Monday, October 26, 2009

Cleanliness is Next To...Sanity!

So the reason I asked about cleaning is because I have been changing it up a bit. I have been doing bits and pieces here and there (during the week or whenever) and the Mr. Has also (though he has done some bigger pieces, probably should be called chunks) because we haven't had a solid 2 hour block together when we both wanted to clean and I haven't had a good 4 hour block of time to get to it either.

I do love the feeling of a freshly, everywhere clean house, but I'm really not kidding that by my lonesome I can spend between 3 1/2 to 4 hours on it. You see, I get started and then I keep seeing more and more things I can do and I just go a little nuts. And we only have about 1000 square feet to keep clean. So I have started attacking small bits and pieces, to keep my sanity and so the house doesn't get completely disgusting on the weekends I have had class (sick I know) and so Mr. Ruggedly Handsome isn't left with the large task on his own.

This is the first period of time, my newlywed years, where I have felt the obligation, duty, chore, of having an entire place to clean. And while I do have a team member to help me, its just been different to be in charge of more than picking up after myself in the kitchen, occasionally vacuuming common living areas, and having a bathroom and bedroom of my own. Now I have two bedrooms (one serves as a closet and study), a living room, a kitchen, a bathroom, a dining area and additional study area and a small dressing area.

Being in charge of such a large space (okay, not really but it feels big-ish when I'm cleaning) has gotten me to start thinking about how I will keep a place larger than ours clean (if we move at some point). Having class for two solid weekends this month, has made me consider how to manage the mess / dirtiness in smaller chunks, so that if I do go crazy cleaning on a Saturday it will still only take 3ish hours to do, even if its been a month or so since I went crazy.

Having a comfortable, fairly clean house (though the baseboards or blinds might have been neglected) makes me feel more at ease in it when I'm studying. And feeling more at peace when I'm studying means less time spent trying to get comfortable studying, which overall means more time to myself. Its quite lovely.

I'm not sure for how long or if we will keep it up, but its been nice to give myself the freedom to just clean the kitchen or just dust the house, knowing that other chores will be completed in another day or so and then knowing that nothing is getting too out of hand.

Like today, I just surface cleaned the kitchen, ran the dishwasher, cleaned our mirrors and dusted a few rooms in the house and I felt quite satisfied.

Thanks for participating in the poll. It was fun to read your responses and thoughts about something I have been thinking about!

I'm here. And I'm still writing...


Friday, October 23, 2009

Cleaning Question / Poll

Just a question:

Do you clean your home in one fowl swoop like once a week or something ...

or do you clean in pieces, knocking out a room or a kind of task each day?

Like Mondays are for vacuuming, Tuesdays for dusting, or Mondays for bathrooms, Tuesdays for the Living Room?


Monday, October 19, 2009

My Ideal Birthday Cake!

When I was growing up, we had a "31 Flavors" in my town. It was always a special treat if my brother and I would go with my mom or dad or both to get ice cream. Especially if we got one of the clowns or on really special days, an ice cream cake! I loved loved loved when it was my birthday and we would order an ice cream cake because I loved them so much. I was never much for regular birthday cakes. You see, I only really like chocolate if it is cold, or at least a little chilly. Hints the Katie Beth idea of perfection that is the ice cream cake!

Anyhow, back to my story about growing up. I think by the time I was twelve probably, 31 Flavors had closed, but there was a TCBY close to our house and that sufficed for a bit.

That is, until TCBY also closed.

Apparently people in my sweet small town don't have enough of an ice cream obsession or maybe Dairy Queen and MickeyD's satisfy their cravings. Shall I say lack of taste? (Not to diss on DQ &McD really).

So naturally by the time I was in college, I had forgotten how much I loved ice cream, frozen yogurt, and particularly ice cream cakes because I don't think I ever really got much ice cream!

Now I was not completely deprived because we had Coldstone every now and then (when we saved up our dough!!) or occassionally Marble Slab if I were out of town visiting friends, but these occasions were so few and far between that I was spared the freshmen fifteen and all other ice-cream induced weight gain during college.

Now, sometime after beginning graduate school, I learned that at Baskin Robbins will make you a milkshake of chocolate ice cream mixed with Oreo cookies 'n' cream ice cream that is probably how I will end up gaining the newlywed nineteen if my wallet doesn't have anything to say about it. But that is a little beyond the scope of my story.

What I have been trying to say is that my birthday is coming(!) and I cannot remember the last time I had a dang good slice of ice cream cake. And that is what I want so much this year! I am not sure if it makes me a twelve-year-old at heart, but I can hardly wait to order a Baskin Robbins cake and to slice it open on my birthday! (And to eat those little pieces of icing that they scallop the bottom with, for a few mid-day snacks in the days following.) Mr. Ruggedly Handsome and Lovely Mother, you do not have to order on my behalf even though you have probably been devising plans to do so. I will be more than happy to march myself into that store and choose the most perfect birthday cake for a 26th birthday! But if you would like to do so, here are some ideas:
Maybe something colorful and festive like so:

or maybe one of the pretty chocolatey-ones that are a little more elegant like this:

or this:

With some of this deliciousness:

Oreo Cookie Ice Cream!


Devils Food Chocolate Cake!

to make up the substance!! Oh it is going to be a fantastical birthday. I was thinking it would be my second sweet 16, but realized that should probably be the 32nd birthday instead of the 26th! So I'll think of another nice name and get ready to party like its 1996: just me and my cake. (oh, and my man, and my parents, and maybe some friends too.)

Do you have any birthday name suggestions for a 26th celebration? I wish I could invite you over for some cake.

I'm here. And I'm still writing,


Friday, October 16, 2009

For The Love of The Game. Or For The Sake of Your Marriage.

Soccer. Tennis. Golf. The Race for the Pennant. Track. Rugby. Moto-cross. The X-Games. Hockey. Racing. And I mustn't forget everyones fall fave Football! All of these have something in common...

I don't know if your life is anything like mine, but my Mr. loves sports. Sometimes for a moment I forget this fact, but it seems that I have come to realize once again that I have married a man that loves to play. He likes to watch others play. He loves competition. He loves a game.

He likes sports in person. He likes games on television. He likes when is actually physically playing. He loves to play anything, but watching others playing will suffice when the actual playing isn't a reality for him.

I don't know how I ever really forget this fact, but at moments, I must admit it slips past me. And then there is usually a rude awakening when I try and speak to him when a game is on. Or if I try to make plans when he has some sort of play scheduled.

I'm not sure if this infatuation is annoying or if its sweet. I suppose it doesn't matter to much which one it is and is mostly just a fact I have to live with.

So until the Mr. has a man-cave of sorts, I will have to live with him watching football, tennis, soccer, rugby, hockey, and baseball on our television. In the evenings and on the weekends. (Not every evening or all day of every weekend, but still a considerable amount of time.)

I think my dad watched sports on television when I was growing up, but I either didn't notice it as much, didn't care that he was doing, or planned activities with my mom during those periods of time. This means that living with my man and his love of "the game" (or any game that is) has been an adjustment for me.

Am I the only wife who didn't truly understand her husbands love of "the game" before they married? What do you do to occupy yourself while your man is immersed in the rules and regulations of some activity involving some size of a rounded object?

I suppose I could always be studying during that time, but I feel like I need to take up some fun hobbies to change this adjustment from tolerance to something more along the lines of acceptance or maybe even (someday) encouragement?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

More Randomness. You Can't Say You Aren't Surprised!

So I owe you guys, and myself, a post, or ten.

I haven't been around in oh, like thirteen days. I'm embarrassed. I'm ashamed! Ahh. Not really. But I wish I were feeling more motivated to write. I suppose part of the motivation comes from being in the habit of doing it. I seem to want to write more, when I have been writing more often.


I suppose this is going to have to suffice as another random post to try and catch you up on a few things.

1. I am getting a hair-cut tomorrow and I am pumped. I haven't had one in oh, too many months to count, so I'm definitely looking forward to it. And I love how it feels when they blow dry it out.

2. Today I wore boots with a dress and I loved it. I am wanting to buy some slouchy boots, but I may just have to put them on my birthday wish-list, because I should not be buying them for myself right now.

3. Speaking of the cash-flow, I still really want to get to this place of meal-planning and sticking to the plan. I want to be able to use the groceries Mr. Rh and I buy without having to throw them away because we didn't get to it in time. Perhaps I can work on this over Christmas break.

4. Speaking of throwing things out, I had to toss the rest of the top of our wedding cake. I was soooo stinkin' sad too. Maybe I was tired, but it felt like the wedding, the beginning, the newly-wedded phase was over. And me and Mr. Rh didn't exactly have champagne and eat a piece together the way people do, even though I thought we would. But... that cake was still tasty and he is a good man even if he cut into it before I had planned.

5. Maybe I will get us another cake for something and maybe we can have champagne with it then!

6. I am totally going to write a birthday wish-list post in the next few days, because my birthday might be coming right up.

7. When I looked for the link for the cake posting, I noticed I had previously posted about slouchy boots. Ha! And I still like the same ones I posted about then, and Sassy Times encouraged me recently to take the plunge... maybe it really, really is time.

8. Tomorrow around 5p.m. my time, my Fall Break officially begins. And I plan on enjoying every last minute of it. Mr. Rh, if you're reading, you better get ready for a fun-filled weekend because I am prepped and ready for one myself.

9. Thinking about what I have talked about so far in this post makes me feel like a materialistic American. Dang. Maybe I won't do the birthday wishes post after all. But I'll come up with some other stuff and let you guys in on it.

10. I am loving the fall weather! Crisp air, football occasionally with the man, not too cold of days, perfect temperature for sleeping in the night(well for me, maybe not for my Mr.), nice afternoon /early evening walks, pretty yellows maroons and oranges on the trees.


Saturday, October 3, 2009

Another Something Delicious. Oreo Truffles.

So last weekend I had two "events" that required me to bring "something." One was a baby shower and I told a hostess I would bring something sweet and the other was Mr. Ruggedly Handsomes Church team v. church team softball duel and bbq. Seeing as I was making some sweetness for the baby shower, I figured I could just make double the fun and knock out both events with one recipe...

I have been wanting a reason to make those awesome cupcake pops Bakerella makes, so I really thought that is what I would do... that is, until I started going through her site! And happened upon these little round balls of fantastical joy for the mouth!

You may have tried them... or maybe you haven't. Either way, you should make them very soon because 1. they are super simple, 2. they don't require very many ingredients, and 3. oh. my. goodness. people will love you and sing your praises if you share. Okay, maybe they won't sing, but these little guys are a great ice-breaker and someone is surely going to want to be your new best friend for sharing.

I attached pictures, even though you can see them in at Bakerella!

Oreo Truffles
For one batch you will need:

1 package oreo cookies (divided… use cookie including the cream center)
1 8oz. package cream cheese (softened)
white chocolate bark

1. Finely crush 7 cookies in a food processor or place them in a ziploc bag and crush into a fine consistency. Reserve for later. (I kept 14 because I doubled the recipe and had way too much cookie crumble left over.)

2. Crush remaining cookies (I started to do this in a ziplock but it wasn't working correctly so I whipped out my handy little food processor and did it that way. This was the part that was most difficult because none of the recipes I read told me whether it would work in a ziplock. Trial and error! :)) Then stir in softened cream cheese. Use the back of a large spoon to help mash the two together.

(It will look smooth after you finish with the food processor. Then you can add in the cream cheese!)

3. Roll the mixture into 1″ balls and place on wax paper covered cookie sheet. (You can kind of see in the photo my cookie dough scooper... I used this to get the correct amount and then rounded them in my hands!)

4. Melt chocolate as directed on the package and then dip balls into chocolate, tap off extra and set aside on wax paper covered cookie sheet to dry. You can sprinkle the tops with the 7 crushed cookies for decoration.

5. Once dry, refrigerate and enjoy! (You can see I topped some with the crumbled cookies, and others I left alone. I think they looked prettier with the topping, but they all taste very good!).

One batch makes about 36 truffles. (I doubled and ate a bit along the way and came up with 70 and had the perfect amount of dipping chocolate.)

And apparently, you can make them with any flavor of Oreos or Nutter Butters in milk or dark chocolate are supposed to be yummy too!