Challenge Accepted!

Challenge Accepted!

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Not too long ago I posted this meme about making wine in the instant pot, because WINE!

Also, who does not have an instant pot, yet? Listen, if you don’t have an instant pot, you are missing out on life. I know people say that about lots of things, like Game of Thrones and wanderlust and whatever. But, I mean it this time. The Instant Pot is awesome for making healthy meals or just cooking, in general.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, the Instant Pot is a pressure cooker that also includes several other settings, such as rice, yogurt, saute, etc.

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This image was found here

The Instant Pot has lots of settings, as you can see….and even has a slow cook setting. However, a crock pot, it is not. The Instant Pot does have instances where you can set it and walk away, but definitely not for 4-8 hours. There is also a learning curve with it, but mostly you’ll learn as you go. I highly recommend you read the directions, in this case. The most important tip I can give you, is to make sure you have enough liquid in the pot. Liquid is an essential ingredient to make this machine work properly.

I find most of my recipes online or in the Facebook Group. The Instant Pot Community on Facebook is also a great place to get tips and ask advice on recipes.

My favorite dish, to date, is this teriyaki chicken recipe I found on the innerwebs. I love it, because it is all fresh ingredients and uses white meat chicken (unlike the usual you find in the mall food courts). One thing I will say, is that if you don’t like spicy (or your kids don’t, like in my case) you should eliminate the red pepper flakes.

OK guys, back to the best part (making wine). Recently, TODAY came out with an article on a food blogger who made legit wine in the Instant Pot. WHAT IN THE WHAT?!?! He actually made it with Welch’s Grape Juice and estimated an ABV of 11%. YOU GUYS! YOU KNOW I love cheap wine. Can you imagine the possibilities of wine I make in my own home? I’m super excited to try this out and maybe even make my own variations with other fruit juices. Also, I’m going to make moonshine. Cause, why not? Also, it would be a tribute to my Georgia roots and I can bring it to the family reunion.

Don’t hold your breath too long, though….I’m busy as all Hell, right now. I plan to get started this summer when the family obligations and workload simmer down.

Wine, guys, WINE! In my Instant Pot! Woo-hoo!!

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Ban Motivation Unicorns!

Ban Motivation Unicorns!

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I retrieved this free image from Pixabay.

I have been thinking a lot about motivation, lately. Mostly, I have been wondering when motivation is going to finally catch up to me. If there were a magic motivational unicorn, when will it come visit and sprinkle motivation dust on me so that I can finally feel excited to do the things I’m not motivated to do? You know, the stuff you need motivation for like, exercise, cleaning house, purging stuff, etc….

Obviously, the answer is never. YET, we are told as children that if we just “believe” we can do something, that we will. If only it were so easy….I mean, I believe I can have a clean house. I know that I am capable of doing it. After all, I have done it before. Actually I’m confident that I can do a good job cleaning. But does the job get done? Hmmm….well, definitely when company is coming, but the rest of the time is questionable.

So, why the disconnect between feeling confident AND knowing you are capable and YET still not getting the job done?

The short answer, is that I don’t want to do it. I’m not “motivated.” I’m still waiting on my magical motivation unicorn…..

The long answer, however, is that I need to change my mindset. I feel like most of my life I’ve been waiting for things to happen. Mostly, waiting for my motivation so I can  feel excited to get something done. But, that rarely happens, if at all.

The thing with motivation is that it is not a tangible thing. It’s just a theoretical feeling of inspiration that we hope to feel to drive us to get things done. However, motivation is not a pre-requisite to getting things done. We can get things done and yet not enjoy the task. Why is it, though, that as humans we feel like there needs to be a feeling of pleasure to enjoy and feel motivated to do a task?

Lately, I’ve been doing these boot camps to tone my cellulite muscles. I’m turning 40 this year, and I feel a mid-life crisis coming on, so why not tone up my body and feel more secure with my frame before dooms day? Seems like the natural thing to do, except I hate it. I am not “motivated” to do it. I don’t enjoy it, at all. Well, wait….I enjoy it after the fact (sometimes) when I feel a sense of accomplishment. But, mostly, I’m like “Ugggghhhhh….no more running….why do my legs feel like I’m walking through quicksand?….why can’t I get my legs off the ground?…legs, move…..move….MOVE, DAMNIT!”

This morning, my alarm went off at 4:30 am for a 5:15 am boot camp and I involuntary yelled out “SHIT!” and then hit snooze. 9 minutes later it went off again, and I yelled “F*CK (involuntarily -I swear, my body just blurted it out)! I got my ass out of bed and put my clothes on and then drove to the wrong location, and I almost GAVE UP. But, I did not. Even though I was dreading burpees and all the torturous other exercises. And, let me tell you – it was torture. I turned around and drove to the correct camp and I was 5 minutes late, but joined in anyway. I’m not excited to come back next week, but I will.

After almost 40 years, I finally get it. Motivation is not going to make me do those things in life I need to get done. Nope, the only thing that will make me move is ACTION. I have to JUST DO IT. So, I’ve decided I’m banning the word motivation from my vocabulary. Its made-up, means nothing, and is not necessary for action. So, move over motivation, I’m making room to JUST DO IT!

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Deceptive Masculinity

Deceptive Masculinity

Last night before I went to bed, I thought, “How is it almost Thursday?”

OK, but then this morning I woke up and it felt like Friday.

Help a girl out – is it a long week, or is it flying by? I don’t even know anymore. This is literally the longest week ‘to fly by’ EVER. Also, how is it April, already? How it can it be my baby is turning 6 this month? Why is life flashing before my eyes? (Just giving you an idea of what is going on through my mind when I apply makeup at 6:45 am…..)

Anywho, let’s talk about wine, shall we? Wine is a great past time to widdle the hours away. Those who know me best, know that I absolutely L.O.V.E. wine! Wine is like Valium in a fancy glass, dontcha think? It feels like a warm hug or one of those weighted adult blankets <—- need one of these, too…

I’m just going to put it out there and say to the Universe that I don’t drink enough wine. I need to drink more wine. I like to talk about wine. I like to talk about drinking wine. However, I don’t actually drink as much wine as I talk about drinking wine. Frankly, I’m either already too tired when I get home or I have to pay attention to my kids, etc. I do like to think about one day when I’m retired and I can just sit around in my house wearing pearls, listening to Frank Sinatra, and drinking a glass of wine at 10 am. Doesn’t that sound lovely??

Some days, when I’m not thinking about the days of the week and how quickly time is slipping from me, I think about changing careers to be a wine distributor or a sommelier. Do you think Sommelier’s get benefits? (I really need good insurance benefits)

On Saturday, I had dinner with an old friend and we stopped in this new wine bar. It was fantastic. You get this little card that you put into a machine and push buttons and then wine comes out.

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The only bad part is that you take the card to the cashier afterwards and have to actually pay money for the transaction. Alas, it is not free wine. Free wine, would make this a perfect machine. Also, one of those wine’s is like $35 for a sip (1 oz), and $85 for a gulp (2.5 oz). You gotta be careful at the wine machine. You’re welcome, for that tip!

The best part was that each wine had a description (not pictured above, but they are sitting right above each wine selection).

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YOU GUYS – “deceptive masculinity!”

Does wine ever taste like deceptive masculinity? I never thought so, but then I sipped gulped the wine, and it did. I can say with 100% accuracy that it indeed tasted like deceptive masculinity. It was my favorite. Also, it was only $7 for a gulp, which tastes better in and of itself.

The bigger question here is “HOW DO YOU GET THE JOB WRITING DESCRIPTIONS FOR WINES? Also, does it pay benefits?

Asking for a friend….

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Happy Easter Fools Day!

Happy Easter Fools Day!

Guys, hope everyone is having a nice Easter/April Fools day! We had a pretty glutinous morning eating buffet style Easter Brunch at a local spa. I literally feel ill, as one does after eating all of their daily calories (plus) in two hours time. I mean, three desserts, you guys….Obviously, tomorrow will start my annual “get back in a bathing suit body,” diet, or drunkorexia, if you will.

I’m not a big April Fools girl, so I did not attempt to trick my kids with eggs full of veggies, or bugs, or raisins, or any such thing. It’s not that I’m against it, it just seems like more work than I’m willing to put in and I’ve never really been a prankster. My little sassafras, on the other hand, couldn’t help herself…..The minute she saw me she claimed a spider in my hair. Such a sweet girl….

Actually, this year nature ran its course for me. Our annual egg hunt was cancelled, without my knowing. So yeah….we showed up for the hunt and of course no one was there, including the eggs. My kids actually were ok with it, but with the promise to have one at home later, after the brunch. When we got home, the kids watched me load up some plastic eggs for them. I then went to hide them in the front and back yard.

We live in Florida, so naturally we are not without swamp critters and snakes and such. Also, there always has to be the one or two eggs you can’t find, EVEN THOUGH you hid them yourself and in PLAIN SIGHT, but I digress… Right around the time we find the last booger egg, hiding in the bush, I see a snake- mere inches from my daughters face.

I know- it’s a tiny thing, but still….SNAKE, guys!!! Right where all my kids Easter eggs hid!

April Fools?? Or, welcome to Florida? Either way, hope you all had a great Holiday!

Puppy Therapy for Lunch

Puppy Therapy for Lunch

GUYS!! I told you previously that I got a new job, right? Well, it’s not really new anymore now that I have been here a little over a year, but new compared to the 10 years I spent at my last job….

I’m pretty lucky, because although the job was pretty uncomfortable for me at first, it has proven to be the best change I could have made in the last few years. I work with these really AWESOME people who GET ME. I mean, I’d like to think I’m special, but we all know I’m quirky. Having people who get me feels amazing. It’s like I have found my tribe, professionally. This is no easy feat in life, so I feel incredibly blessed to have this opportunity in my life. I also work for the best director I have ever had the privilege of working for. It really is crazy how your quality of life changes when you work for someone who actually cares and supports you. I work for someone who trusts my opinions and sort of just lets me free to go with my ideas (with boundaries). This is so important for the left side of my brain that needs creativity. It makes me feel valued and important.

Anydoodles, I have these fantastic co-workers, and let’s be honest – a few bad eggs, too. But, every workplace/office has the annoying co-worker. Everything can’t be perfect all the time guys! Mostly, the people are great, though. Today, we had a coordinator lunch together. This, in of itself, is so cool to me, because as a school teacher you don’t get lunch, let alone go out with friends. So, it is such a treat to get to have lunch outside the office amongst friends.

Today we took it up a notch and stopped at a puppy place. OH.EM.GEE!

Yeah, I know it is a puppy mill for breeders. I don’t plan on buying any dogs. But, they need love, too, right?

BEST.HUMP DAY.EVER!

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Let’s save the world one slitten at a time, shall we?

Let’s save the world one slitten at a time, shall we?

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I snagged this picture from google, but I have no idea where it originates from. I did not take this picture. I repeat, I do not take credit for this photo….

Confession time: I do not watch tv. Nor, do I read the news.

I do follow social media, though, but only sort of. This weekend, unfortunately, I found myself in a rabbit hole of tweets. A dark tunnel I can never come back from. Naturally, I now have a ton questions….

Who’s Stormy Daniels, and why is her interview so important?

Why does everyone care about Elon Musk and his dad right now?

Why is Christina Aguilera’s make-up free face news?

Who actually cares about these Kardashian babies?

WTF, with the woman who cooked a pet Chihuahua?????

More importantly, why are idiots talking shit about the Parkland students and creating fake propaganda with their photos?

I’m reminded why I need to never watch the news again and live in my make-believe world of rainbows and kittens. I’m so disappointed with the world right now…. Instead of focusing on all that bullshit, I have now immersed myself in pictures of kittens. I am  literally following 3 Instagram pages full of cute kitten photos. Anyone know of any kitten twitter accounts I can follow? I’m serious. Kittens are the only thing keeping me going at this moment. I’m obsessed.

I mean, if you don’t think this is cute, you have a cold black heart….

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Image found here

Also, I found Slittens.

Slittens = kitten + sloth faces

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The innerwebs win again. Guys, this slitten tumbler is amazing.

I know.

You’re Welcome!

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Free-Range Parenting – Are you in?

Free-Range Parenting – Are you in?

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This image retrieved from Unsplash

I recently read an article that came out last week from Deseret News. When I first saw the title, “Utah governor signs law legalizing ‘free-range parenting’” I was pretty skeptical. I mean, it sounds crunchy and all. Also, I’m frequently annoyed that we all have to label ourselves into a type of parenting, when instead we could just be supporting and empowering each other in solidarity that parenting is HARD. Can’t we all just be friends??

However, I read the article against my initial judgement and I was pleasantly surprised. I’m on board, you guys. I’m ready to drink the kool-aid of free-range parenting!

First of all, I’m a kid of the eighties. I won’t be the first to tell you that I had to play outside and was frequently told not to come back until the street lights came on. We had a neighborhood of moms with different whistles- so you knew when it was time to come home for dinner. I rode my bike about two miles to the Kmart for flavored lipgloss – and it was on a major road. If you transplanted my kid-self playing in the park without supervision to 2018, my parents would have had DCF called on them.

With that said, I am well aware that we are living in a different world now. I’m not necessarily saying kids need to be off playing in the streets alone til the sun comes down and the whistle calls. However, I’ve seen the trend towards  helicopter parenting, and its ill effects. When I taught high school, I had students who didn’t know how to do laundry or make boxed cup-cakes. These were kids months away from being “adults.”

When I was in middle school, I was walking to and from school and staying home alone until my parents got home from work. No, I was not walking up a hill, backwards, and in the snow- I was living in Florida, people! It was HOT as Hades, but I picked oranges off the neighbors trees for snacks, and I was FINE. One day, I decided that I was going to make bacon. I’m not particularly sure why, because I’ve never been a fan of pork, and that was probably the last day I ate/attempted to make it. Anydoodles, Oprah was on and I got distracted while the grease was warming up. I’m sure you can predict what happened next… you would be correct….

I walked into the kitchen and there was a grease fire that hit straight up to the ceiling. I remembered from school that you “starve a grease fire.” Guess what? There was no internets back then, so I did not learn this from Lifehacker or YouTube. I learned it from the local fire department in my Life Skills Class. So, I threw a lid on the pan and turned off the heat, and then I ran over to my neighbor’s house, a school teacher who was grading papers at her kitchen table. She ran over with me, ready to call 911. But the fire was out.

Thankfully, I had problem-solving skills. And, I had education at school (and home) that helped me to prepare for this moment. AND, I was mature enough to stay home, even though I was 11 years old. My parents felt comfortable letting me stay home alone, because they knew me and knew that I was smart enough to critically think about situations that could potentially happen without supervision.

Back to the Child Neglect Amendment in Utah: This law basically says it will not be considered neglect when a child is at least 9 years old and they are:

  • traveling to and from school, including walking, running, or biking
  • traveling to and from nearby commercial and recreational facilities (i.e. parks and rec centers)
  • engaging in outdoor play
  • remaining in a car unattended, except in certain circumstances
  • remaining home unattended

Way to go, UTAH! I’m 100% in agreement with this amendment, and I look forward to other states following in its lead. Like some of the commentary I have seen in regards to this topic, I’m equally surprised this even needs to be a law. The only other thing I think we need to add is that we need to bring back life skills classes (as early as 5th grade).

Here’s my two cents on parenting:

  1. Kids need unconditional love.
  2. Give the  kids some independence.
  3. Teach kids problem-solving skills  (*hint: bring back Family & Consumer Science classes all the way back to elementary school)
  4. Encourage kids when they make mistakes and help them learn from them.
  5. Teach kids kindness and empathy.
  6. Give kids boundaries and make them accountable (with consistency) when they cross parameters.

Ole, Ole!!

Happy Saturday,

 

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