Saturday, February 12, 2011

Ruined Fruit and Good Carne Asada

We had to remove all of the fruit from our orange and grapefruit trees today.  That arctic cold from a couple weeks ago really did a number on my poor trees.  All the fruit froze on the trees and has since unfrozen and begun to rot.  Yuck.  Not to mention all the leaves are curled up and brittle.  They just couldn't handle the abnormal freezing temps.  I felt so sad as I pulled all the fruit off today.  We aren't sure if the trees themselves are going to make it.  It's just a wait and see.  Hopefully since both trees are full grown, mature trees they will make it.  We might not have much fruit this coming year but that's OK.  I don't eat the oranges anyway.  I am very bummed about the grapefruit though.  They were so good!
Here are a couple pictures from just a few weeks ago before all the damage was done.  I didn't get any pictures of the trees today because they just look too sad.

On a much brighter note, John made grilled carne asada and made homemade pico de gallo for dinner tonight.  It was delicious!!!  He worked hard on it and grilled it over some wood from a bottle brush tree we had to cut down in our backyard.  We all stuffed ourselves on it, even Caroline.  Now it's time to relax and watch American Idol on the DVR.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Five Question Friday

So as I was perusing around the blogosphere, I came across Five Question Friday at My Little Life and I thought it sounded like fun so here it is!

1. Would you rather be on ABC's Extreme Home MakeOver or TLC's What not to Wear?
Extreme Home Makeover, hands down. I can't stand my house. Would move in a heartbeat if I could. And I'm not really big on fashion. So definitely the home makeover.

2. Do you have any tattoos?
Nope. I can't think of anything that I want on my body for the rest of my life.

3. Do you tell your kids about things you did growing up?
Sure. Nothing I wouldn't want them to do though :X

4. If the traffic signal turns yellow, do you stop or speed up?
Truly depends on how close I am. If I would have to slam on the brakes to stop then I'll speed up. But if I have enough time to stop, then I stop.

5. What's your preference: chocolate or chips?
Probably chips. I don't generally crave chocolate. Now if the choice was between sweet or salty, I would almost always go with sweet. Just not chocolate.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Show Us Your Life- Hair and Beauty Tips- Threading

Today, I'm linking up to Kelly's Corner, where she does a weekly Show Us Your Life post.  This week's theme was hair and beauty tips.
At first, I didn't think I really wanted to do this one because, well, let's face it, I'm a very low maintenance girl.  I don't wear makeup on a daily basis and my hair can be found in a pony tail 6 days out of 7.  But then I thought to myself, there is one thing that I think more women should know about.
What is threading, you ask.  It's a hair removal technique that I think every woman should try if they spend any time tweezing, waxing or bleaching hair on their face.  It uses cotton thread to remove hair at the follicle.  Most common is eyebrow threading but you can also have your upper lip, chin or even entire face done.
I get my eyebrows and upper lip threaded every 4-6 weeks.  It makes me feel so much less frumpy just to have them shaped and no lip hairs.  It makes a big enough difference that even my husband can tell when I have had it done.
It is similar to waxing in that it removes a lot of hair at once however it uses no chemicals or wax.  The hair is pulled out.  Yes, it can hurt.  I find that my eyebrows don't really hurt but oh boy does my upper lip.  But it is so worth it.
So, go find a place and get it done.  You'll be glad you did.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Crockpot Pork Chops and Rice

This is one of my favorite recipes.  It's simple and so good.  Be forewarned that it is very high in salt.  It most definitely doesn't follow the new salt guidelines. LOL  It probably doesn't follow the old ones either.  If you want to cut the salt some, use the Campbells' Healthy Request version of the soup instead.  Don't add water to cut the salt though; it will affect the taste too much.  But it is easy with very few ingredients.

Crock pot- I use my 3.5 qt one for this.
4 Boneless pork chops about 3/4" thick (I buy my pork chops from Costco- they are incredibly thick so I end up slicing 2 in half to make the 4)
4-5 cans Campbell's Chicken with Rice Soup (If you can find them, you can use 2 of the family sized cans instead)
2 tsp olive oil
Mrs. Dash or other seasoning for the pork chops
Potatoes (not shown- optional)

1. If using extra thick pork chops, slice in half.  Heat oil in skillet.

2.  Season one side of pork chops.

3.  Once oil is heated, place pork chops, seasoned side down in skillet.  Cook for 2-3 minutes until lightly browned on one side.  You aren't cooking the pork chops all the way in the skillet.

4.  While the first side is cooking, season the other side of the pork chops.

5.  Flip and brown other side of pork chops.

6. Pour 1-2 cans in the bottom of crock pot.  Do NOT add water to the condensed soup!

7.  Layer the browned pork chops on top.

8. Pour the remaining 2-3 cans of soup over the crock pot. Again, do NOT add water.  At this point you could also add some extra vegetable like carrots.  Peas would also go well with this, but would probably need to be added later so they didn't get soggy and nasty.

 9.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours or until pork chops are done.  They should be fork tender and not need any knife.  I like to serve them over baked potatoes.  But I forgot to get a picture of the finished product.  

This is a popular meal in my family.  My mom has been making it since I was a kid.  Even Caroline likes it though she doesn't eat it on a potato.

Friday, February 4, 2011

This and That

Boy, I'm feeling all over the place with my thoughts tonight.

It is cold here!  I'm sure everyone who lives in the midwest would love our weather but I am not used to this!!  We had record lows for 2 nights in a row.  I barely slept worrying about our pipes freezing.  I've dealt with a busted pipe and it is not an experience I want to relive.  Not to mention that our master bathroom is 55°!!!!  Have you ever put your butt on a toilet that is only 55°?  Not a pleasant experience.  I finally decided that it was not worth it and have been using Caroline's bathroom instead.  It was nice to not have to use scalding water to not freeze during a shower.

I spent yesterday trying to restore some semblance of control to my house.  It had gotten a little crazy with a sick kid.  All told, I did 6 loads of laundry, dishes, made the bed, sewed a pillow, cleaned my sewing area and helped Caroline clean her toys.  It was a productive day.  I can't say it's my most favorite of ways to spend the day but necessary.

Caroline doesn't particularly like to clean up. (She must get that from me.)  But she had toys from one end of the living room to the other.  It was not pretty.  I told her to start in her room, which wasn't nearly as bad.  After less than 5 minutes, she comes out and says she's done. When I go look, she had shoved everything in the closet!  She's only 4, shouldn't that come later?  So back in there she goes.  After her room is clean, she starts on the living room. And the whining and excuses start.  First she needs a tissue.  Then she's tired.  Then she's still sick.  Then she's hungry.  Next she wants to know if I'm going to help her.  Then another tissue. Then she's dying of thirst.

So incredibly frustrating!  Why is it that it's easier to just do it for her?  I didn't but I wanted to.  She finally got it all cleaned up and put away.  We can see the floor!

My biggest project (besides laundry) was cleaning up my sewing area.  Fabric and things had been piling up since before Christmas and I had finished several projects this week.  So I folded fabric and did some organizing.  All my thread was a mess, so I straightened it up and cut my finger in the process.  With a pair of scissors.  Smart me.  Plus I bled all over the place.  No stitches needed though. But I got my area all finished.  It's all so nice and neat and calling my name to sew that I sat down and finished a pillow for Caroline.

For the first time ever, I cleaned my sewing machine.  I had so been dreading this.  My machine is new and expensive and I was afraid that I would mess it up when i took it apart to clean it.  But I got out my instruction manual and pulled the needle plate off.  Ewwww!  I should have taken a picture, there was so much lint in there.  It really needed cleaning and I could definitely tell the difference in the way it sewed after I was all done.  Thankfully, I got it all back together correctly and it still works!

Well, I'm going to go huddle under some blankets for warmth and finish watching my DVR of American Idol.  Have a good night!