5/29/15

Pomegranate Pear Martini

This post talks about two of my favorite things:  summery drinks and summery love.

In a few weeks, the hubs and I will celebrate eight years of marriage.  I'll give you time to get all your well-wishes and cards in the mail.

During the cocktail hour of our reception, we (my parents) hosted the bar and passed appetizers, and among the beer and wine flowing from the bartenders, we also had a signature drink:  a pomegranate and pear martini.  For those who were there, I'm sure you'll remember people rushing the waiters carrying trays of them - and then the group of friends who made towers from their empties.  None broke, I promise!

I wish I had a darling antidote to go along with this, but at the time, I really liked martinis and we had pink and green as our colors.  They matched my decor, and tasted yummy, so I was sold.

Walking down memory lane, we decided to recreate the mix.  And because it was eight years ago and we didn't really have a recipe, but told our hotel caterer what we wanted, it took some trial and error to get it right.  Or right enough.  Taste testing cocktails.  Tough business I'm in here, right?


Keep in mind, this is a summer drink, but also a martini.  Read martinis = heavy on the booze.  If there are no objections, we'll continue

Gather up:

martini shaker
martini glass(es)
plenty of ice
pear vodka
pomegranate juice
lemon-lime soda, or soda water will do too


After much trial and error (but error isn't right, because those got consumed too!) we came to this ratio.  Keep in mind that this is based on an 8 oz martini glass.  If yours are smaller, watch when you pour or your glass will overflow.  Math seems unfair when there's drinking involved, but at least it's not as critical as when you're baking.


1.5 oz vodka to 2.5 oz juice (we doubled this)  Fill your shaker 1/2 full with ice and add liquids.  Cover and shake well, maybe 10 seconds or so, and pour into chilled glass.

Ha.  Chilled glass.  I'm just glass we have clean glass wear when I want to use it!  But it sounds fancy, right?  We're all about fancy here.


Fill to the brim with lemon-lime soda or soda water.

Garnish with pear slice or pomegranate seeds.  They make them look so pretty, but not required.  Again, fancy, but I'm not interested in eating a fruit salad.


We made virgin cocktails for the kiddos during our taste testing with a cup of lemon-lime soda and a splash of pomegranate juice, just like a kiddie cocktail.  And no, we didn't give them martini glasses, but if I had plastic ones I would've been tempted!

Cheers friends!


5/28/15

MORE Things You Should Know If We're Going to be BFF

The recap on the other things you should know about me if we're going to be BFF.


My home is not ever going to look like those in Pinterest.  Not for lack of trying, but most of our living space is where natural light goes to die and I just hate dusting and cannot avoid the clutter.

We have DVR, Netflix, Prime Instant Video.  I am addicted to binge watching shows, and make no apologies.  If you are looking for good shows to binge, or just watch like a normal person, a little a time, let me know!  I've made lists!!

I keep a journal of blogging ideas next to my bed.

I hate to floss.  

I have a very odd respect for fictional villains.  I admire authors who can write such a complex character.  For example:  Hannibal is a freak, serial killer cannibal, however he's so smart and charming.  

I am the youngest of six kids, however I am an only child from my parents' marriage.  From my siblings,  I have five nephews and four nieces, with only being older than seven of them:  one nephew is a year older than I am, and I am only weeks older than a second.

When my mother's side of the family gets together, we're like My Big Fat Greek Wedding, except we're German, not Greek, so there's no lamb on a spit in the yard.  But there is beer pong.  Lots of it.

I always knew I wanted to be a mom.  I had no idea it would be this hard, or that I would have so many doubts about my skill level or ability.  Like constantly doubt my skill level.

I hate coffee.  I don't even like coffee-flavored things.  I drink Diet Coke in the morning (and afternoon) for my caffeine jumpstart.

While we're on flavors, I only like mint as a breath freshener.  No thank you to the mint-flavored chocolate, ice cream, or otherwise.

I have had braces twice in my life and one side of my mouth is still jacked up.  For this reason, I prefer to stand on left side of a picture.

I only use my iron for my banners and almost four-years later from the original post, I still don't know how to fold a fitted sheet.

Even though I work part-time, I still feel the loneliness and pressures of being a stay-at-home mom.  I get to wear both stressful hats, how awesome is that?!

5/19/15

Wax Your Junk

Fair warning, Mom and Dad - do not tune into this one.  If you are squeamish, you probably can skip this too.  

I was trying to think of some clever play on words to title this post, but really, it comes down to brutal honesty.  We're going to talk about bikini waxing today - specifically Brazilian bikini waxing.  That's the kind where they don't just take in the sides, they take the whole kit and caboodle (minus a little flair if you'd like to leave some.)

If you are curious about how to become a pro-waxing client, please, read on dear friend.  I promise to be honest, yet funny and make you as comfortable as I possibly can, so that the next time you lay half naked in front of a perfect (and professional) stranger you'll just stare at the ceiling and not imagine what your junk looks like at that particular moment in time.

Here we go.

{she doesn't care}
The first, and probably the most important things to remember when you enter that little white room is she doesn't care what you look like.  She's see a lot of crotch and yours is no different.  My favorite esthetician (the professional title for a person who deal with waxing vag, among other skin care needs) told me once:  Unless it's got jewels on it, I'm not even looking at your body.  I'm looking at the hair and trying to take it all out because that's what you're paying me to do.  And she doesn't care about how "hairy" you are either.  You're in her room because you want it removed, obviously there's got to be something there to remove.  

{get comfortable}
Make yourself a little more comfortable before the service:  pop some Advil, go to the bathroom one more time (just in case), use a baby wipe if you'd like, and leave your socks on!  The last one is silly, but serious.  The last thing you want to do is be shivering cold, and shivering from the adrenaline rushing through your body during your first time.  If you're wondering about proper protocol or judgement from your esthetician, refer to previous paragraph.

{distract yourself}
This isn't your first time.  Certainly, you've been to the doctor and in the same position.  Naked, though modestly covered, legs spread and someone is talking looking around down there, while talking to you about your weekend.  This is good.  Small talk is your friend in the situation.  Not only does it allow you to make friends with your new best friend down there, but it's a wonderful distraction from the pain.  Hello - she is ripping hair from one of your more sensitive parts.  It's gonna hurt.  Take all the distraction you can get.  Chewing gum, or even a sucker is fantastic, trust me.  If you're wondering about proper protocol or judgement from your esthetician, refer to previous paragraph.

{help out}
I don't mean grab the wax pot and take over, but move your body so that she can do her job.  Laying with your legs slightly parted because of embarrassment isn't helping anyone.  The best position I've found is "the frog."  Put your feet together and bend your knees.  Yes, I know:  Super exposed.  Super embarrassing, in fact.  Refer to that first paragraph again.  Also, pulling up ever so slightly on your lower belly to keep that area taught is also helpful (unless you have a 6-pack, in which case I kind of hate you, but love your body, but whatever.)

{keep at it}
Your first time will be painful.  And then you'll be tempted to take that razor around the 2-3 week mark and take care of the regrowth.  Put that razor down and wait.  Waxing stubble is terrible.  Try to get on a schedule for every 4-6 weeks.  The longer you let the hair grow, the more painful it is to yank out, but if you go too often, there's nothing to the wax to grab.  A happy medium can be found.  The best part is the more often you go, the easier it becomes.  I've been at this for almost three years, and my time on the bed is about 15 minutes, max.  And I hardly flinch anymore.  Give me a break, she's ripping hair from my body, I'm not a robot!

Some of the perks...

Awesome sex.  (Sorry for the honestly, but it's true.)
Happy husband.  (Refer to first reason.)
No fear of those pesky little "peekers" during swim suit season.
Doing something for yourself.  
Having a little secret, all for yourself (and the hubs too I suppose.)

Hopefully you're a little braver and are willing to give this a go!  Power through the first couple of times - don't give up, and you'll be glad you stuck with it.

Get it.  Stuck with it.  Wax.  It's funny.  *boo*

5/15/15

random thoughts

I had a wonderful Mother's Day.  Right up until Avery lost her shit over having to brush her teeth before bed.  All the nice just went right down the drain, so to speak.

Whenever I see a thin woman, I remind myself she is very, very hungry.  May not be 100% accurate, but it makes me feel good.

I am re-reading Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn because I can't wait for the new movie to be released (and all of the other books I want to read have a wait at the library.)

I claimed I didn't plant any flowers over the weekend because the flower boxes on our deck need to be reinforced.  Really, it's because I'm a little lazy and know that I'll end up killing them in the 90 degree heat of summer.

I am starting to work more from home because summer construction blows.  I shouldn't need to sit in my car for 60 minutes to do creative design work that I can do from my living room with Netflix.   Hard pass.  Thankfully, my team is cool and they get it.

I made the mistake of Googling "Netflix" Original shows.  I now have no life, and will be on the couch if you need me.

My house has the constant, lingering smell of acrylic paint right now, thanks to these darling Mason Jars.  (Want one?  Or 10?  Blog exclusive coupon code:  BLOGBUDDY will save you 25% at checkout!)

I am hosting my book club tonight and am dreading the thought that it won't be nice enough to sit outside.  I would prefer to clean as little as possible before these women come to my house.

{Warning:  Southern Charm on Bravo! reference} I am the only one who is a little mad at Cameron for marrying someone other than Shep.  I'm sure her husband is a darling man, but I really like the chemistry between those two.

Liv:  I put extra butter on your toast.
Avery:  Thanks, sis.  Is that because you love me?
Liv:  You got that right, sis.

5/14/15

Things I Have Given Up On

I can remember thinking about my life, once Olivia would be born, and thinking being confident that I knew it all.  I knew what kind of mother I wanted to be and felt sure that I would be that person for all 18-years, and beyond.  My life would change, but only in wonderful, magical ways as my heart was swelling like my belly (and feet).  All of the good things that I loved before children would stay the same, and all the drama that I didn't care for would be washed away with the love of this little person.

I'd seen the kind of parent I didn't want to be.  I knew what worked and what didn't in my own life.  I read books on parenting.  I was ready.

Bullshit.

As the parent of an infant, your life flips 75 times a day.  You ride real high, making is easy to fall really low, and fast.  But those babies, they grow.  You learn a little and life goes on.  Then, maybe you add a second or third kid because apparently humans are intelligent enough to make fire, but so dumb they can't remember how much teething and potty-training sucks.

But life goes on.  Your best intensions with #1 shifts with #2, and God help if there's anymore beyond that.  {remember this one, a personal favorite of mine}

Liv is now 6 (and a half, thank you very much) and Avery is 4.  I have learned to be way more flexible, not only day to day, but moment to moment.  And please don't confuse my "flexibility" with ability to control my tendency to scream like a lunatic to get another to listen to me.  But I have learned to let some of those glowing pre-baby thoughts and accept more reasonable, and still lovely ones.



{bedtime routine}
Bath, book, bed.  Plus lotion, gently massaged into their soft skin, cooing over their sweet post-bath smell.  Now I'm lucky if I get them in the shower to hose them off, and chase their legs around to smear some lotion on before they pull on jammies.  TV is also part of their bedtime routine.  And even though we try to get them in bed at the same time, when they actually fall asleep remains a mystery.  They can be in bed at 8 PM, but I can still be shouting "GO TO SLEEP" well past 9.  Mama wants to watch Game of Thrones in peace, show some respect!

{clean countertops}
If I really try, I can get things cleared off and all the papers in their proper home.  Then, just as quickly, the school day is done and backpacks are dumped and math worksheets, spelling tests and those darling art projects (that will soon find a garbage can because I cannot possible keep everything they create).  I can't keep up.  I try, but I really only make an effort if A.  We have company, or B.  I get mad over the clutter, blow-up and then quietly start throwing everything away.

{a private bedroom}
Your room is your sanctuary.  No doubt, bed always made with lovely, soft, white, down comforter, and even matching night stands.  Lucky you, Mr. Rockefeller.  In my house, my room is just another room for the girls stuff to trickle in to.  We find books, headbands, and even half-eaten snacks in there constantly.   Our only saving grace is one day the girls will be too embarrassed that they might see their father naked to actually stay out.  Fingers crossed.

{dusting}
Just kidding.  I hated doing this before I had kids.  I just use them as an excuse now.  It's my right as a parent to be able to play the "kid fault" card when I see fit.

{having the best/smartest/cutest kid}
Having my girls at the same time as some of my girl friends, I couldn't help but compare.  Is she rolling yet?  Cutting teeth?  Oh, she hasn't tried that solid food yet, do you think she should?  Entering school and sports is awesome.  I see the my kids are really awesome at some things, and really pretty crappy at others.  And that's OK.  Not everyone can be perfect at everything.  I hate to watch them struggle (I can be a good mom if I want to be) but I do recognize that struggles build character and prepare for the reality of life. 

5/8/15

Bacon Corn Griddle Cakes

I have a budding 6-year old chef in my house.  It's nice that she's so eager to learn and help but I'm a terrible teacher in the kitchen.  I'm so worried she'll burn or cut herself, I have a hard time letter her doing things without helicoptering over her by the stove.

In the search for things that we can do together, and where she can take over more of an actual "cooking" role, rather than assembling cold ingredients into a sandwich or salad, I found pancakes are great.  Sure, the griddle gets hot, but the long spatula keeps her little hands safe from burns.

Plus, this is a breakfast dinner that has two things I love most in life:  bacon and cheese.

I know, right?


Gather up your ingredients:

8 slices bacon
1/3 cup finely chopped yellow or white onion
1 cup flour
2 tablespoons chopped green onion
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2/3 cup milk
1 large egg
1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil
1 cup corn (thawed if frozen, drained if canned, cooked if fresh)
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese cheese
maple syrup, for serving

Start by cooking your bacon until starting to brown.  Then add in your onion and cook both until the bacon is crisp and onion is soft.  Remove from pan with slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. 

In a large bowl, mix your pancake batter.  Whisk together flour, green onion, baking powder, salt, cayenne pepper.  Mix in the egg, milk and oil until just combined.  Stir in corn and cheese.  Now you're ready to cook!


Heat your griddle or pan to a medium-high heat.  You want a nice crust on your pancake, but not to cook them so fast that the middle is still raw.  There's lots of stuff in these cakes - you need them all to melt together!  I use bacon fat as my oil on the pan, but you could use another oil or spray of your liking.  Oil is critical to getting a good color!


Working in 1/4 cup spoonfuls, drop cakes onto your griddle and let brown and flip, just like your normal, boring 'ole pancake.  They won't bubble like your typical morning fare, so watch for browsing on the edges.

When all is done, you'll have about 8 pancakes, which for my family was no where near enough for a meal on it's own.  Add in eggs, maybe some hash browns, sausage or more bacon.  Oh, and maybe some fruit.  Something healthy to round it out.

But please don't skimp on the maple syrup.




 {adapted from Recipe Girl}

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