Archives for September 2013

Holy Wicked Good Seafood, Batman!

You guys!

When Gorton’s Seafood asked me to review their product (which they provided me with coupons to purchase whatever sea fare my little heart desired), I was all, heck yes! I love seafood. Unfortunately, BRIAN does not love seafood. So what’s a little culinary genius like myself supposed to do? Cook a delightful meal just for me? That just didn’t seem fair. So I enlisted the help of my parents. And by help, I mean, I sent my mom an e-mail saying, “Don’t eat tomorrow. I’m coming over after work and cooking you dinner.”

Apparently, my mom had made quasi plans with her best friend for dinner that same evening, so when I arrived at their house the other night, I was pleasantly surprised that we’d have an extra guest for dinner.

Dinner for 4 in 40 minutes or less

I had originally planned to get all creative, since Gorton’s provided me with a variety of recipe ideas and such, but I thought it would be an excellent test of the product to see how quickly (and more importantly, EASILY) I could prepare a meal on a weeknight.

I purchased 2 different Gorton’s seafood products for this particular meal, Garlic Butter Shrimp Scampi (since Dad loooooves garlic) and Simply Bake Tilapia. I also brought a mixed greens salad, and poached the rest of the meal from my mom’s garden/freezer.

Gorton's Wicked Good Seafood

When I was en route, I had asked my mom to prep the oven to 350 degrees, so everything would be ready to go. I arrived, did a quick prep of cutting potatoes, tomatoes and red pepper strips, mixed the potatoes with a smidge of olive oil and some salt and was ready to go.

Now for the tilapia. I pulled those babies out of the box, placed the oven safe bags on two baking sheets (after realizing that one baking sheet PROBABLY wasn’t enough…) and popped them in the oven…

Gorton's Simply Bake TilapiaThat’s it.

No really.

That’s. All. I Did.

Then I poured myself a glass of wine and joined the parentals out on the veranda (the backyard patio) for an appetizer of Mom’s homemade salsa with chips.

I took a quick break from chatting to start the scampi, which I set out in single layer across the frying pan.

Gorton's Shrimp ScampiAt the same time I poured frozen green beans into another pan with sliced peppers, a little olive oil and some season salt. I returned to the wine shortly thereafter.

A few minutes later, I went and checked on the scampi, and oh-man! They were lookin’ and smellin’ WICKED GOOD. So I flipped them and let ’em simmer some more. I did add some water so the sauce didn’t boil out.

Gorton's Garlic Shrimp Scampi10 minutes later, I was ready to plate up the meal. A grand total of 40 minutes went by from prep to completion. I call that a definite dinner win for something amazing.

How do I know it was amazing?

Check out the pictures. If you’re not hungry after this…well…you get the picture.

Simple Salad

A simple salad with grape tomatoes, kalamata olives, parmesan cheese and Mom’s homemade Italian dressing (OK, I took the picture before adding cheese and dressing. I was hungry!!

Wicked Good Seafood from Gorton's

Yes,the sauce came out of the bag with the fish. Yes, the two seafood dishes combined well together. Yes, they all partnered up nicely with the potatoes and veggies.

A few extra things to note: You know how I have a tendency to hurt myself in the kitchen? It’s almost impossible with this stuff. The bag opens easily enough that I didn’t need to use a knife and I let the fish sit for 5 minutes before I served it (And it stayed warm in the bag, but was safe to touch on the outside!) The flavor? Phenom. I preferred the tilapia to the shrimp, but both were AWESOME.

Weight Watchers friendly meal

As I’m back on the Weight Watchers wagon (after a whole lot of on and off), I wanted to make sure that I got something that was healthy and delicious. The tilapia? 3 points plus. The shrimp scampi? 2 points plus for the serving size we made. A standard serving is 3 points plus, but we divided the box between 4 of us instead of 3.

Everyone was thoroughly impressed with the meal, and both of my parents made separate calls to me the next day to thank me for the wonderful dinner. None of them would have purchase Gorton’s before our dinner, but all 3 said they would eat it again in a heartbeat.

Tell me Blog Friends, have you tried Gorton’s? What are your favorite seafood dishes?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Confession Friday: I Love the Smell of Skunk

What? Yes. Skunk.

So I didn’t ALWAYS feel this way. When my dog, Buck-the bad dog was skunked, I was headed out on a quasi-date and very displeased. The weeks that followed were smelly and unpleasant.

When our roommate’s dog, Dexter-the snuggle pup was skunked, I panicked. It was leading up to our Disneycation and everything was coming up skunk. It was more than unpleasant to say the least.

The thing is that I have a RIDICULOUS sensory memory. OK, I have a ridiculous memory, regardless…But now, when I smell skunk, especially now that it’s fall, all I can think of is: DISNEY! When do we go back? I miss you, Disney! Brian, puh puh puh leeeeease? And then I see images in my mind, something kind of like these: 

 

Disney Halloween Katie and Chrissy Disney Brian and the Crocodile Eeyore5 Disney at Halloween

And then Brian says to me, “No.”

Okay, he says that there are lots of other places that we should go, but all I can do is smell skunk and smile.

What about you, blog friends? Any crazy sensory memories that just completely bring you back?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Ladies, Here’s Some Advice for Using the Bathroom in 7 Easy Steps

This post is part of a sponsored post series about bathroom habits. This campaign is sponsored by Cottonelle. All opinions are totally my own. 

Let me start by saying that women, as a whole are pretty gross…at least when it comes to the bathroom…at least when it comes to public bathrooms. Having worked in restaurants and bars where part of my job is keeping tabs on the ladies’ (and sometimes the men’s) bathrooms, I know a thing or two about public restrooms. That being said, I also know that there are times when I’d much rather pee in the men’s room than the ladies.

I’ve developed a system for you to follow to smoothly go from urgency to relief without leaving the toilet stall like a tornado went through it.

Step 1: Enter stall or single-person bathroom

(I could have started with get up from your desk or wherever you were, but I figured that was a no-brainer…) When you enter the stall or bathroom, take a mental note of what it looks like when you enter, particularly if it was recently cleaned (or LOOKS like it was recently cleaned.) When you leave, it should look EXACTLY the same.

Step 2: Prepare the toilet

Now, if you’re like me, this step includes checking to make sure some nasty chick hasn’t gone all TP crazy and tried to flush a little too much down. Or worse, has tried to flush paper towels down the toilet. Or even worse left a giant pile of underwater poop sitting there waiting for you. Your job? Avoid being that chick.

Then I would sit down on the toilet seat.

Other ladies may have more of a routine. Set up one of those fancy toilet liners. Or coat the toilet seat with TP to protect your bum from the herp. (Right. That. Facepalm) Or get into your squatting posish.

Step 3: Do your business

Whether it takes you 20 seconds or 15 minutes. Do what you gotta do. It’s what comes next that really matters.

Step 4: Wipe your bum

I’m just trying to get all the facts straight here, kids. Trust me. I’ve got a point. Oh, and you could always use a few of your Cottonelle wipes for a shiny clean bottom. That’s what I do anyways.

Step 5: Take care of your mess

This isn’t the Ritz Carlton. And even if it was…you should still clean up your mess. Your lady week paraphernalia should go in the appropriate bin. It should not hang over the seat, looming, as if the toilet is certain death. It should definitely not go on the floor. And according to the signs in the bathroom, it shouldn’t really go into the toilet either. No one should be seeing red in the ladies room (pun intended.)

For the love of all things good in this world, PLEASE flush the toilet. Common sense y’all.

Most importantly, this one goes out to you squatters out there. If you feel that your ass is too precious to grace the toilet seat with direct contact, I applaud your contortionist skills. I can even respect you. UNTIL you become the reason that ladies squat. Wrap your hand up in some TP and wipe the seat down, so that when my bootie DOES come in contact with the cold, hard toilet seat, it’s not also covered in your pee.

If you sprinkle when you tinkle

Step 6: Wash your hands

For the record, if you leave the bathroom without washing your hands and ANYONE sees you, you will be judged for. life. I don’t care if you washed your hands in the handicap stall’s special little handwashing station or you’re going to wash your hands somewhere else…Make sure the people of the world know that you’re washing your damn hands.

Step 7: Make your exit

If you’re a smidge OCD like I am, you may want to try this little trick to avoid getting other people’s nasty unwashed poop hands’ germs. Make sure to have easy access to paper towels before washing, then use them to turn off the sink and open any doors. Works like a charm.

Welp! That’s it. If you’ve followed all of my directions to a tee, you shouldn’t have any problems making friends outside the bathroom stall. And you’ll set the bar for what the other ladies are doing. Because we really need to work together to stop being so damn disgusting.

Blog friends, any other tips you may want to give the ladies of the world when it comes to bathroom usage?

This post was sponsored by the fine people at Cottonelle. Because your bum is totally worth it. And so is mine.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Things I Learned this Weekend: Central Illinois Edition

I spent the weekend in Peoria with some of my best friends. We stayed with my pal Brooke, her husband, their 3 y/o daughter, and 3 dogs.

Of course, a trip to Peoria/Pekin wouldn’t be complete without a visit with Katie, as well. So on Sunday, we dined with Katie and her husband.

Then we got home and the Bears won their 3rd game in a row, even if my Fantasy team could be doing a smidge better.

All around, it was an excellent weekend.

I thought I would share with you some of the very valuable lessons I learned on this little trip.

1. Hilary Clinton is from Chicago. Who knew? Apparently, not me. Why we talked about the origins of politicians is beyond me.

2. Cows float. Did you know that? I didnt. I figured they all just…sunk. Most 4-legged creatures float. Apparently, having 4 legs balances them out, so their lungs keep their heads above water.

3. Humans are the only apes that can swim or float.

4. Deer swim like 100 miles into Lake Michigan (known as The Lake to Chicagoans). This terrifies me, and I’m never going in The Lake again.

5. Grown men can sit on and ride Power Wheels. You’re welcome.

image

What did you learn recently? Any random useless knowledge for me?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Fashionista? Who? Me? Oh, Sure!

I’ve always been kind of a girly tomboy. I love pink and sparkles and fuzzy and cute. But I also love football and sweatpants and comfy and cozy. While I may not have the BEST fashion sense, I know a cute outfit when I see one. So when Meijer asked me to play dress up with their new fall styles, I couldn’t resist.

Meijer Fall Fashion Lookbook

 So last night, after a long day at the office, I made my way to Meijer, armed with a gift card (courtesy of Meijer), my camera phone, and my keen fashion sense. I had a plan.

Now, I’ll warn you right now, I’m a normal girl. I’m a REAL girl. I’m a slightly chubby-non-model-girl. So as adorable as these clean cut, wake up fresh lady models may be… They’ve got nothing on me.

Back to my shopping adventure. As soon as I walked in, I noticed that there was a nice selection of sweater dresses, which are my go-to fall faves. I love that if it’s still warm, I can wear them (sometimes) without pants (you know how I hate pants), and then when it gets cool, I can pair them with leggings (yes!) and flats. Once it gets Chicago blustery, it’s leggings or skinny jeans and boots. I tried on 3 adorable sweaters, that were all super comfy and very reasonably priced…And I felt kind of like Goldilocks.

The first sweater made my boobs look GIGANTIC. Which I thought was fun, but at the same time, not really for me (anymore).

The second sweater was comfortable, but it was too short for what I wanted in a sweater dress. Plus, no matter how much I want them to work, horizontal stripes have never been my strong suit.

The third sweater was just right. And perfect both with pants and without! Hair down, hair up. I could wear it on a train, I could wear it on a plane. In a house, with a mouse. I could wear it here or there; I could wear it anywhere.

 Meijer fall fashion real girlsMeijer fall fashion real girls

 Meijer fall fashion real girlsMeijer fall fashion real girls

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After my little dressing room fashion show, I wandered through the collection of fall shoes and accessories. I loved the infinity scarves and purses (there was a TOTALLY cute owl purse that I ALMOST bought). I ended up getting several pairs of knee high socks to wear with my boots, because I never seem to have enough socks. (Something about them getting lost in a strange land somewhere between the washer and the dryer.) Plus, let’s be honest. I freakin’ love socks. I love them almost as much as I love not wearing pants.

What are your favorite fall fashion trends, Blog friends?

While I was compensated for this post with a Meijer gift card, all opinions are, as always, my own. Obviously.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Top 5: My Public Bathroom Wishlist

This post is part of a sponsored campaign to promote clean bums and bathroom ettiquette. Thanks to the fine people at Cottonelle, you get to read more about my bum.

I think about this a lot. In fact, I’ve had this post written in my mind 27 different ways a hundred different times. Luckily, I managed to keep it in my mind, because working with Cottonelle has offered the perfect opportunity to talk about baños and pooping and such.

I thought it would be fun to cue you in on the top 5 things I wish I saw more often (or didn’t see at all) in public bathrooms. Because when you’ve gotta poop, you’ve gotta poop.

5. High Quality Toilet Paper

I mean, you knew I was going to go here…I remember when Katie and I went to London…and we were TERRIFIED of the toilet paper situation. So much so that we brought our own. But we rarely think to bring our own around here…and sometimes that TP hurts my ass more than anything. So if I were to be granted a wish (or 5), please let there be soft TP and maybe even a fresh wipe or two for me to use on my one and only bum.

4. Taller Toilets

Have you ever tried to poop with your knees up to your eyeballs? Or even worse pee? At that angle you may end up spraying yourself! I’m sorry for all the shorties out there, but who wants to squat down farther than you did in gym class just to relieve yourself? That’s right. No one.

3. A Happy Smell

Have you ever been inside of a Target bathroom? They have that fresh fruity smell, almost like Trix or Fruity Pebbles (But definitely not Fruit Loops. Those are gross. Maybe one day I’ll tell you THAT story.) Anyways, so every Target has this delicious fruity smell and it’s not crappy or bathroom-y or anything. All bathrooms should smell like that. Always.

2. Wider Stalls

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sat down on the toilet only to rub my naked ass/hip up against the toilet paper holder. Gross. But it’s because someone thought it would be a good idea to squeeze one extra stall in there. Or even worse, when the geniuses who designed the place thought it would be a good idea to put the toilet about 4 inches closer to the side that the TP is on, instead of giving us that extra space! And screw the ladies over for life. Have you ever gotten poked by the corner of the TP holder? It hurts!

1. Automatic Everything or Nothing—You Can’t Have it Both Ways

I thought about asking for someone to wipe my ass for me, but then I realized that I’m a little OCD, and they probably wouldn’t do it right anyways. So then runner up in this competition is for a public bathroom to make the decision whether to have automatic sinks, soap and dryers or not. Because when you’ve got the automatic soap dispenser without the automatic sink….WHAT’S THE FREAKIN’ POINT? Seriously. Why. And really, I’d much rather have paper towels than the hand dryer. Automatic paper towels please. And a door that opens without having to touch the handle. Or at least a garbage can near the door. I guess that’s like 17 wishes rolled into one, but I’m serious on this one guys. It’s ridiculous.

Blog Friends, what’s on your public bathroom wishlist?

This post is brought to you by the fine people at Cottonelle. If you’d like to continue the conversation on Twitter or Facebook, check out the hashtag #LetsTalkBums!

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

I Always Wanted to be an American Idol…so Maybe Blogger Idol is IT for me

I’ve spent my entire life dreaming of being an American Idol…Back when they called it Star Search and Britney Spears was adorable. My cousin Rachel and I used to practice our dance routine and sometimes we’d get crazy by doing the jitterbug…you know…before they called it swing dancing. Then we would get the whole family together and perform in front of them. We’d sing Kokomo like it was the greatest song on the planet and then we would get a rousing applause from our parents and our grandparents.

The things I do to win prizes

The things I do to win prizes

But we never did make it onto Star Search.

Of course, once I hit the teen years, I dreamed of joining Colin and Amaya in Hawaiian paradise known as The Real World. Unfortunately, I was too young. And my mom said no. (THANKS A LOT, MOM!)

Pepperidge Farm Goldfish

Cool stuff just happens to me…

Then I wanted to be on Survivor, or partner up with my pal Cletus for The Amazing Race. But something always held me back. Whether it was the need for a job and money…or my penchant for injury, I just couldn’t make it work. Something about not being able to walk and chew gum at the same time made it almost impossible for me to be physically capable of the Survivor demands.

Shirtless Jesse Metcalfe Photoshopped

I can Photoshop like a boss.

So I gave up on reality TV. Thank God for that. I mean, with shows like Honey Boo Boo, 16 and Pregnant, The Kardashians and I don’t even know what else,  TV is making people dumber. And I’m not one to join up in losing my mind. Besides, I don’t really need help with that one. I’m doing a fine job of losing my mind on my own terms.

Chef Quirky Chrissy

I cook like a rockstar

And then I went the blogger route. If I can make it big in the blogging world, people will DEFINITELY love me. So here I am, auditioning for Blogger Idol. Like it’s my job. (You know, the one that doesn’t pay me.)

dolphin love

And finally, I find joy in the little things

So if you love me, and I know that you do…you’ll tell them that they should most certainly pick me. Choose me. Love me.

 

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

If I’m Not Running Into Poles, I Trip Over Invisible Wires

The thing about working in the city and doing the whole commuter thing, is that when we want to go out after work, we become slaves to the train schedule. On the 40s of every hour, a train leaves the station. Miss it, and you’re stuck twiddling your thumbs for 59 minutes.

One night, shortly after walking headfirst into a no-parking sign, Brian and I stayed late to have dinner with his brother. In our mad dash to the train, I decided I would take a shortcut.

There’s a small patio in front of Union Station, that is often cut-throughable. I was running about 5 feet in front of Brian, and saw a gap between tables that were trying to block the way. I turned and aimed for the gap, preparing to zig zag through the Corner Bakery tables. Except…

There was also a GIANT cable locked around these tables. Huge. And most important, INVISIBLE.
And so obviously…I jumped right over it…well, I did in my mind, anyways.

There’s a very unique feeling when it comes to falling down for me. It’s almost always unexpected. And shocking. But it never hurts as bad as it looks. Except when it does. This was one of those scathing falls that knocks you on your ass seven ways from Sunday. And we still needed to get to the train. So I got up and ran some more, jumping over the next cable on my way out of the “shortcut.” We made the train with seconds to spare, and I was able to assess the damage and feel the pain.

Aside from the burn on my ankle where the cable caught me, the invisible bruise on my palm from the landing, the scrape on the inside of my right knee from…well…something, the gash on my left knee, and the throbbing pain in the same knee, it wasn’t so bad. I just kept telling myself it could be worse. Right?

Someone please tell me an injury story so I don’t feel quite so ridiculous.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

We Remember

I didn’t know anyone in a tower.
I didn’t know any anyone on a plane.
But I know where I was. I know where my family and friends were. I know I will never forget.
On September 11, 2001, our worlds collided, fell, and were changed forever.
~Quirky Chrissy
 
New York, 2015

New York, 2015

For just a moment, take a break from your daily life and consider all that has happened since September 11, 2001.Maybe you graduated from high school/college/etc, got married, had kids, got divorced, or lost someone important to you. Maybe you’ve changed boyfriends or girlfriends. Maybe somewhere in there, you grew up. I know I did.

For twelve years, the United States has been fighting in a war against an idea. Our global economy has fallen lower than anyone ever would have expected. We have worked together as a country to provide disaster relief to victims of terrorist attacks, tsunamis, hurricanes, earthquakes, famine, and so much more.

We all have one goal in mind: a better, safer, existent tomorrow. So remember. Remember the victims. Remember the heroes. Remember the families. And if you have just a few seconds left in your moment, remember the goal. And forget about the fighting.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

I Get to be a Brand Ambassador AND Talk About my Ass at the Same Time!

Good morning blog friends! Today marks the day that I begin a new adventure. An adventure all about butt-wiping.

NO. I am most certainly NOT pregnant. (GOSH!)

I’m a brand ambassador for Cottonelle. I’ll be working with the fine people who bring you joyful bum-paradise. Even after the worst poops.

I don’t know if I mentioned it, but the gluten free trial? Was because I occasionally (read: frequently) have digestive…issues. You name the issue, I’ve probably had it. I’ll spare you the details.

Unfortunately, gluten-free wasn’t for me (more on that later). But Cottonelle FreshCare Wipes DEFINITELY are. So when I found out they were running a campaign to “talk about bums,” I begged, borrowed, cheated and stole my way in. Or I asked nicely (and told them that I was awesome. And that I was really good at talking about poop. And butts. And wiping.) One of those.

So here I am, a fancy pants brand ambassador for a company that I stand behind 100%. Because anyone that makes wiping my ass easier is my kind of company.

I wipe my own ass

As one of 35 Humorists for Cottonelle, I’ll be sharing some fun toilet-humor posts about my bum and encouraging you to laugh along with me. You can get excited about this fun campaign too! And you don’t even have to leave the comfort of your own toilet home. Just keep tabs on the hashtag #LetsTalkBums and you’ll see all the fun posts from my campaign-mates.

I’ve included a brief video from documentarian Cherry Healy, so you can see what’s up.

And let’s be real here, guys…

Talking about wiping your ass sounds so much better with a British accent.

As a brand ambassador, I will be compensated for my association with Cottonelle. All opinions are most certainly my own, and no one’s paying me to say nice things. I only work with companies that I like in real life. I’m stating all of this as per FTC rules and such. Go figure.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!