Thursday, May 30, 2013

Easy Corn Shucking

Today was slightly better weather wise, we had some moments of sunshine. Overall still kind of dreary.

We didn't go anywhere or do anything special, but we had corn on the cob with lunch.

This might not seem like a big deal, but I really love corn on the cob. I'm slightly allergic to the corn silk (nasal allergy not food allergy) and so I hated buying the fresh husks and trying to shuck them through a runny nose. Frozen pre-packaged stuff just isn't the same. As much as I love corn on the cob we just never had it very often.

Well, break out the floss because last year I learned a new way of preparing it. Thanks to the magic of Pinterest, I learned that you can microwave the corn in the husk. Then you take it out, slice off the end, and shake the corn out. We have corn on the cob so much more often now! Especially when the fresh stuff comes out at the Farmer's Market.

The corn stays crisp and there is very little mess. Plus, it's a really cute older guy doing the demonstration.

Without further ado, here is the video of Ken teaching you how to shuck corn. (He uses gloves, I just use two dishtowels.)

The video is courtesy martincraid4 on YouTube.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Yay! Summer!

It's finally here! Woo! Summer Vacation!

I have so many plans for this vacation! Camping! Hiking! Swimming! I've been planning for so long and now it's here!

Actually, a lot of those plans are going to have to wait because on Saturday my adorable baby sister is coming to visit!! We are only two years apart and we fought like cats when we were younger. Age and having kids has mellowed us a lot. Now we're really close. Emotionally that is. Physically we're around 750 miles apart. She lives in the Phoenix suburbs and I'm way up here in O-Town.

That will change on Saturday when her and her four kids will be invading our 3 bedroom one bathroom house for a few weeks. Logistically I'm not sure how well this will work, but we are sure as heck going to try it.

This week I have to spend as much time as I can cleaning up the house. I wrenched my back and spent most of last week laid up, so the house went down the tubes. Luckily my sister doesn't expect the house to be spotless, she's got four kids after all! She knows what a lived in house looks like!

If anybody wants to come over and help me, you are more than welcome. Even if you just want to come chat with me. For some reason when I am chatting I get more done. It's probably because I'm an extrovert, I get energy from social interactions.

Wish me luck and send me your good, clean house vibes!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Macaroni, but not the kind with cheese.

I'm kind of a history geek. I know a bunch of random facts about things that happened way too long ago. Ask my friends, I bring up weird facts all the time. Luckily for me they're all kind of geeky in their own ways, so they tolerate this quirk of mine.

Recently I learned something new and it was one of those forehead-slapping, oh-my-goodness-so-THAT-is-what-it-means kind of moments.

If it shocked me, the History Nerd, then maybe it would be eye opening to you guys too!

Now, just about every American kid knows the song Yankee Doodle. How it is a song that the British made up to make fun of the American Colonists during the Revolutionary War, but the Colonists turned it around and made it kind of a theme song.

Yankee Doodle went to town,
A-riding on his pony.
He stuck a feather in his cap,
And called it Macaroni!

Well, I couldn't ever understand how sticking a feather in your cap could ever be mistaken for noodles. I even asked my teacher about it when we were taught the song. I was told that the British were saying that the Colonists were just that stupid. 

I was taught WRONG!!

How does this....

...Mean this?


After doing a little research I found out that Macaroni was actually a fashion trend

Macaroni (which can also be spelled Maccaroni) was a mid-18th century fashion trend, mostly among men in the upper classes.

If you picture the men in the mid-1700s with the huge powdered wigs, wearing tons of make-up, fake beauty marks, and talking with an effeminate air. That is Macaroni. 

If you've seen Sophia Coppola's Marie Antoinette, the man who does the wigs for Marie Antoinette is a really good example of a Macaroni. 

That is the best picture I could find online. The Macaroni is the guy on the right with the pointy looking hair. If you compare him to the rest of the male cast you can really see how odd he looks. The movie uses it brilliantly for comedic effect. 

Here's a historical caricature. Regular guy on the right, Macaroni on the left. 

The Macaroni was the precursor to the Dandy of the 1800s. Somebody, usually male, who took a great interest in fashion and tended to really go overboard with trends. 

What the British were trying to convey in the song was that the Colonists were so stupid that they thought a simple feather was enough adornment to be the same as the overblown Macaroni. 

In today's society we have lots of different ways of dressing: Skaters, Hipsters, Preppies, Yuppies, Metrosexuals, People of WalMart...

In the middle of the 1700s you didn't have this many choices. Your style of dress was determined by your status or class in society. So these upper class weird Macaroni were really a sight to behold. (Kind of like when really rich ladies get really bad plastic surgery.)

In summation, translating it into todays language, Yankee Doodle might go something like this:

Dumb American went to town,
A-riding in his Mazda.
Sagged his pants below his butt,
And called himself a gangsta'!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Lovely Locks

I'm going to try a new feature. Henceforth, I declare Fridays to be Favorites Friday. I'll post some of my favorite things for y'all to ogle. Let me know if you love it or hate it or feel completely ambivalent.

In October, Eric and I will be celebrating our 15th Wedding anniversary. I've been trying to think of gifts for him and one of the things I was thinking was a play on the  "You hold the key to my heart" idea.

I did a search on Etsy for "lock" and I got completely lost. I'm afraid I found a lot more stuff for myself than I did for Eric. I didn't buy anything (yet!) but here are some of my favorites.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Countdown to Summer

Today is the last full day of school for my kids. Friday and Tuesday are half days. The school year was actually supposed to end tomorrow, but we had a Snow Day and needed to add another day to make up for it. One of the cool things about my kids' school is that they sent out a survey asking when we'd prefer to have the extra day added.

Here I am, sitting in the living room trying to motivate my kids to get dressed and ready for school. They're dragging. I keep chanting to myself, "It's almost over, it's almost over..."

I'm looking forward to this Summer Break. I have all sorts of fun stuff planned! My sister is coming into town at the beginning of June, and I'm super excited about that. I've also been compiling a list of things I want to do with the kids. I've been working on it since January. We're going to build a solar oven, and attempt to cook a meal in it. We're going to pitch the tent in the back yard and camp out a lot.  I'm going to teach my kids part of my vast knowledge on how to start and maintain fires. We'll be Letterboxing and using the compasses the kids got for Christmas.

Joey had his Kindergarten evaluation and didn't do very well, so a lot of this break will be dedicated to getting him ready for school. I have an idea in my head to do my own little Summer Camp for the kids and the idea is evolving to include things Joey needs to be familiar with. Maybe a number, letter, and shape of the day? I have to ponder that one some more.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Utah Bloggers Meetup

I've been wanting to get moving on this blog again but for some reason I've just been lacking in motivation. I have no idea what my problem is, but I get all kinds of ideas late at night. Then the next morning I stare at a blank page until I finally give up and head over to Pinterest.

Saturday I got a brilliant shot of inspiration!

I met a few of the coolest ladies in this state. I had the wonderful opportunity to attend the Utah Bloggers Meetup hosted by my dear friend Mikki. I felt like a total impostor since my blog has a grand total of 6 followers and I hadn't updated in more than a month (we won't do the math to see how long it'd been before that.)

I went because I wanted to get some tips and tricks to hopefully get my blog to be more successful. Life had other plans. I didn't get a single tip.

Something much better happened.

I made new friends!

Photo courtesy of Mikaela Platter.

Every one of the bloggers was amazing, and completely sweet. They accepted my pathetic handmade "business" card and handed me their adorable ones. They let me hold their babies (I'm looking at you Victoria!) and chatted with me all afternoon. As much as I can use the help with this blog, the friendships that are starting to sprout will be much more valuable.

If you look close you'll see the little lip just starting to pout. Poor little cutie just wanted to eat and there I was stealing cuddles. Photo courtesy of Kristin Brandt.

Mikki planned this whole thing, and she did an amazing job. Seriously, I don't know how she does it! Everything she touches just turns amazing!

We met at Grounds for Coffee at 25th Street. It was the perfect place! I didn't know it, but they have a second story area with more tables and quite a bit of privacy. The best thing about this particular Grounds for Coffee is their baker, Jenny. She makes delicious gluten free desserts! I'm drooling just remembering the astounding chocolate mousse cake I had. They didn't have my favorite, the cheesecake, but the mousse cake quickly made me forget my disappointment. I washed it down with a fresh raspberry lemonade. Yes, you can go to Grounds for Coffee and never even have coffee!

Now, I have a confession. I am a sucker for swag. It's sick. Mikki, with her magic, arranged for us to get some pretty awesome gift bags. They were filled with great stuff! Sweet Pop'n Cafe gave us kettle corn, amazing kettle popped corn with just the right amount of sweet and salt. Mmmmm, I'm hungry again just thinking of it. Green the Earth added samples, I got some face firming lotion which I'm looking forward to trying. Silver Firs Farm gave us the most lush lip balm I've ever tried. I tried thinking of other descriptive words but "lush" is the one that keeps coming to mind.  Grounds for Coffee Riverdale, Rovali's Ristorante Italiano, Timeless Yoga, and Treehouse Museum all contributed valuable coupons for free stuff. By far the best swag came from Indie Ogden: stickers, a drink kooszie, and a super soft t-shirt! Oh yeah, and a fuzzy, stick-on moustache, because.... Well, of course a fuzzy, stick-on moustache!

There was one other thing in these bulging gift bags. A t-shirt from Now the thing about this t-shirt is that it's part of a contest. I'm supposed to refashion it, blog about it, and then possibly win a prize. My head is already bubbling with ideas, so stay tuned to see what I make of it.

The Bloggers Meetup was a raging success and I am thrilled that I was a part of it. I look forward to picking up skills from the new friends I made and hopefully making this blog a much better place!

If you're curious about the bloggers I met then head over to the Indie Ogden review of the meetup. Mikki compiled a whole list of the blogs who's writers came. Hours of good reading all listed out for you!