Tuesday, January 25, 2011

American Idol Talk

American Idol has been a favorite show of mine since the end of Season 1.  I didn't know about it until they were down to the last three, that first season, but I haven't missed hardly an episode since! 

As many fans did, I went into this season 10 a little skeptical.  No Simon (let alone Ellen or Kara)??  How could this work?  Who would tell us who we should love or hate?  Who would say, "If I'm being honest...." or "It was a bit self-indulgent" like our tee shirt wearing Brit? 

Thankfully, I'm happy to say I loved the new judges.  J-Lo really surprised me with only taking one night to find her "no" voice!  She has a backbone, and doesn't seem to mind using it!  She won me over.  And, my gosh, that girl is gorgeous!!

Steven Tyler is a trip.  Love that guy!  I love his high pitched "Aaaaaaah!" that he throws out when he gets excited.  Love his drumming on the table when they sing a peppy tune.  Yep-love him.  I think he is a breath of fresh air, and I think he will help make this season awesome!!

And, Randy. Well, he's the Dog.  Not much different from the previous nine go-rounds, but even he has a bit of a spring in his step.

Another thing I'm wildly happy about...... a one hour show, in which we see more GOOD singers than SCARY ones!  I can take a montage or two with off-pitch, monotone, costume-wearing freaks, but I'm watching the show to form early favorites, hear new, raw talent, and enjoy myself!

And, I would much rather listen to this guy.....

....than this guy.   

So, happy watching!!  I'll come back each week and break it down.......because

This. Is. American Idol.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Menu Planning

Ok, I'll start out saying that there are times when I need this advise as much as anyone.  But, when I'm good....I'm good.  When the boys were younger, I had to be more organized to make it through each day!  Menu planning has been a strength of mine at times, and I'm getting back into it, so I thought I would pass some tips along!  Yea!  :)

First, think about the meals that you and your family like.  Make a list of as many dishes as you can think of.  Suggestions...
  • spaghetti
  • roast in crock pot
  • tuna casserole
  • chicken pot pie
  • salmon patties
  • lettuce wraps
  • Irish meat & potatoes
Now, what side dishes accompany your meals?  Make a list of all of them.  You will want options!!  Suggestions...
  • roasted potatoes
  • green beans
  • broccoli rice casserole
  • corn on the cob
  • macaroni & cheese
Now, I type out a list of dates, keeping in mind any that I know we will not be home for dinner (birthdays, nights you have functions away from home).  These nights, obviously, you don't need to prepare a menu.

Then, I fill in a main course, and a couple of side dishes for each date.  Each week needs to be varied in style, such as Italian, Mexican, Greek (hehehe--I wouldn't know a Greek meal if she bit me in the callipygous!).  Also, I try to schedule a seafood, a chicken, a beef, a meatless, etc. for diversity. 

Grocery shopping is a piece o' cake with this weekly list!  And if you said you're having chicken pot pie tonight, and you're not feeling it, switch it with another night.  Who's to care??  This is meant to help simplify your evenings!That's the beauty! 

I encourage and challenge you to try menu planning for a week or a month!  It takes a bit of time & energy up front, but, daily, is well worth it.  Let me know if you try it & how it goes! 

~That's All I Know!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

New Normal

Our family has been through a lot of changes in the past couple of years.  Our older son, Cooper, joined the Navy during his junior year in high school.  So, two months after graduation, he was headed off to boot camp.  Our younger son, CJ, graduated high school this past June, and is now a teaching assistant in Frisco ISD, working with special ed kiddos.  My mom lived with us for almost 6 years, and she bought a house & moved into it last May.  Kevin and I celebrated our 20th Anniversary (!!), and I turned 40. 

All at the same time. 

I generally don't like new stuff.  I usually hate new music in choir until it grows on me.  It takes me a long time to get used to new characters on my tv shows.  New Coke was a bad idea......you get the picture! 

Now, in real life, we get to try to create our “New Normal”.  Christmas is just weird, not having young kids around to be wide-eyed at 6:00 in the morning, busting at the seams to open presents.  Everyone driving their own cars to a function is just wrong!  Kids with their own minds and own ideas…..blech!  J  I just have to give it time and come to appreciate the finer points of our “New Normal”, like Kevin and I getting to go on more “date nights”, and kids paying for some of their own things, which looks just like a raise to mom and dad!! 

We’ve raised very good, responsible boys who are productive members of society (even as teenagers!!!), so I feel very proud of that!  And having adult children is nice….you have good conversation, learn from them, as well as they can from you.  You can still watch movies and play games together.  It’s different, but not bad. 

I guess I can get used to new stuff, after all.

That’s All I Know!

Start Blog...Check!

I love to make lists.  Some of them are the run-of-the-mill grocery & to-do lists.  Others are lists of what I want to accomplish in a season or a year.  Lists of next big purchases I would like to make the next time we hit the lottery… I also create lists in my head that never make it to the paper.  These sometimes come in the form of “deals”, such as “five more minutes on (insert preferred task), then you have to unload the dishwasher, go to the store, organize the giant stack of paper taking over the kitchen table!”  Do you make these “deals”??  Some days, this is the only way I get anything done! 
Anyway, my New Year’s list (not resolutions—waste of time!) included starting a blog.  It’s taken me a little time to even decide what I wanted to write about.  Would anyone read it?  Debatable, but even if I just do it for myself, I’ll be happy enough. 
Happy New Year, and come back and visit again……That’s All I Know!  J