The Cheap, Lazy Woman’s Guide to Beating Internet Addiction

I mean . . . not that I’d know from personal experience . . . but a cheap, lazy friend of mine suggested these tips over at the Mirror . . . .

I love my computer because that's where my friends live

Advertisements

This is typical.

A post with no advice.

I’m enjoying Julia Child’s My Life in France.

This morning I tried making scrambled eggs as directed by Julia’s instructor at Le Cordon Bleu.  I stirred the raw eggs together gently and poured them into a buttered pan set to low.  I waited three minutes, at which point Julia indicated the eggs would form a custard consistency.  Well, three minutes on my electric stove set on low did nothing to these eggs.

 

I set the timer for another three minutes.  While I waited, I pulled out Joy of Cooking and compared their scrambled eggs directions to Julia’s.  Both say to use low heat; Joy says to beat the eggs more.  Joy discusses the eggs’ forming “creamy curds,” which kind of grosses me out.

Three more minutes were up, and I stirred the slightly-cooked eggs around, keeping them on low.  It would be a while.  Good things come to those who wait.

I wandered over to my laptop, clicking to Pinterest.  Isn’t this dress lovely?   I got disgusted with all the many many “how-to’s” and  “improve your life in five easy steps” pins.   How many of these people really know what they’re talking about?  And if they do, are they really saying anything new?   I had a revelation that I don’t want to be a blogger with a bunch of “how-to” lists and Pinterest-y graphics.  I kind of always knew that but now I really know it.  I might do a graphic here or there when the mood strikes, or a how-to when I really and truly know how-to something.  But . . .

Oh yeah my eggs.

They had hardened into a solid sheet, a rubbery egg pancake.  Julia and Joy would put aside their differences and unanimously disapprove.

I chopped the eggs into chunks and ate them, thankful for all the butter I had used.

scrambled eggs

No how-to’s on scrambled eggs here!

Bon appetit!

When Real Life Doesn’t Look Like Pinterest

We installed a ballet bar and mirror in Girl 1’s room last weekend.

We did it on a whim.  I saw the idea on Pinterest, and the very next day I found the perfect mirror at a thrift store.

My daughter was thrilled.  I was not so.  The paint on the bar was uneven. The mirror frame could have used a touch up.  We used blocks of wood to hold the mirror in place, and we didn’t bother sanding and painting them.  We’re more get-‘er-done types, not so much get-‘er-perfect types.

I was bummed.

Why can’t I get things to look nice?

And then my brother visited and took a few snapshots.

Maybe I need to focus less on how I think things look.  And more on how I see them.

ballet bar 4

What I Wore Sunday (Not Enough)

Here’s what I wore to Mass today:

IMG_2591

Shoes and shirt from Lands’ End.  Skirt is thrifted *nannynannybooboo*

Girl 1 brushed my skirt up somewhere in the course of getting her sweater off and on and off and then on again, and . . . I’m pretty sure the folks behind us got a glimpse of What Panties I Wore Sunday (no pictures, you’re welcome).   I had intended to put on a certain undergarment that would have prevented my exposure being quite so . . . complete . . . but I forget in our rush to get out the door.  Clearly some of the time I spent making up my face would have been better spent, uh, elsewhere.

But anyway, I was thrilled when I found this skirt at Goodwill because I could use it to imitate this look,  which I found on Pinterest a while ago:

and also this:

Thanks to the ladies at Fine Linen and Purple for hosting the WIWS link up!

 

Easter Frivolity (+ What I Wore)

Happy Easter, everyone!  I’m so glad it’s here.  It was a penitential Holy Week, in ways other than those I had planned.  (I hadn’t intended to give up quite so much sleep, sanity, etc.)  But here we are, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed as the EB himself:

IMG_1930

IMG_1915

In case anyone cares:
Dress is Lilly Pulitzer (purchased last year for Martha’s wedding)
Shoes are Naturalizer
Cardigan and jewelry are old old old.

IMG_1932

Girls' dresses:  COSTCO!!

Girls’ dresses: COSTCO!!

Does anyone else look forward to singing “Alleluia Alleluia Let the Holy Anthem Rise”?  I look forward to it every year.

Oh, here are our Easter baskets, and Pat’s Easter bucket.

IMG_1902

Nail clippers, cough medicine, Airborne, and a candy bar.  Lucky lucky guy.  Somehow I scored some new scarves.

By the way, that Easter bunny roll idea that’s forever floating on Pinterest:

BIG FAT LIE

The pic on the left is actually one of cream-filled cookies.  Some poor lady uploaded the picture to Flickr and it was stolen from her.

Here’s the truth, folks:

All the same, I thought I could outsmart everyone else.  (Never a good idea.)

IMG_1904 IMG_1905

Cute, right?

Cute, right?

FAIL!!

IMG_1912 IMG_1911

Ah well.

IMG_1913

Perfect Health Diet re-starts tomorrow.

Have a blessed Easter everyone!

Thank you, Grace, for hosting the link-up Sunday and Fine Linen and Purple for hosting one on Monday!




					

What I Wore Sunday: Confessions of a Vain Mommy?

This is what I wore to Mass today.

New red coat (clearance find!) from Anne Klein.  Chutzpah to wear purple tights with nude heels from Martha.

New red coat (clearance find!) from Anne Klein. Chutzpah to wear purple tights with nude heels from Martha.

IMG_1416

 

 

Scarf close-up

Scarf close-up

The girls wore matching gold sparkly dresses and pink sparkly cardigans.   Have I mentioned how much I love having little girls?

IMG_1405 IMG_1406 IMG_1407 IMG_1408 IMG_1409

IMG_1410

What I really want to write about, though, is last week.  Last Sunday, I spent over an hour (okay, almost two), getting myself showered and dressed, working on hair, trying out an eyeshadow technique I saw on Pinterest, etc.   Pat got himself and both girls ready.  We then gathered up the girls and their accoutrements into the van in our typical rush.

Before we left, Pat snapped a pictures of me.

IMG_1326[1]Ugh.  Well. . . . That was a waste of time.  (I truly truly am not fishing for compliments here.  A lot of you left sweet, encouraging comments last week, which made me feel much better and which I appreciate.  Still, subjectively, I was not happy with how I looked.)

We got to our pew and I looked down to see that Girl 1’s tights were on backwards, so the dingy part that is supposed to be on the bottom of her foot was instead on the top.  Her shoes were on backwards and . . .

My own fingernails were dirty.  With eyeshadow, I think.

I don’t believe our God is one to play “gotcha” with us.  But, man, I sure felt I was being taught a lesson.

Somehow, the hours before Mass have become “me” time, and that just doesn’t seem right.

Is God glorified when we put on nice clothes for Mass, when we wash and nicely arrange our hair, when we put on a bit of makeup?  Sure. Is He glorified when I perfect the latest eyeshadow technique from Pinterest and spend long (futile!) hours with a round brush trying to get my hair to look like Kate Middleton’s?

Hmmm.

I’ve  never been a high maintenance kind of girl (at least not as far as the externals go, emotional maintenance is another story).  So, I’ve always felt silly, vain, when I spend a lot of time on my appearance.

And yet, after having two kids and turning 30, I’m convinced it’s not a bad thing to have a nice two-hour stretch once a week to take care of myself: to take a long shower, to take whatever depilatory measures are necessary, to “do” my hair nicely, to play around with makeup.  It’s not a bad thing.  It might even be a good thing.  It’s not just vanity.  (But yes, I realize it is a luxury I am extremely blessed to have.)

At the same time, it doesn’t feel right to do it on Sunday morning.

So this is where I was going to write about how I’ve started making Saturday evening my “me” time: taking a nice long shower, putting my hair in Velcro rollers overnight, picking out my outfit, maybe doing my nails, so that I can get ready quickly in the morning.

But then real life intervened.  We stayed out late at a lovely gathering of dear, old friends.  Once we got home and got the girls to bed, my tired mommy bones weren’t up to anything more than going to sleep.  Then this morning, my Saintly Husband let me sleep in, and I had about half an hour to get ready.

Somehow, though, like the way I turned out a bit better this week:

IMG_1412

I’m not really sure what the moral of the story is here.  Spend time with good friends whenever you can, and get as much sleep as you can, I suppose.  All the same, next weekend I will try to implement my new Saturday night routine.

My hair looks better when I do the Velcro rollers anyway.  😉

Fireman’s wife with curlers in her hair, ca. 1955. Photograph by Honoré Desmond Sharrer. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

As usual, I’m linking up with Fine Linen and Purple for What I Wore Sunday.  Check there for lots of Sunday finery!

What I Wore Sunday: The Polka Dot “It” Sweater

So this is what I wore to Mass today:

Someone was good at Mass AND at the grocery store and got some MnMs.  I was good too but only got a bag of dates.

Someone was good at Mass AND at the grocery store and got some MnMs. I was good too but only got a bag of dates!

Someone was good at Mass AND at the grocery store and got some MnMs. I was good too but only got a bag of dates!

The sweater was an impulse buy at Old Navy a few months ago.  Turns out I inadvertently found the “it” sweater of the season, at least in the < $50 range.  This is new for me.  Usually, my impulse buys turn out to be “not it” items.  But, at least according to Pinterest, I lucked out this time:

From hello-gorgeous-blog.blogspot.com

I like the look of a button down underneath it, but it doesn’t work for me.  I probably would need a size up for that to work.

Zooey Deschanel from “New Girl”

And check out the lovely Erika, in her WIWS post for today.  (I promise I didn’t see her post until after I had selected my own outfit!)

Anyway, My Lenten contribution to the blogosphere will be a two-part (possibly three-part) series on cooking Good Enough Fish.  First part is coming tomorrow  here.  Check it out!  Unless of course you know how to cook Really Good Fish, in which case I have nothing to offer you.  😉

For more Sunday finery, check out the link-up at Fine Linen and Purple.  Thanks, Kendra and Emily, for hosting!  Happy Mardi Gras everyone!

What I Wore Sunday: Polka Dots, Argyle, and Albuterol

Well, I didn’t exactly wear albuterol, but I think I walk around with a fine mist of it surrounding me.  We’ve been using it day in day out for the girls for weeks and weeks now.  My poor baby girl has been especially sick the past week; we celebrated her first birthday with a trip to the doctor.  It was her second of the week, and I think we’re going back there on Monday.  Girl 1 has pretty much kicked the bug, but Girls 2 just keeps wheezing and coughing, coughing and wheezing.

Thanks to my Saintly Husband and the blessing of a well-timed nap for the baby, I was able to get gussied up for Mass today.  I find the girls’ photo bombs amusing here so I’m including several shots.  Notice how good I am at ignoring them?  😉

IMG_1102 IMG_1105image (3) photo (18)

I was kind of going for this look, kind of:

I can’t figure out the original source.  Let me know if you know.  It’s been floating around on Pinterest and Tumblr for a while.

Happy Sunday everyone!  For more Sunday finery, check out the link-up at Fine Linen and Purple.  Thanks, Kendra and Emily, for hosting!

[I Will] Own the Night, New Year’s Reflections Part 3

After all the tantalizing lead up (here and here), now is the moment you’ve all been waiting for, the moment when I reveal my New Year’s Resolution:

No more internet

After 8 p.m.

Except e-mail and Netflix

Except Friday and Saturday nights.

I started Wednesday night, and it feels so weird.  I can’t count the number of times a thought crossed my mind and I turned to look it up but then stopped myself.  I kind of felt in withdrawal.

My evening was so peaceful, though.  It was quieter, too, without that loud flushing sound that I usually hear at night as my time goes down the toilet.

The big downside of this resolution is that I will have less time for writing this blog.  I’m sad about this because I do enjoy it.  My perspective is a bit different than Lizzie’s in that I feel like the time I spend blogging is well spent.  It’s certainly much better spent than time I used to spend on Facebook.  I know not many people read my blog, and I know I’m not doing much to improve the lives of those that do.  Somehow, though, just getting my thoughts on (virtual) paper is valuable to me.  I have way too much swimming around in my head and writing some of it down is therapeutic.  Also, I would like to be a writer in some capacity other than just a legal one, although I don’t have anything specific in mine.  Blogging is the simplest starting point I can think of, and sharing my blog with a readership beyond just friends and family is a part of that.  I (certainly!) don’t obsess about style and grammar but I think I’m gradually improving.

But.  But. But.

I can’t seem to write blog posts at night (which is usually when I find the time) without first reading all the new posts from the blogs in my blog reader (that number increases every week).  And then I read things that they link to.  And then I Google a random thought that comes to me.  And then I check to see whether that thingamajiggy is on Amazon (of course it is).  And then I check to see if anyone has posted anything on Pinterest in the last ten mintues.  And then . . .

Lizzie might have used this in her New Year’s resolution post, but I swear I thought of it first.

Yeah.

So right now I’m writing this in Word.   It’s 10:15 p.m.  I’m feeling tired so I’ll end this and turn out the light.  I’ll copy and paste it into WordPress in the morning afternoon.   Maybe I’ll be rested enough to get up and post this before the girls wake up.   Or at least I’ll be well-rested whenever I do wake up.*  My finger is itching, just itching, to click open my web browser, but I’m not gonna do it.

Wish me luck.

* I was neither up before the girls nor well-rested this morning, due to an overabundance of wakeful children in our house last night.  But I did resist the temptation to browse the web.  Surely, surely virtue is its own reward.

Laura’s Really Exciting Life, New Year’s Reflections Part 2

Yesterday I looked back at the low points of last year.  Now I want to post about what my day-to-day life is now.  It’s a definite improvement from several months ago, but it still needs some improvement.  So, a typical weekday looks something like this:

6:30 ish: Get up with the baby

OR (more likely)

8:00 ish: Get up after having let Saintly Husband get up with the baby.

I prefer getting up with the baby, but I don’t have much willpower at 6:30 a.m.  Anyway, it doesn’t make that big a difference.  The things that would really give me a head start on my day–showering/getting dressed or unloading the dishwasher–would wake up Girl 1 and there would go my head start time.

So, if I get up with the baby, I sit in a stupor on the couch with her, get my coffee, and maybe get her breakfast, until 8ish when Pat and Girl 1 wake.  Or, Pat gets up with her and I wake up around 8.  In either case, come 8:00, I rush around to get out the door to get Girl 1 to preschool.

After taking Girl 1 to preschool, I try to get as many of the following done:

  • unload dishwasher
  • feed baby breakfast
  • take a shower
  • start on laundry
  • start making lunch (I try to make it our main meal)
  • put the baby down for a nap

Oh, wait a minute, there’s someone here who wants to say something:

Hmm.  Well, Homer.  Why don’t you tell us what you really think, already?  Alrighty then, I get the point.

I’ll try to keep this brief.  Here are the three, related trouble spots in my current routine:

  1. Because my mornings are so rushed, a lot of what should be high-priority tasks are pushed to the evening.  Mainly, prayer and exercise. To a lesser extent, reading and writing and keeping in touch with family and friends.  By the time evening comes, I’m tired and it’s easy to skip or . . .. 
  2. I veg out on the computer until it’s too late.  Our girls go to bed around 7:30.  By the time dishes are done, living room tidied, etc., it’s 8:00 or later.  I sit on the couch with my laptop, look at Pinterest and a few blogs and BOOM it’s 11 p.m.  Pat and I haven’t said our Rosary.  I haven’t done my back exercises.  I haven’t even written a blog post.  Okay, it’s not always that bad but somehow time just flies in the evening.  The way I spend that time is not very productive and only slightly restorative.
  3. Finally, because of all this, I go to bed too late.  I’m too tired to do anything productive at night but somehow I don’t feel like going to bed early enough.  It’s like I need at least 3 hours in which I’m awake but the girls are asleep.  So, I never ever get up early and well-rested.  It’s always one or the other.  And yet I like getting up early.  I like getting a head start on my day.  *Sigh*

So, tomorrow I’ll finish Part 3 of my New Year’s Reflections, including how I plan to spend my evening time more wisely and what I intend to accomplish.

Try to contain yourself.