The Crazy Suburban Mom: 2011-01-30

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

smack me with a shovel and call me a fish stick

Woke up this morning to - No! Fooled you! Not the daily Winter Storm Warning I've come to know and love but something new and different.

Why it's an An Ice Storm Warning.

Well, smack me with a shovel and call me a fish stick, I thought snow was a giant pain.  Yet another useful a lesson from The Universe reminding me - Be careful what you ask for, you just might get it.  

So Universe, Thank you so very much for not covering NJ with snow this morning and in the future I will be more specific.

In case you live where it's warm and sunny are are yukking it up about my misfortune with The Universe here is how Weatherdotcom describes an ice storm.

 ICE ACCUMULATIONS: AN INCH OF ICE ACCUMULATION  IS POSSIBLE.

(They suggest that ) TRAVEL ( is)  DANGEROUS OR IMPOSSIBLE. (and)  IF I MUST TRAVEL... (I should) KEEP AN EXTRA FLASHLIGHT... FOOD (and I don't think they mean the onion rings under my car seat)... AND WATER IN YOUR VEHICLE IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY.

 I've decided to breath deeply and take the artistic approach.

storm1

Ginger however ...

gingersnow

...finds nothing remotely artistic about it and she's up to, well frankly, everywhere with this winter.

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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Let me extrapolate

I mentioned subscribing to Good Housekeeping Magazine yesterday in my Crazy Suburban Mom 2010 Favorites but I wanted to give you an example of why I love it so - and yeah, why you should subscribe.  I really, really think so and no.  No one is paying me or subscribing me for free. 

This is the wall beside my stove and tacked up is a page from Good Housekeeping.


The current magazine has a big cooking focus and Whoopdeedo!  I was all over it like a woman on a family-sized bowl of pasta who'd been low carbing for six months.  You can check part of it (  Cook Like a Chef  ) at their site.  I've ripped out those pages already; actually I've ripped out so many the magazine looks a lot like packing material but this is what I wanted to show you ...

sauce1


That's hanging on my wall  and I know, impossible to see.  Here's a close up of the money shot.



It says, How to make a perfect sauce,  but it's really a template for a metric butt ton of perfect pantry recipes.  Think about it...   Do the first, move to the second, then number three... Buy the time you get to the end .... You have dinner.  Which is what I did last night.

sauce

I have no pictures.  After I tasted it, and tasted it again I was pretty much, No way, did I make this - Let me try that again.  It was all over. I added a squeeze of lemon at the end because I didn't have wine and with the  sherry it needed something acidy to brighten it up.

This template is perfection in six steps using only what I had rotting in my fridge way back behind the yogurt, east of Gdansk.  Not that that's a pretty thought but you know what I mean.

Oh! And hey! I cooked the chicken in a pan I could put into the oven so it was a one pot dinner. This was really, really good.  Nay! Très supérieure because only French captures how good it was...

Plus it couldn't be easier or more customizable based on what's about to turn green and die (Unless it's already green in which case it will turn brown and ooze) back in the scary reaches of your fridge. This will stay on my wall forever.

Or at least until it's etched forever in my mind.


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The make up winner is....

Lin of Duck and Wheel with String  and oh!  I think she will be excited, I know Ginger was!

Lin email me your address so you and the Hobbster can be eyeshadowing the night away soon!

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Monday, January 31, 2011

Crazy Suburban Mom's Favorite Products of 2010

I talked about a lot of products last year, some I liked some - Not so much.... but I thought I would follow up with what I like so much I am still using.  

The list is in no order and is very random;  I woke up and decided to do this so it's coming out as I think of it....

Crazy Suburban Mom's Favorite Products of 2010

I use the The Libman Angled Broom and Dustpan almost every day.  It's been great in the kitchen and I kid you not there is nothing - and I mean nothing - that get the snow off my car like this broom.  



Pledge is my newest sunny-yellow kitchen cleaning friend.  It's almost always on the counter, never making it back inside a cabinet and I frequently ask the can, Why is everyone so slobby?  Can doesn't answer she just makes the slobby go away.  I don't know why I didn't know this before but it rocks in the kitchen and cleans all manner of stuck on schmutz and schmaltz. 


I got rid of a  lot of cookbooks this year but kept the one of Biblical Proportions.  I hemmed and hawed about what to do with The New Best Recipe from Cooks Illustrated since I'd really not used it and needed room AND it's 1000 plus pages and pounds of hardcoverness took up significant room but I kept it because it's a cooking school in a (relatively) small space.  

Once I made the commitment to keep it, I used it and I'm glad I did. Just as an example - I will never make, for instance, chicken soup, tuna salad, or salmon the same.... Best cookbook I have. Period.   If you can get it, and it ranges from $35 (the cover price) on down, it's worth the money and space it takes up.  The recipes give you not only what to do, but what didn't work and that explains why a lot of dinners that went down the garbage disposal, went down. 


I tried the Sally Hansen Lip Products when I found them at a huge discount because who knew Sally Hansen did lips?  And now I hope they weren't being sold at 75% off because no one else knew and they are going out of the lip business.  The 12 Hour Diamond Lip Treatments are the best glosses I've ever used because my lips feel better for having used them AND no matter what color I use my lipstick looks so. much. better. 

And since they were so cheap I bought (almost all the) colors I might not like as much and doesn't matter - Even the colors I wouldn't have picked for myself make my lip sticks look better so I wouldn't call these Diamond, I'd call them Magic.  I love these.

Another thing I got at 75% off that I will repurchase at full retail is the Sally Hansen Overnight Lip Recovery.  Love it as well and for anyone who thinks I just didn't use anything before, nope.  I had a chapstick, eos, nivea or burt's bees balm in every pocket of everything, still do.  I have an EOS next to my toothbrush so I can put some on right after I brush it's just that this stuff made the biggest difference. 



I use a lot of Wet n' Wild products but this one might be the one I would be most upset it they stopped making.   For me the Color Icon Palette in Vanity is perfection although granted it looks kind of boring here.  

The middle left brown is the perfect mid-brown. Period.  The bottom left brown is the perfect crease and under eye color and the upper highlighter is nice and matte.  The ones on the right have some sparkle (especially the middle one that looks yellow but is more like gold flecks) but not disco ball (yee-ha)!  

The thing about this palette that works so well for me is the shades are warm.  They add the color wheel opposite to green eyes that bring out the green without using red eye shadow. 



I think my organizer fetish is only one part of a greater stationary addiction that includes pens.  I got a new Cross Gel Pen this year and I LOVE it.  It's from the Edge collection and mine is in Octane Green.  It writes like a dream, feels great in your hand and is about $40.  A pittance for a dream....


My whole family uses Listerine Smart Rinse; I use the Barbie Pink Berry version.  I tried this during a review and have repurchased ever since.  This works so well and you'll just have to try it.  No matter how well you brush your mouth just feels cleaner and fresher after you use it. Plus we have stopped buying a (very expensive) mail order breath rinse since we started using this. 




I haven't had a subscription to a magazine in ages but after visiting the Good Housekeeping Research Institute, I subscribed.   This month there is a  Cook like a Chef series and I've already ripped it out.  There is a thing about sauces in there that will save me.  Hopefully.


I used I Can't Believe It's Not Butter  years ago but stopped for some reason that escapes me.  I did a review a few months ago and started using it again.  And again.  And again.  I forgot how much I loved it.  ICBINB hits all those fabulous cold, fresh dairy notes that butter has without  being heavy and greasy.   And yes, I still use butter to finish a sauce or something like that but I love ICBINB melting on top a pile of emerald green broccoli like nobodies business.  


I haven't mentioned using Pond's Cold Cream and Dry Skin Cream since I started using them - And raved about them so I thought I would follow up and say, Yep.  Still using and loving them.    

I was having some major non-teenage acne issues and c'mon already with acne and wrinkles...  What was next, I pondered - A shopping list that included Clearasil and Depends?

But no worries.  I am much better.  My skin has calmed down quite a bit.  I still have breakouts occasionally but it wasn't that daily let's wake up and see where the new pimple is today.  Pond's has really, really improved things.  I know it's heavy and I know some people find it odd that it helps with acne prone skin - I have no answers for you.  I only know it's helped me so. much.

As an aside.  I did try Boots No. 7 cold cream (From Target) and while I liked the smell (roses) quite a bit I didn't like anything else about it and am sticking to Ponds.

laundry tutorial 012


An odd picture, granted.  

That's my homemade laundry soap and I've yet to find anything I like better.  You just grind up a bar of laundry soap (Fels Naptha or Zote) and add a few things and you have cheap good soap that works better then anything I've found so far.  It's doesn't bubble very much and you only use a tablespoon or two at a time.  Try it, if you don't like it your only out a few bucks.

1 cup grated Fels Naptha Soap
1/2 cup washing soda
1/2 cup 20 mule team borax
Optional - but I use it  1/2 cup Oxy-clean

Grate the soap in a food processor or buy grated  and add the other items.  Store it covered.



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