Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Kitchen must-haves

Mac and I cleaned out lots of stuff before we moved to minimize the boxes we were putting in storage. A decent amount of kitchen gear went to Goodwill because we'd had it for over three years, and we decided to replace it on the flipside. Alex over at Munchkins and the Military shared a brilliant idea: she was registering for baby stuff even though she wasn't having a full baby shower to keep track of what she wanted to buy and to get coupons. So I'm going to make a new registry for us when we move again. Here's what's going on it.








Kitchenaid stand mixer and attachments. Right now, we don't have any attachments but will be buying a few.

High quality cookie and baking sheets. I love airbake cookie sheets and am going to invest in a few true half sheet pans.

Knife set and block. Our first knife set was from Wal-Mart, and buying a cheap Cuisinart set was a major upgrade. Those wore out, so I'll be upgrading once more.

Cutting boards. I love the color coded cutting boards. They're great for preventing cross-contamination.

What are you kitchen must-haves?

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

That time I lost my shoes and found them in my husband's bag

Are y'all getting tired of my humorous tales of losing things? No? Good. Here's another one. Way back on New Years Eve, Mac, Ashley, and I headed over to Clarendon for a party. We got a hotel room because we're cool, so Mac and I packed one bag. I threw in my trusty Nine West leather pumps, and off we went.

We ate Five Guys, we partied, we decided we were old and would rather hang out in our hotel room (aging, it's a bitch). The next day, we went home, and I grabbed our clothes to put in the laundry. Mac unpacks (so I think), and the bag is pretty much untouched after he deploys.

Flash forward several months. I'm going to a career fair and can't find my black pumps. I chalk it up to not having cleaned, so I grab a pair of flats. I have a more in-depth look after the fair and genuinely can't find them. Now, I'm concerned. These shoes are sartorial perfection: classic, comfy, pointed toes for a lean look, a low heel for easy walking. I also bought them at the Nine West outlet, and the closest one of those is 35 minutes away on a good day. I work at a mall, ergo I do not go shopping.

Flash forward to two weeks ago. I have a second interview with a company and desperately need these shoes. Still no dice. I've searched everywhere but our storage unit. I resign myself to having lost them and buy another pair of pumps. I have the interview, and all is well (and no, I haven't heard back from the company).

This past week, I'm cleaning and packing a change of clothes for Mac. I happen to move his bag from its long term home in front of his dresser. Guess what falls out. Yep, my shoes. Forgive me for not checking the bag I forgot we took for the shoes I didn't need for months.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Recipes to master

I am a lover and collector of cookbooks. The irony is not lost on me that I have literally boxes of cookbooks, but I don't use them too often. Given that I've been baking and cooking since I was eight, you would think I would have mastered most of the cooking basics in these books. But I still have a few recipes I really need to master.

Pot roast - Every time I make pot roast, it ends up tough. Blame it on me not eating beef for years.
Steak - Same as the pot roast, I just can't cook beef!
Omelets - I'm a pro at turning omelets into scrambled eggs. They start out well. They don't end well.
Marinara sauce - My current marinara "recipe" is opening a jar. I would like to start a garden wherever we move next, and a good tomato sauce recipe is necessary when you have fresh tomatoes.
Biscuits - Any Southern cook worth their salt has a go-to for classic, fluffy biscuits. I'm still looking for my favorite one.


Do you have any good recipes for these? What recipes are you trying to perfect?

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Surprise!

In case you didn't see on Instagram, Mac is home!!!!



He flew in yesterday and will be home for about two weeks. Obviously, I'm very excited that he's back. I might not be blogging regularly, but you can follow our adventures on Insta.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

A heartfelt thank you

I just wanted to say thanks to everyone who left a comment or sent me a message about Kittie. Losing her has been very difficult, and I truly appreciate the kind words and thoughts from y'all.

Photo: Goodbye, sweet Kittie. Thanks for 19 wonderful years. I'll love you forever.

But I do have some good news that I can't share just yet... (spoiler alert: you'll see what I'm talking about on Instagram later on).

Friday, July 18, 2014

Kittie

Yesterday, my parents made the difficult decision to put down Kittie two weeks shy of her 19th birthday. The past few months weren't too kind to my baby girl, and her time had finally come. I am beyond devastated and seriously spent most of yesterday crying. I'm eternally grateful to my parents who quickly acted when her condition noticeably worsened, so she wouldn't suffer. And a special thanks to my dad who had to endure taking her to the vet alone.




Kittie had nine lives and a few to spare. She was all mine, the runt of her litter of barn cats born on my mom's best friend's farm way back in 1995. Leslie and I were so excited to get cats. I had a thousand names picked out, but I couldn't decide on one so Kittie stuck. I remember when we took her and her sister Blackie (Leslie's cat) home. She pooped in the car, and it looked like relish. We stayed up all night to litter train them. On their first vet visit, the doctor pulled my dad aside and told him Kittie had a severe virus and probably wouldn't make it. Did she ever beat those odds. This cat honestly was on death's doorstep at least three separate times. Each time, she bounced back better than ever.



She was invincible to everything but time. She loved potato chips, tuna, anything dairy, and Krispy Kreme. She was a lazy bum but always woke up for breakfast at 5 am. She endlessly peed on the carpet, but her purring could almost make you forget about it. Once she got stuck so high up in the tree in our backyard, we had to call the fire department.


Kittie has been in my life for almost two decades, and I can't imagine going to my parents' house and not seeing her there. My biggest regret is not being there with her. I'll love you always, Kittie, and I'm so sorry I wasn't able to say goodbye one last time. Thank you for bringing joy and happiness to our family for those 18 years and 50 weeks.



Thursday, July 17, 2014

Building a professional wardrobe

Wherever we move next, I fully intend to reenter the professional world. Sorry, Ann Taylor, we'll be breaking up. But not until I make the most of my 50% off discount. Given that AT is known for working women's clothes, I'm building a wardrobe to have at my disposal.

I started with two new suits: a khaki pantsuit and a navy skirt suit. These two are the same cotton fabric. I already have a black suit and a gray suit.



I bought three new skirts, several button-downs, and a whole mess of blouses. I didn't realize just how many sweaters I owned until I cleaned out my closet to make space for this stuff. I'm planning to fill out my wardrobe with a few more fall pieces.


What are your work place essentials?

**While I work at Ann Taylor, I was not compensated for this post. These items were purchased using my employee discount and incentive coupons I received at work. All opinions are my own.**
 
Jane Whitney Designs