Archives for March 2014

Easy Peasy Ice Cream Cake for the Lazy and Crazy Like Me

I know. That title is terrible. But this ice cream cake? SO. NOT. TERRIBLE.

Make your own ice cream cake using ice cream sandwiches, chocolate sauce, caramel and cool whip for an easy, delicious treat | Ice Cream Sandwich Cake

So last week, Brian sent me an animated gif with ice cream sandwiches becoming a cake. With Brian’s birthday this past Saturday, and the fact that he NEVER requests things like that…I knew I had to make this cake. Of course, there was no how to on the gif, so I made it up as I went.

Yesterday, we celebrated my brother-in-law’s birthday, Brian’s birthday and sort of my brother’s birthday (he’s 30 this year, so we’ve got another party for him next week). I got all the ingredients to make this sweet little cake and dropped them off at Mom’s.

After dinner, I pulled out the ingredients and quickly whipped this cake into shape. It was seriously the easiest thing ever. And the 15 minutes? Totally included picture taking.

15-Minute Ice Cream Cake (serves 6-8)

Ingredients

  • 9 ice cream sandwiches
  • chocolate syrup
  • caramel syrup
  • Cool Whip

Steps

  1. Lay 3 ice cream sandwiches next to each other
  2. Drizzle chocolate and caramel over the sandwiches (this keeps the layers all stuck together-I also considered using real frosting or fruit)
  3. Lay 3 ice cream sandwiches in the opposite direction
  4. Repeat steps 2 & 3
  5. Cover the entire cake with Cool Whip
  6. Decorate as much or as little as you like
  7. Slice lengthwise for ice cream cake joy

BOOM.

Also, don’t you dare judge my super awesome chocolate caramel heart on the top of the Cool Whip. I forgot to bring maraschino cherries.

You guys, this was seriously delicious. Everyone enjoyed it. It got a little messy near the end–definitely more difficult to cut than I thought it would be. Just make sure you slice all the way through the cookie layers, and you’ll be good to go.

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!

Chesh: The Untold Story and Why Disney Thinks I’m a Villain 

I’ve got a very special guest post today brought to you by a random Facebook conversation and a classy group of bloggers. You’re welcome. I think.

Greetings. You may know me as Chesh or The Cheshire Cat. Recently, I’ve been seen consorting with a slew of Disney villains in the Monopoly world, and honestly, I’d like to speak on my behalf.

image

It’s hard to fit in with this Disney world. There’s not a lot of room for the morally gray. You’re either a princess or a villain. There’s very little in-between. Even Alice gets honorary princess status among those other hoity toity teens.

I liked Alice. She was silly and irresponsible. It was especially fun to play with her in the presence of the Red Queen. But now, she’s a princess (of sorts), and I’m a villain.

Villain. HA!

I’ll admit it. I’m a trickster. A prankster, at best. I’ve never done much wrong. Nobody’s perfect. And yes, I am quite mad. But I’m not angry. Or even crazy. And most certainly not a villain.

I’m just tricky. I like to have a little fun every now and then. Sure, I’ve got a cynical side, but doesn’t everyone?

A few years back, I tried hanging out with The Sinister Cat Club, but they didn’t like my style. Those Siamese cats couldn’t handle my disappearing act. It was quite amusing, really. One would see my tail and the other would see my grin…they’d each pounce and *poof* they’d be pouncing on each other without even noticing that I was laughing on the other side of the room.

So I went to find Alice. She was having her nails done with Jasmine. I thought this would the perfect opportunity to acquaint myself with Rajah and Dinah. Rajah was alright, albeit a little whiny, but Dinah was insufferable.

Luckily, that little monkey with the hat (his name escapes me) was there to make me laugh. Until I stole his little hat. Then, some genie came after me with little regard for my disassembled body. He grabbed my tail, eyes and grin and tossed me out of the salon so fast, I didn’t even know what was happening.

So I don’t fit with the villains. And I don’t fit in with the princesses. I decided to come to the real world and hang out with some real life bloggers, instead. That Quirky Chrissy and Words for Worms Katie are the bee’s knees, in my book. Who needs Disney, anyway?

image

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!

Holy Crap, We’re Actually Moving.

Life update:

It’s hard to believe it’s been 18 months since we moved into our little Downers Grove apartment. Our first home together with just the two of us. The first non-college apartment I ever lived in. The first place I officially moved out of my parents’ house to live. There’s some serious nostalgia here.

But I’m excited. Because I’m pretty sure the apartment has been trying to kill me for 18 months. And because this means we’re legit looking for a house. Where we can build a secret passageway and a slide/staircase. And create the perfect quirky and unique home that is all ours forever. (I’m an optimist, kids).

Moving to a new home

Our bedroom hasn’t looked this perfect since that day we moved in. *facepalm*

Our move is scheduled for less than one month from today.  For the duration, 95% of our things are going to live in storage, and we, along with the other 5% of our crap, are going to live in Brian’s childhood home. We have a few weeks (and zero weekends) to pack up all of our things and decide what we absolutely need to keep with us and what we don’t. Obviously, I’m having a hard time with this.

But on the bright side, this adventure ends with a second move, from storage to a house.

I want to know, Blog Friends, what would you keep with you when most of your stuff has to live in a storage unit for an unknown duration of time.

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!

Three Years Later, and No One Can Make Me Laugh as Much as This Guy

Today is our third anniversary. We’ve now got 3 years of a laughter-foundation to build on. Last year on our anniversary, I wrote Brian a schmoopy and ridiculous letter and made him a super special card.

This year, I’ll spare you the schmoop and (hopefully) make you laugh.

Thanks to Daylight Savings Time, I’m still not in my normal sleep patterns. So Brian was ready to fall asleep the other night when I rolled into bed. I popped a melatonin (Dudes. The NatureMade Vitamelts taste like mint chocolate. #shamelessplug #noonepaidme) and tried to get sleepy.

Of course, I started rambling at Brian about him getting sleepy and hypnotizing him into loving Disney and wanting to go to all the Disney parks in the world. He picked up on my game and started saying we could go to Disney Antarctica (and that segwayed into tap-dancing penguins [because shouldn’t every conversation lead to tap-dancing penguins?] and flying puffins).

Eventually, though, he commented on my lack of sleepiness. And this is how that conversation went down.

Brian: You’re not tired at all, are you.
Me: Nope. But I’m trying to tone it down.
Brian: You’re melatonin it down, you mean?

At which point I started laughing like a hyena and giggling like it was the funniest thing on the planet. Even though it wasn’t really. And then he was totally awake. And trying to shush me. But I couldn’t. Stop. Laughing. And was thankful that our downstairs neighbors moved out because I was laughing REALLY loud. And I would have felt bad.

5 minutes later, I was out like a light.  I do that. All awake one minute; passed out the next.

Things like this happen. All. The. Time. Because he’s funny. But mostly, he’s funny to me.

To the best boyfriend on the entire planet-Happy Anniversary.

Do you and your person/boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife/partner have weird inside jokes and make each other laugh with really bad jokes?

 

 

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!

Makin’ Breakfast with my Ozeri Green Earth Frying Pan AKA Corned Beef Hash JOY

I recently had the opportunity to work with Ozeri, who sent me a free 8″ Green Earth Ceramic Non-stick Frying Pan to test out in my kitchen. The product was free, but as usual, no one paid me to say nice things. Those are all me.

I was super excited when this pan arrived in the mail. I’ve been jonesing for a new pan for quite some time now, and when Ozeri asked me to work with them I was all, “HECK YES!” Plus, I’ve been having some SERIOUS trouble with my cast iron skillet, so this was a nice vacation from that.

The color is a happy shade of green, which just makes me smile, and the textured coating is unique. I was concerned by it at first, but I rapidly discovered that it was not a problem at all. When they said non-stick, they meant it!

I decided that I’d be making breakfast for you, since it’s kind of my thing. And with St. Patrick’s Day, I had a corned beef from the Irish deli just waiting to be used. This recipe is SUPER easy, so get ready for it.

Corned Beef Hash

Ingredients

  • 1 thick slice of corned beef (simmered the night before)
  • 5 canned whole potatoes (cooked in the corned beef pot)Corned Beef and Potatoes
  • a pinch of onion powder
  • a pinch of thyme
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1/2 Tbs Kerry Gold Irish Butter with Garlic and Herbs (you can use regular butter…but why?)

Kerry Gold Irish Butter with Garlic and Herbs

That’s all.

Steps

  1. Dice corned beef into tiny pieces
  2. Dice potatoes into tiny pieces (they should be a little sticky)Homemade Corned Beef Hash
  3. Mix potatoes and beef together
  4. Sprinkle seasonings and salt over mixture
  5. Mix well
  6. Melt butter in Ozeri Green Earth Frying PanKerry Gold Butter in Ozeri Green Earth Frying Pan
  7. Add corned beef mixtureCorned Beef Hash in Green Earth Frying Pan
  8. Fry until golden brown (or preferred crispness)2014-03-20 08.00.18

The pan was AWESOME to work with. I walked about for about 5 minutes while the corned beef hash was frying and sizzling in the pan and nothing stuck to the pan, nothing caused problems. You’ll even see in the video that I created for you how easily everything cooked up in my Ozeri pan.

Of course, it’s important to clean the pan well. It came with all sorts of instructions to make sure that I keep it in top notch condition. Obviously, Brian’s not allowed to play with this one. Yet, anyways. So I made sure that it was cooled down before I cleaned it, as recommended by the product guide. I don’t want to chance it in our shoddy apartment dishwasher, so I have hand washed it every time I’ve used it so far.

Look, guys! I made you a video! You’re welcome.

If you click on the links to Amazon products above, and buy things, you will be supporting my cheese habit. And you’ll be buying a rockin’ awesome pan. So there’s that.

Blog Friends, do you have a favorite pan at home? Or a love of corned beef hash? Or breakfast in general?

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!

Rocking the Vote and (MOSTLY) a Shameless Plug

So today is Rock the Vote Day here in Illinois. It’s the primaries, and we all know how I feel about rocking the vote. So I’ll be heading to my polling place after work today, because I think the primaries are important too.

Of course, I couldn’t let the rock the vote opportunity just fade away when you, too, can rock a vote.

image

On that note, blog friends…I have to tell you something RIDICULOUSLY exciting…I haven’t mentioned it yet, and I feel kinda like a jerk for not telling you, because it’s a result of your awesomeness…

I’m a finalist in not one, not two, but THREE categories in The 2014 Weblog Awards. Best Writing, Most Humorous, and Weblog of the Year.

Last year, I was a finalist in Best Writing of a Weblog. And THE BLOGGESS offered to share her invisible trophy with me.

TheBloggess (TheBloggess) on Twitter 2013-05-22 22-54-19

I would LOVE for you to go and take a second to vote for me in the 2014 Bloggies. Several of my blogging besties have also been nominated, so if you would like to help them out with a vote, I know they’d appreciate it too!

Voting ends this weekend, so vote early, vote often!

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 was an Irish Princess

For the first 25 years of my life, my parents owned a bar. Not just any bar. To us, it was THE bar. All of our important coming of age shit was celebrated in the bar. First communions, graduations, birthdays, even some holidays…and most especially, St. Patrick’s Day.

You learn a lot when your parents own a bar. You learn how to mix drinks, of course, non alcoholic drinks…like the Chrissy Cocktail I invented when I was 9–seven up, squirt, grenadine, pineapple juice and orange juice (when I grew up, I added vodka). You tell your kindergarten teacher that you want to be a bartender when you grow up. You play waitress in your best friends’ basement (but you add roller skates, because when you own the bar, everyone is going to wear roller skates). You go to a lot of wakes and funerals because you know a lot of people (and a lot of alcoholic). You decide that you DON’T want to be an alcoholic, because you spent your impressionable years watching them. But you drink like a fucking fish in your twenties, anyway.

And then, one day, the bar is gone. And all you have are these AMAZING memories. And that’s okay. It brought you to where you are. It shaped your existence. It gave you all those AMAZING memories.

You try for a few years to go out to other Irish bars on St. Patrick’s Day. You run around town like the Eurotrash of the suburban town where you once held court. Fallen royalty without a kingdom. And then you realize that a bottle of Jamo, a bottle of Bailey’s, and a 6-pack of Guinness are way cheaper than a few shots and a couple of warm green beers at an overcrowded pub. And your dad taught you to make the best corned beef and cabbage on the planet anyway.

But you still deck yourself out like a motherfucking leprechaun and roll into work. Because that’s just what you do. And you wear a green jacket with the name of the bar and the year of your birth like a boss. And you live every day. With your memories and your plans for the future.

Because THAT is what makes life happen.

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 Was a BOSSY Little Girl…and I’m OKAY With That.

Shit’s about to get real here, people. I have a confession.

I’m about to admit something that makes me feel shameful. And weird. And like I really am not allowed to say this on the internet.

I’m afraid I’m about to get some hate mail up in here. And that terrifies me. A lot.

But I’m going to do it.

I’m going to admit…

That I am not a feminist.

The reason I feel so ashamed to admit this is that I feel like I SHOULD be a feminist.

I’m a lady. I’m a hard-working, strong, competitive lady. I have a job. I have a life. I have confidence. I’ve worked my ass off to get where I am. I know what I want and I say what I feel.

Except when it comes to admitting that I. Am. Not. A. Feminist.

Because I’m afraid of what the world will think.

It’s hard not to identify as a feminist. Because everyone’s a feminist these days. Except me. Sure, I care about women and equality. But I don’t think that’s what feminism stands for right now. What I see is feminism attempting to squash men and be their superior, not their equal. And I can’t get behind that. So no, I am not a feminist. I’m a humanist. I believe in the rights of every single person on this planet. And the ability for every single person to have opportunities. Because THAT is what we should be about.

Last year, at BlogHer, I couldn’t sit through Cheryl Sandberg’s chat. I just. Couldn’t. Because she didn’t make me feel empowered. She made me feel like I should stomp on the hearts of men until they hear me roar. I walked out.

And I felt judged for walking out. And for not joining the “Lean In” buzz or the “Bossy” buzz. That’s how feminism makes me feel: Judged.

I thought that after a few weeks, the buzz would die down. I thought after a few weeks, I wouldn’t have to hear about how little girls should NEVER be called bossy.

I was wrong.

Months later, here I am…boldly stating that I was bossy. Because there is a campaign to #banbossy. You can’t BAN a word in the English language. You can’t STOP people from using it. And you certainly can’t REPLACE it with a word that is NOT its equal. Especially when being bossy is something that is real. And yes, it’s got a negative connotation…but it probably should. Because above all else, being bossy is not an attractive quality in a man, woman or child.

I was bossy. I sometimes still AM bossy. And that does NOT mean I have executive leadership skills. That means I have a flaw that I need to focus on bettering.

Of course, because I am bossy, does not mean that I lack executive leadership skills. I have them despite my occasional bossytude. My executive leadership skills come from my ability to LISTEN to others. To take ADVICE. And to work WITH others in a TEAM setting and not DEMAND that they do as I say.

My executive leadership skills landed me as president of the Lombard Jaycees in 2010. I wasn't a beloved president by all, but I tried my hardest to be the best leader that I could. And I had to really work past my bossytude. (This was my last event as president...and I really wanted to post my pretty dress again.)

My executive leadership skills landed me a gig as president of the Lombard Jaycees in 2010. I wasn’t a beloved president by everyone, but I tried my hardest to be the best leader that I could. And I had to really work past my bossytude. (This was my last event as president with my board of directors…and also, I really wanted to post my pretty dress again.)

I was a bossy little girl. I wanted everything done my way. I didn’t listen to reason. Or logic. Or my mother. I wanted what I wanted and I didn’t want to think about anything other than the word, “yes.” I wanted to play Barbie or the Game of Life or watch the Zombie movie (Night of the Comet. It’s on YouTube. Look it up. You’re welcome. Sort of) or watch Labrynth. And I did not want to listen to anyone else.

My poor brother received the brunt of my bossyness. I made him play Barbie. And a game I invented called “Little Things” where we had to get all of our little toys out into the hallway and match them up in like a cage match type thing. I was a strange child.

I can still sometimes be bossy. Like when I tell Brian that he should fold my laundry. (And then he doesn’t, because he shouldn’t, because that’s MY laundry.) Or when I tell my mom that she should cook something in a way that I cook it, and not the way she has cooked it for the last 30 years. (And then she doesn’t, because she shouldn’t, because it’s HER cooking.) Or when I tell my co-workers that they should do something my way. (And then they don’t, because they shouldn’t, because it’s THEIR work.)

But this is something that I’M working through. I have some OCD tendencies. That makes me meticulous, but it also means that I have to actively take note when my OCD tendencies are making me bossy. Instead, I try to give others a chance to voice their opinions and speak up. THAT is what a leader is SUPPOSED to do. Sure, I’m not perfect and I mess up sometimes, but that’s MY goal. To be a true leader.

And I know bossy little boys. And I know boys who grew up into bossy men. And that’s not leadership. It’s not attractive. It’s not desirable. I have a partner who listens when I talk, who voices his opinion and expects me to give him the same courtesy in return.

So I’m going to try to forget I saw anything about this #banbossy campaign, but if you’re down with it, I won’t judge you. Please don’t judge me.

I’m confessing with Kat from Vodka and Soda (mostly because I’m really thirsty after all that ranting!) with #HumpdayConfessions. Now THAT’S a hashtag I can stand behind. 

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 NOT to do When Spring Daylight Savings Time Hits. A Cautionary Tale.

And by cautionary tale, obviously, I mean shit I already did. And probably shouldn’t have done. Because holy fuck, I’m feelin’ it today. And yesterday.

Mostly, I think Daylight Savings Time is stupid, but that’s another topic for another day.

Instead, let’s get into the ridiculous shit I did this weekend without thinking about the time change designed to fuck up one’s life. Let’s just call this… A letter to me 365 days from now. Don’t forget, Christine (that’s what I call myself when I’m lecturing myself). This shit’s important.

  1. NEVER plan on going out drinking (when you pretty much never go out drinking) and expect to be functional the next day. Just don’t. Even if it’s a bachelorette party. You plan on a day wasted napping, snacking, watching House of Cards, New Girl and playing Simpsons Tapped Out on your tablet. You won’t even get to write a blog post. Trust me. You’ll be useless.

  2. Honestly, you probably shouldn’t consume more liquor in one night than you have in the last month combined. You’re not in college anymore, sweetheart.

  3. NEVER leave your blinds cracked open. You don’t remember this from last fall when it was still warm (pretty much EONS ago), but the sun coming in your room in the morning? Sucks. Especially after a night of drinking. When you’re crabbier than normal. Dumbass.

  4. NEVER plan your time at the gym at the crack of dawn after the time has jumped ahead an hour. And more importantly, DO NOT schedule an appointment with your trainer at 9 am. That’s just stupid. You’re a moron. If you’re lucky, the aforementioned blinds will wake you up long before your training session…with enough time to text your trainer and tell her you’ll be in late. Like 6 hours late. If you get to her in enough time to not leave her house, she’ll be cool about it.

  5. Really you probably shouldn’t schedule an appointment with your trainer after a night of heavy drinking in general. I don’t care that you want to work off the calories of the taco dip, potato chips, penis cake, mozzarella sticks, nachos, and Greek fries from the night before…or the eggs, hash browns, corned beef hash, biscuits and gravy, and pancakes from your ginormous hangover breakfast…it’s probably not worth it. And it’s going to take more than one sesh to burn those calories, doll.

Obviously, I had a stellar weekend. And now it’s Monday. How was YOUR weekend? Did you do anything spectacular? How well did you handle the time change? Did you have to push your Sunday back a few hours or were you ready for it?

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!

Frozen Parody – Thanks for Making me Laugh Until I Cried WGN Chicago!

You guys!

I HAD to share this with you.

You know how much I swooned when I reviewed Frozen?

And you know how much I bitched when the Polar Vortex came to town?

And of course, how much I bragged when  I ran into Lake Michigan in winter (It was too cold this year, kids…I just. Couldn’t. Do. It.)?

And that one time I built a snow beach in my front yard?

Snow Beach

After the last Snomageddon in January 2011, I made myself a snow beach in subzero weather in order to win a trip to Mexico. I didn’t win. But this picture will live on forever.

Well, this video from a Chicago news guy pretty much says it all. Really, I am so jealous I didn’t come up with it, I can’t see straight!
Enjoy.

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!