The Crazy Suburban Mom: 2009-11-08

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Greek Yogurt, Yum...

A day after I posted about making my Roasted butternut squash honeycrisp apple soup recipe I got an email asking if I wanted to try Brown Cow Greek yogurt.


Since one of the ways I serve that soup is with a dollop of
Greek yogurt... Yep, for sure, I wanted to try it.


Brown Cow Farm sent me a few coupons for some free ones (just keeping it real). And it goooooood - thick and creamy and it doesn't have that sour yogurt thing going on...All the things that make me love Greek yogurt.

Plus it's a lot cheaper than the brand I was buying. Twenty-five percent cheaper - and that is huge. Something I never would have known without the coupons. I saw that brand before and figured the prices between brands were about the same and didn't even look. Shows how much I know about how to comparison shop at a grocery store, I won't make that mistake again.

An excellent lesson learned.

Anyway, it was a great addition to my soup but my all time fave way to eat Greek yogurt is drizzled with honey and sprinkled with slivered almonds. Best dessert ever.

There are some e-coupons on their website here if you want to check out several kinds of yogurt that Brown Cow Farms makes.


Friday, November 13, 2009

A head cold, really?

So I'm laying here, ya know, dripping. I wasn't even going to post today because what could I contribute to the world? The current tissue count?

In the 1,000's

How much I resemble Rudolf...


Quite a lot.

The score on the car search?

I did learn an interesting fact. The difference between a
minivan selling for $15,000 and one going for $5,000 isn't $10,000.

It's 100,000 miles on the speedometer.

Other stuff I learned today.

1. Despite the fact that my neighbor's dog never comes when she is called he still lets her out to doody on my lawn. I know this because I hear him screaming for her every day and when I let Ginger out she beelines it to a doody weighing about 7 pounds. 4 pounds less than Ginger's total body weight. And while she fancies herself a big dog in every way there is no chance that giant, steaming pile of dog doody I just picked up was Gingers.

peeking ginger

But don't let that do anything to your self-esteem, Ginger.
In my eyes your doodys are gargantuan.

2. They don't make the tissues I love anymore! I have used Posh Puffs every time I've had a cold forever. Or at least I thought so. So I went online to find a picture and no Posh Puffs! The closest I could find was these:


Puff Ultra

The are supposed to be Ultra soft and strong.
Oh, I hope so, my nose is in need of some
soft and strong tissueing.

3. Coffee doesn't agree with me when I'm sick.

'Nuff said.

4. I tweeted Chevy that I missed my van and they tweeted back to me. No kidding!


And the Traverse is fab, for sure and would easy the pain of losing my ....

Chevy van

Maybe... I just can't *cough* afford it.

But the tweet made my day!


Thursday, November 12, 2009

I'm verklempt...

Day 54, No car...

Chevy van

I got my drivers license when I was 17 and this the longest it's been since I haven't had wheels. Can I tell you what I've learned in the last 54 days?

1. New Jersey's public transportation is just for show. All my life I've seen buses but I think they just drive around and don't stop and pick anyone up. Ditto trains. Everyone I know has a car. These two have cars.


The one doing the hair dying has a car, that's my kid. The one getting her hair dyed is his friend and she has a car, too - Named Linden ( After President Lyndon Baines Johnson) And okay she has to hit Linden's engine with a hammer while someone is in the driver's seat turning the key and giving it gas.

But it's a car. And she has one.

2. I really don't mind not leaving the house.

3. Even taking in account #2 - and it's my preferred state - it's making me slightly crazy. I have this air freshener in the bathroom. It has a motion sensor so it goes off when I go in there. I'm starting to take it personally. Like how does it know I'm going to do something, um...Dramatic every time I walk into the bathroom? I mean, sometimes I'm just brushing my teeth although...see #4. And I'm pretty sure my lack of interacting with live people is making me take my interactions with air fresheners so personally.

4. I can't remember the last time I took a bath.

5. And yeah, there was that time my van had to wear the diaper and my family would only leave the house in the dark. ( here) But hey, it happens to us all as we age. Not that I'm copping to wearing a diaper or anything.


Oh! The good times we had!

6. Me and Ginger were potatoing around the other day on the couch trying to figure out how long a dog's nose would stay day-glow orange if you stuck cheetos to it. While we both enjoyed doing it at the time we both questioned our sanity later.

7. My dad has offered me money to buy a car. He must be quite concerned about me.

8. I really, really liked my minivan. I've never had a minivan before but having one quickly defined me. I got it because it was really cheap, being old and having 158,000 miles on it... And gas was over $4 a gallon at the time. They couldn't give the thing away, almost but wow, I loved it. Everyone I know called it The Big Blue Whale but they weren't laughing when they needed to borrow it now were they?

9. I've realized I haven't had reliable transportation in long time. My dentist called to change a cleaning appointment. I told her not to change it, just cancel it. I don't have a car. She said, Again? That made me realize how frequently I've been without a car in the last few years...Granted not 54 days but still. This time I need something better. Something bionic. Something.... I don't know. Something.

10. The thing is I really want another van and I'm afraid that's just crazy. What do you think? I had a Chevy van but the ones I've looked at have all had so much mileage. I've seen a few Chrysler Town and Country vans and OMG, fabulous! But really expensive. I don't want to get into a situation with a high mileage van again. I paid $2600 for my chevy and in the 2 years I had it I put more than that into repairs until the head gasket blew - 4 months after I put in a new air conditioner. But I don't want to talk about that, I'll get sick again.

Chevy van


Finding beauty in your space is never about money...

One of the things I love about Cape May...

cape may 2009

Besides the quiet....

sunrise cape may nj

And 5 a.m....


Is walking on the beach and picking up bits of rock and glass, shell...


Especially broken shells.

These little bits of color and shape are very lovely to me. They are all around, easily found and passed over by any one searching for sea glass. Shell collectors are looking for perfection in their shells and even the person looking for a memento of Cape May isn't looking for water-worn shards.


I bring all these things home with me to live. In things that were not expensive. Things I got at estate sales, garage sales - things that were passed-over as not worthy, too. Junk. Beauty isn't about money. The shells and stones, the glass and treasures I pick up on the beach find homes in the other treasures and all together, in my home, I think they look quite regal.

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Check out Colorado Lady for Vintage Thursday!


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The weekly weight watcher updates...

I know I haven't done one is weeks.

The thing is I'm still without a car (mini-van - I can't get my mini-van out of my head) and it's been 53 days now. And I am pretty much losing my mind for a variety of reasons.

Weight Watchers is just one.

I wanted to update because it's Wednesday and I always updated on Wednesdays. I haven't lost any more, I'm holding steady to where I was. I've not gone off the Weight Watchers wagon and want to get back. I can use the online website but for me that meeting was everything.

So that's the update.

Aerobic shaving


Spreading some chickeny love....

Wanting a better way to make chicken stock I pulled out my behemoth Cooks Illustrated Best Recipes, have you seen it? Over 1000 pages of cookingology type knowledge. It's huge and more than a recipe book.

It's how they got to "best".

And why.

The why makes it different from any other book out there. It's what worked and didn't. Why this was added and that wasn't. Why one cooking method was better than another. You can learn a lot about the science of cooking just reading the recipes.

When I wanted a chicken stock recipe I went to Cook's Illustrated and I found this one:

Quick Chicken Stock


1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped medium
4 pounds whole chicken legs or backs and wing tips, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 quarts boiling water
2 teaspoons salt
2 bay leaves


1. Heat the oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onion; sauté until colored and softened slightly, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the onion to a large bowl.

2. Add half of the chicken pieces to the pot; sauté both sides until no longer pink, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer the cooked chicken to the bowl with the onions. Sauté the remaining chicken pieces. Return the onions and chicken
pieces to the pot. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the chicken releases its juices, about 20 minutes.

3. Increase the heat to high; add the boiling water, salt, and bay leaves. Return to a simmer, then cover and barely simmer until the stock is rich and flavorful, about 20 minutes.

4. Strain the stock; discard the solids. Before using, de-fat the stock. The stock can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 days or frozen for several months.

As easy as this already is - I do a few things differently although my method is the same because I think the magic is in the method. The step where you put the chicken and onions all back into the pot, cover and cook on low for 20 minutes (or so) to release the chickeny love is what makes this stock.
Since I have no cleaver and there is no hacking of chicken parts into 2 inch pieces. And my cooking times are a bit longer because of it. Also in the first chicken cooking step I don't get to not-pink.

I add 2 onions and no bay leaves. I know almost everyone in the world adds bay leaves to their soup stock and I've tried, I really have, but every time I do - I don't like it. I think it may not be so much that I dislike bay leaves as I dislike the bay leaves that I have but I haven't worked that out yet.

And I add a cube or two of these.

I've never known a soup that didn't benefit from a cube or two of those.

It's just a fact.

Yesterday I made this for the forth or fifth time. I used some chicken
backs, a thigh and one drumstick, 2 onions and 2 Knorr cubes.
Half the stock made a nice chicken noodle soup...


Oh my...

And the rest I cooked down until it was very rich and dark (to save space)


I'm going to freeze this and save it for another day.

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Wordless Wednesday - Rescue dogs

Wordless Wednesday

Ginger had a few homes before we got her; three or four... She bounced around
a lot without a place to call her own. But that was 10 years ago and
pretty much she considers everything around here her own.


And we're good with that.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Son of I'm storage challenged...

So yesterday, I posted about being challenged in the ways of storage. That post was about storage in my powder room but I have the same problem in two other bathrooms... And all my other rooms to be honest.

I'm not gifted in storage and organization, I guess.
The post is here. But in a nutshell the hugest waste of space is the cavern beneath the vanity.


I think that's a pretty common cavern in modern homes.

I haven't had luck any getting Heaven to shine some sparkly glitter beams of organization down on me and trying to get the Neatness Fairies to sing some lovely um, Fairy Neatness tunes in my general direction has also failed... So I turned to Google instead. I want some opinions... Take a look.
I found it at Stacks and stacks and it's called the
Expandable Under-Sink Organizer.

And I can see how this would work. I read the reviews and they said what I kind of thought, people had some issues with it but most seemed to like it overall. The problems seems to be around the fact that since its adjustable it tended to not stay together. An issue for sure.

But in general it seemed to work for the same situation that I have.

What do y'all think?


Retro Tuesday All Week Long Salutes Betsy McCall Paper Dolls....

Last Day of Retro Tuesday All Week Long!

Tomorrow this blog will go back to regular and
Retro Tuesday will be confined to... well, Tuesdays...

retrotuesay stamp

The last bunch of magazines I got were some McCall's magazines from the 70's. I look at them the least. First off, they don't smell very good. Buying old magazines online is dicey. Good condition is sort of a value judgment and really I just want to scan them so if they smell musty I'm okay with that. But these passed musty in the 80's and I keep them on the porch.

And besides, I've been through them. There's not all that much I find fascinating....

Except these...


I remember the Betsy McCall paper dolls and her adventures. A friend's mom had a subscription and I was always at her house the day the magazine came. I never cut it out or anything, I just wanted to read the story and think about cutting it out. Collecting the Bestys, the outfits... and living vicariously through her.


I wanted her clothes...


A lot...


I grew up in New Jersey, half and hour from New York City, and going
to the Plaza for lunch (like in the Heloise book) ....


....was something a lot of girls did with their moms.... Betsy did it too.

Here she's holding the Heloise book in this great going-to-the-Plaza party dress!


Check out The Bleu Door for the history and many, many more of these.

After today Retro Tuesday goes back to Tuesday so if you want to join me plan your
retro-anything posts for Tuesdays! Link to my blog and join the mcklinky!

MckLinky Blog Hop

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Monday, November 9, 2009

I'm storage challenged....

I have a departure from retro Tuesday all week long because I need a little help. I have a downstairs powder room that is storage-challenged. Or maybe it's me that's storage-challenged? Anyway, I like the design and it looks pretty good on the surface but there's not enough room and the storage there is, is painfully inefficient.




This big cavern is useless. What are you supposed to do with something like that? To be honest, I know it looks sort of roomy in there but I'm low on toilet paper at the moment. Normally, there's about 10 rolls (and no, I'm not kidding.)

The other thing is...


This is across from the toilet. It houses ...well, stuff. Magazines, make-up,
the flat iron. It's kind of gotten to be our 'check your face' station
before leaving the house. And since my son's been living here only on the week-end it's gotten worse.

His hair is kind of high maintenance.

So, I really don't want to redo the bathroom, I like the style. But I need to integrate attractive and efficient storage especially under that sink. I have a feeling I could store so much under there... somehow. So got any thoughts?

If you're looking for Retro Tuesday All Week Long it's here

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Retro Tuesday All Week Long Salutes Leading Medical Authorities

retrotuesay stamp

I'd heard about this ad...


But could never find it...


Until I found it online here


It's really hard to know what to say.

It's pretty hard to even wrap my mind around the whole Lysol as douche as gentle as non-caustic as a way to recapture 'appealing daintiness'. In what alternate universe?

So I looked it up on wiki 'cause maybe I was missing something...

The original Lysol formula contained creosols which are organic compounds categorized as phenols and smell like coal tar.

The coal tar smell must be that appealing daintiness they spoke of.

Myself, I prefer Angel...


But Coal Tar's nice too...

Oh by the way:

When cresols are breathed, ingested, or applied to the skin at very high levels, they can be very harmful. Effects observed in people include irritation and burning of skin, eyes, mouth, and throat; abdominal pain and vomiting; heart damage; anemia; liver and kidney damage; facial paralysis; coma; and death.

Wiki, so helpful in things like this, provided even more information. *In the late 1920s Lysol began being marketed as a feminine hygiene product. They intimated that vaginal douching with a Lysol solution prevented infections and vaginal odor, and thereby preserved marital bliss. This Lysol solution was also used as a birth control agent, as post-coital douching was a popular method of preventing pregnancy at that time.

In the US, from around 1930 to 1960, vaginal douching with a Lysol disinfectant solution was the most popular form of birth control. US marketing ads printed testimonials from European "doctors" touting its safety and effectiveness. The American Medical Association later investigated these claims. They were unable to locate the cited "experts" and found that Lysol was not effective as a contraceptive.*

Ai-yi-yi-yi. Let me not confuse things, here..... I have Lysol under my bathroom sink in several forms. It's great for what it's good for. I worked in a hospital. I'm all about killing germs - I actually pretty much love doing that. I'm just not so much for recapturing appealing daintiness with creosols. And for 'leading medical authorities' misleading the public.

Retro Tuesday All Week Long
Ends Tomorrow! Post your own retro ad and link to me!

MckLinky Blog Hop

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Sunday, November 8, 2009

Retro Tuesday All Week Long's Salute to Pink Kitchens...

retrotuesay stamp
I've talked about my mom's pink kitchen and bathroom before. I grew up in a 60's house with a pink kitchen and bathroom. And I made horrible fun of both; goes to show how little I knew.

Everything was pink. The oven, stove top, counter-tops...floor, walls, phone and sink. Looking back I think the only thing that wasn't pink was the fridge.

The dishwasher was even pink.

So when I found this Caloric ad:


I had a nostalgic moment and wished all over again I'd kept my mom's original appliances when she renovated in the 80's. And guess what color she renovated too? Mauve. A huge fail if ever there was one. I didn't even like mauve when it was popular.

I've mentioned Pam at Retro Renovation before. I've even given her a blog tiara. I've never mentioned the other site she has called Save the Pink Bathrooms! I thought about it this morning because it also mentions pink kitchens. But I don't know, I sort of think if you like one, you like the other.

Here's what Pam says:

This little website grew out of mid-century home lovers’ concern that pink bathrooms were being ripped out of 40s 50s and 60s homes way too hastily. We believe that to know them is to love them. Pink bathrooms are a wonderful part of our home design heritage. And there is no doubt in our minds whatsoever that they are poised for a comeback — starting here, starting now.

Of course, pink bathrooms are emblematic — we love vintage yellow, blue, green, beige, peach, salmon, lavendar and grey bathrooms, too. Hi, I am Pam Kueber, publisher of and this related pink bathrooms site. Come sit in my 1963 aquamarine kitchen to read more about me and my passion for mid-century, middle class, mainstreet homes, published daily over on my main site,

But before you do, hang out a while here on Save The Pink Bathrooms. Leave a Comment to Take the Pledge. Spread the world. And most importantly: Love the house you’re in.

Go check it out!


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