uncomfortable if I don't give it some support).....but, you get the idea!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Just Call Me Crystal Gayle

My hair has gotten really long. 

Like almost down to my butt......not down to my ankles like Crystal's was....

 (photo courtesy of  the Official Crystal Gayle Facebook Page

but it is still pretty long!

Partly from laziness.

Partly from the fact that I don't have a lot of extra money to go to a stylist.

Partly because I don't really trust anyone besides my faithful stylist, Sherilyn, from Minnesota.  (Who, by the way, was both cheap and masterful with my hair over the years!)

I sort of have a love/hate relationship with my hair.

I will admit that I sort of feel sexy with my long hair when it brushes against my arms and my back.

I will also admit that my hair makes me hot. 

No, not that kind of hot....

just plain, old, regular, hot.....sweaty hot.

So, I usually wear my hair up or pulled back.....which results in a headache or neckache....because I have so much hair.  It gets really heavy.

So, it is a delicate balancing act.

Rainman also has a love/hate relationship with my hair.  He likes to run his fingers through it when it is down.  He thinks I look pretty when I wear it down. 

But, I am always hitting him with my when he is standing near me and I flip my hair back over my shoulder.  Most of the time though, it is when I roll over in bed and flip my hair over my shoulder before settling in on pillow again.  You know?  I smack the poor unsuspecting, sleeping peacefully guy in the face with my hair....or, he ends up laying on it and I am trapped because I can't move my head.  So, I lay there and just keep whispering, "You are on my hair.  You are on my hair.  You are on my hair."  Until he hears me and rolls over.

Because of this, I have taken to usually being Caroline Ingalls at bedtime.

Yup....long braid....although I do still occasionally take Rainman out with my braid flinging too.  (That one actually hurts more.....apparently.)

I have been thinking of taking the plunge and cutting my hair.....I have enough to donate to Locks of Love....when I am ready.  But, I am not quite ready to let it go yet.

It sort of makes me feel young too.  I don't want old lady hair.  I don't want hair that will make me look...or feel....frumpy.  Although, I am pretty sure I look a little frumpy when I have my hair pulled up in a huge bun.

I am not sure what hair cut will look good on me with my larger sized.....everything.  You know?

My hair is very thick.  Very course.  Wavy.

But, is only wavy in some places......

You would think that it would look good down....but, it doesn't really.  I mean, it isn't awful, but, it isn't shiny, like all the people in commercials with long hair.

This last summer, I tried going the Curly Girl, no shampoo route.  My hair is definitely better.  Softer, my waves are nicer....but it still needed a little something.

Sometimes, I can get L-girl or A-girl to curl my hair with the curling wand....but, since I have so much hair, it takes a really long time to finish.  And, I can't do it because my shoulders/arms get sore when I get to the back part of my hair.  I am sort of old, you know. 

I love the way it looks though when it is I started looking for less labor intense ways to get the same look.

I sort of went right back to the Caroline Ingalls timeline.....I tried rag curls.


Those kind of rag curls.

Aren't I cute?  Rainman didn't quite know what to do with me when I came to bed in these!  Although I didn't smack him in the face once....or whisper nastily that he was on my hair.

Look how it came out!!!

(Like the box that has been sitting on my counter since we moved in?  It is filled with those little things that I don't know where to, they just sit there on my a piece of furniture now!)

I loved it!!!  Although with my hair...this is a little labor intensive too....but much easier to talk someone into doing it while we watch a Hallmark Christmas movie.....and they don't get burned if they happen to look away for a millisecond.  Bonus!

Here it is after the curls relaxed a bit...

I totally need to get my split ends trimmed......I think I will get A-girl trained on that....for of these days I will get a new actual hair style....but, for now.....long and curly/wavy it is!!!

Any opinions on a future hair cut for me?

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Hello Fresh Review

This was a really fun review

Hello Fresh is an on-line subscription company that sends you food and recipes, once a week.  We got to try the Classic Box with three meals for 2 people.


Sounds pretty good right?

Hello Fresh..... (Everytime I say their name, I think of Barbra Streisand in Funny Girl saying "Hello, gorgeous!" I even say it in her same inflection when I said it (in my head)!)

I will explain to you how to get started and how their service works....then I will tell you how it worked for us.

It is super easy to get started, (if you live in their delivery area) they currently deliver to most areas in these states:
  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kentucky
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington DC
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin

  • So, you have determined that you are in their current delivery area - although if you aren't, you can still try Hello Fresh if you have a FedEx office hear you that accepts FedEx ground shipments.

    Now, you click on Get Started to pick your box.

    You have 2 choices:

    The Classic Box
    The Veggie Box

    After you pick one, you can decide whether you want a box for 4 people or just 2 people.   They will send you 3 meals each week.....(so you are on your own for the other 4 nights of the week!)

    Each week, the menu changes, so you have a few meal choices to make too.  For the Classic Box, they give you a total of 5 meal options....of which, you will get 3 of them.  Make sense?

    Like for instance, one week the choices may be:

    Moroccan Stewed Chicken with Citrus Couscous
    Classic Beef Stroganoff with Steam Brocolli
    Chili Cashew Shrimp with Brown Rice
    Spiced Tomato Penne with Chorizo and Garlic
    Roasted Beet and Lentil Salad with Goat Cheese

    Okay, so, at this point, if you are like me, you will say to yourself something along the lines of...

    "What?  Wait a minute....that is fancy food?  I don't even know what some of it is....much less how to make it?!?"

    I will tell you a little secret. 

    It is fancy food.

    But, stick with me and trust me for a bit, okay?

    In our week, we got Quinoa.  Know what that is?  I didn't either.  But, now we have cooked it....eaten it....decided we like it....and, guess what?  It's a superfood.  Move over, Kale!

    Cover Photo

    Anyway, set aside your fear of fancy foods, and I will get back to ordering your box....pick the three meals that you want (go ahead and pick the 3 that are the least scary)....and then a magical box will be delivered to your door the following Wednesday.

    Back to the  conversation in your head about the fancy food that you don't know how to make? 
    Good news there don't have to know how to make it....or even have to Google recipes and directions on the internet!  Because, in addition to sending you virtually everything you need to make it, you also get recipe cards with pictures and descriptions of how to make it.  Trust me, you will be fine....I promise!

    So, that is it.

    You subscribe, pick what you want.....then sit back and wait for them to do the shopping for you, and deliver it to your door.

    So, here is how our experience with Hello Fresh actual went down.

    The box of magic arrived!


    (The line on the box about "Meals that will make you reach for your camera" crack me up....but, even if you aren't a will end up so proud of what you will be reaching for your camera!  Seriously.)

    Our magical box came on a Wednesday.  We had church commitments, Wednesday and Thursday, so I knew we wouldn't be making anything right away.  So, we did what any curious person would do..... we opened the box.


    took a look around, marveled at everything and how well it was packaged (and organized....everything was labeled for the meal it was for...),


    then I stuck the whole box into my garage fridge for Friday.

    At some point in our week, we decided that Friday night we were going to go Christmas caroling.....  so, the box stayed in the fridge until Saturday evening. 
    I had already decided that we would make everything for one special, fancy meal.....since there are 8 of us and not 2.

    The only problem was that on Saturday afternoon, I started feeling funny and light-headed.  Turns out my blood pressure was really low (I am currently taking medicine for high blood pressure.....but this has been happening more and more I am thinking I may not need the medicine anymore.)

    Anyway, I was going to be super mom and cook up the fancy-schmancy vittles for my younguns', but I was laying on the couch feeling woozy.

    So, enter my super-daughters....A-girl and L-girl!

    They handled everything.  They each picked one meal to handle on their own and then helped make the third meal together.



    A reminder here....A-girl is 13 and L-girl is 11.  Thanks to the fabulous recipe cards, they had no problems making everything by themselves.  I only got one question from them about how to chop up the garlic....that is it.
    Look at their sous chef-y goodness!


    Look at how great and large the recipe cards are:

    (They are 7 x 10)
    The front of the cards show the "tools" you will need....things like knives, pots, pans, strainers, etc.  It also has your list of ingredients....and pictures....just in case you don't know what something is.  (Hello....Quinoa!)  There is also nutritional information on the very bottom of the card.  The Hello Fresh box has just about everything you need to make a recipe, except for a few basic things.  These things are marked with an asterisk on the ingredients list.  They are pretty basic things, like olive oil, vegetable oil and sugar.  So, don't worry....just glance at your cards before you start to make sure you have those kinds of things on hand!
    The back of the cards has your step by step instructions for how to prepare the meal.....including you at least, sort of, know what things should be looking like during the process!


    So, they spent some time in the kitchen and created these masterpieces!

    Steak and Brussels Sprouts Stir Fry

    Chile Dusted Shrimp with Corn Relish

    Chicken Quinoa Stew
    Yummy! was good. All of it.  It was also a way to get us to try something new.....without the usual fear of messing it up. 
    I will say that portions sizes are large....we had plenty to feed all 8 of us and even had a little bit of leftovers to have for lunch the next day. The food, even the meat and produce, stayed fresh all the way from whenever they actually packed it to Saturday when we used the food up. 

    The cost is about $69/box for the 2 people option  and about $129/box for the 4 people box

    For us, that is a lot of money....since we mostly shop at Aldi and Kroger. 

    Having said that....the food was phenomenal. 

    We felt special and "fancy" when we were eating it. 

    I could see us doing this for special anniversaries or birthday celebrations. 

    I could have even seen us doing this if Rainman and I both worked outside of the home (and didn't have 6 kids!).....because working full-time, fitting in grocery shopping, coming up with healthy meals and making the food.....sounds (and was) exhausting.

    This would be a great service to use to help make it easier to feed your family healthy dinners and skip most of your grocery shopping for the week.  Plus, you would have less guilt on those nugget, frozen pizza, or mac and cheese supper nights, if you had given them  Hello Fresh meals 3 nights that week!  

    You know what else Hello Fresh would be great for? 
    Impressing someone. 
    You know, like say you were having your new boss and his wife over for dinner....or you are trying to impress a boy or girl that you just started dating.  Oh my word, would this fit the bill!
    And, you could totally make it yourself and not have to fake it by hiding take-out containers!  The only bad part would be that you would have set a precedent about your culinary skills.  You would have quite a reputation to live up to!

    In those situations, I think the $69 price tag would be well worth it. 

    Go take a look around the Hello Fresh site....see if you are in their delivery area....look at some of the recipes.....then, give them a try!  You can even get $20 off your first box by using my coupon code UQUG7Q.

    Want to see what other reviewers thought of their experience with Hello Gorgeous....I mean Hello Fresh?



    Saturday, December 14, 2013

    Let's Jump from Halloween to Christmas, Shall We?

    We had a nice Thanksgiving and celebrated with friends, since Rainman had to work a 12 hour shift that day.

    So, let's just jump to Christmas stuff.  Okay?

    Have I told you lately how much I love our new house?

    We have room for our Christmas tree....and we didn't have to remove half the furniture from the room first!  Plus we had room to put Rainman's train around the bottom!  We have never done that.  Granted, partly because we always had little babies that wouldn't leave it alone.....but, also partly due to the fact that we had no room!!!

    Look at it over there in the corner with its crooked star! 

    The three littlest participated in our church Christmas play, Chrismon program.

    A-man was a kid shopping for the perfect Christmas tree.  He got a new haircut and asked me to actually put some "stuff" in it and style it for him!  Isn't he starting to look old and sortly of manly already?!?!?

    S-girl was an angel and V-girl was, apparently, a freakishly happy and a little bit creepy Gift of Forgiveness.

    Here, let's try this one, instead.....

    Okay, that is much better....a lot less psycho!

    Aren't they cute?

    I finished 99% of my shopping!  Yay!  Just a few little filler things needed.

    Five of the kids are singing tonight at our Womens Dinner at our church.  It is really cute.  They are singing Happy Birthday, Jesus.  D-man is running the sound, so he can't sing too....but I am hoping he will get a video tape of it....and that they aren't so nervous that they won't be able to sing in front of the ladies!

    I worry about S-girl mostly.  Who so desires to perform....but gets horrible stage fright even when it is just us.  Her hands shake and everything.  She and V-girl wrote some songs and performed them for us last week.  S-girl started with her back to us...and then half way through the song was finally able to turn around and sing to us....although she never once looked up from her words.

    V-girl was only a little embarrassed to perform her original song....(she dictated the words to A-girl, who wrote them down for her)....then she sang it reading the words, even flipping the page over half way through.....and all without being able to actually read!

    Here is a close up of some of the words!

    This was our view of S-girl (after she turned around for us)

    I just love these kids so much....and these little moments that are just ours (well....and yours, I guess, since I share a bit of them here)....but you know what I mean.

    Tuesday, December 3, 2013

    So....How About Some Halloween Pictures???

    I know.

    It is December.

    I have gotten a little behind around here.

    But, better late than never, right?

    Rainman will dress up every 3rd or 4th year with us.

    I dress up every year, but I always wait until the last minute because I am helping the kids, and then have trouble coming up with, I was a bunny this year.....ho hum....

    I just love Trick or Treating here in Georgia.  We had beautiful weather again this year.  We went with our good friends in their magazine worthy neighborhood.  Good times were had by all!