Chapter 12: The Things You Learn

Since we’ve already covered the fact that I’m an upper twenty something with absurd dating stories….obviously, I’ve dated some winners.  I am however, a firm believer that everything you go through in life molds you into the person you currently are.  You can either become weighed down with your failures, or use them as opportunities to grow.  I choose to grow!  Part of growing means you must dig through the crap trying to find helpful nuggets to truth.  This can be especially difficult after a break up.  Give yourself some time, enjoy some of Ben and Jerry’s fine creations, and when you’re ready, begin the digging.

From every relationship I’ve tried to learn something.  Sometimes they are stupid, sometimes they help other people more than they help me, but there always has to be a good thing.  Some of the relationships were serious, some were not, doesn’t mean you can’t learn.

  • The OG Time really does heal even the deepest of wounds and betrayals.  It’s taken more the a decade, but the OG and I are back on friend terms…..we even occasionally get together for drinks!
  • The Drummer – Your Momma is always right.  I know you don’t want to admit this, but it’s true….just accept it and move on.
  • Tonka Truck Driver – There is a clear, and sometimes not so present difference between Mr. Good Enough for Now and Mr. Right.  Don’t ever think you need to settle, and be grateful for the bullets you dodge in life!
  • The Pot Head – Apparently, you can make pot brownies without actual leaves in your batter?? The things you learn when chemistry and chemical dependence meet.
  • The Ginger – Country boys and city girls don’t mix…….this is wrong. Don’t let other people’s opinions weigh on your relationship.  Especially when those opinions come from the girl your man had previously wanted to date.  Jealousy is a for real thing kids!  If nothing else, remember city girls and country jerks don’t mix!
  • ADD 3Spicy Ramen packets! I don’t eat them, but they became a favorite lunchtime treat for one of my UBS girls!
  • Naked Burrito Guy – You can make eggs in the microwave! I never knew….turns out guys who can’t cook do have some useful kitchen skills.  Making breakfast burritos has never been so quick and easy!
  • The Pole Jumper – Enchiladas…..he’ll make them better than you, but it’s something to work towards!  Trial and error can be delicious…..a slightly sub par enchilada is better than no enchilada at all!
  • The Cliffdiver – Sometimes, giving someone a second chance just isn’t worth the effort.  It doesn’t make you a bad person to say no to people.
  • The Asshole Tinder Cowboy – Cowboys know they are sexy, and they know every girl finds them sexy…..AVOID AT ALL COSTS! 
  • The Frat Boy – It’s always ok to take risks and go after what you want.  You know you tried, even if it doesn’t work out.
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Chicken…..It’s What’s for Dinner

It’s been a few weekends since I saw my Main Squeeze, but he came to visit this weekend…..so, naturally I had to feed him!!  Our running joke is that he only eats chicken, because that’s all he wanted to eat the first weekend he came to see me.  Before I fed him, he decided he needed to take me out on an actual date, so Friday night that’s what we did.  We headed downtown for pizza and drinks……nothing like a night on the town with my Squeeze!!

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Saturday night was chicken dinner at home before some quality time with my Squeeze, my Bitch Faced Bestie, the Hubby in Law, and Cards Against Humanity.  A easy and favorite recipe is Chicken Parmesan, so I decided that I’d make that and some fancy Pinterest inspired garlic pull apart bread.  It’s one of those recipes that comes out of the oven looking fancy, but it’s really quite simple to put together.  Best yet, it’s fast.  It takes about half an hour for me to get it all prepped and in the oven baking away.

We waited a bit late in the day to start making dinner, so we were hungry by the time it came out of the oven.  I didn’t stop to take pictures of the finished products…..sorry about that!

Things you will need:

  • 1/2 Italian Bread Crumbs
  • 1/2 Cup Flour
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Package Chicken Breasts or Tenderloins
  • 1 Jar of Spaghetti Sauce
  • 1 Pound Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Italian Spices : Basil, Thyme, Garlic Powder, Cayenne
  • Small Loaf of Bread
  • 4 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 2 Tbs Olive Oil Plus More for Frying the Chicken
  • 3 Tbs Butter 

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I bought one of the “Bake at Home” loaves of bread, so I threw that in the oven for 15 minutes while I got the chicken prep ready.  Honestly, I’m not sure it did much of anything for the bread, and considering that you’re stuffing the bread with yumminess and putting it in the oven, I’d probably skip that step when I do this again.

Get your chicken started by setting up your breading station.  I like to add salt and pepper to the flour and jazz up the bread crumbs by adding a good dash of all the Italian spices.  Even if I buy the “Italian” breadcrumbs, I still add extra spice!  Crack the egg into a dish, add a splash of water, and beat to mix.  Then just process your chicken through the three stations.  Flour, egg, crumbs!  Place the chicken in a large pan with a generous amount of olive oil over medium to medium high heat.  Cook just to brown up the breading and create a nice crust.  Don’t worry about cooking the chicken through, the oven will take care of that.

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Open the sauce and add a thin layer to your favorite baking pan.  I find a normal 9×13 to be a bit large for a single package of chicken, but it would certainly work.  I have a smaller Pyrex baker I use.  I have to squish the chicken in a bit, but it works just fine!  Once the chicken has been browned on both sides, place it into the baking pan on top of the sauce.  Continue the breading, cooking, placing process until all of you chicken is in the baking dish.  Use the remaining sauce to cover the chicken, and top with about 3/4 of the bag of shredded cheese.  You could get fancy and top the chicken with a mix of Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese, but I didn’t have any Parm in the house.  Bake at 375 for about 30-35 minutes until the cheese is melted and browned, and the chicken is cooked through.

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Using a bread knife…….which I don’t actually own…..slice the bread in 1 inch diagonal sections twice, you’ll end up with small diamonds that you can pull out and eat.  Just don’t cut all the way through the loaf, just go down to the bottom crust.  I’ve decided that I think it’s impossible to keep the bread looking nice and poofy and cute once this is all done.  Just accept the slight visual fail because it tastes the same, even if it’s a bit smooshed.

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Place the minced garlic, butter, and 2 Tbs of olive oil in a small sauté pan.  Melt everything together and cook the garlic slightly, stirring often to ensure the garlic doesn’t burn.  While that’s going, stuff the remaining 1/4 pound of shredded cheese, or cheese blend, into the slices.  Place the loaf on a piece of foil, and drizzle the garlic oil over the whole thing.  Tent with a piece of foil, and toss the whole thing into the oven.  Cook 10 minutes covered and an additional 5-10 uncovered to brown up the cheese.

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It was an easy and cute at home date night.

Yes, you’ll end up with garlic breathe, but at least you’ll have garlic breathe together!

Only the Good Die Young

Here are pictures of the people I’ve lost to cancer who were born in the month of March.

Grandpa P, born March 4th

Grandma P, born March 7th

Dad, born March 10th

 

Thank you cancer….for taking from me everyone I love who was born in March, and for forever starting my Spring off on a shitty foot!

I don’t have much else to say, the pictures speak for themselves.

I will say this……if cancer makes you angry, AND IT SHOULD, I might recommend supporting those those who are fighting this nightmare everyday, and those who have dedicated their lives to helping eliminate the nightmare.  If like me, you feel like traditional charities aren’t meeting your frustration needs, I would suggest http://www.fuckcancer.org

I don’t know that another quote about cancer has ever quite made me feel like it was ok to be angry with the cards cancer has dealt me.

We are sorry if you are offended or have a problem with the word FxCK! We are offended and have a problem with the word CANCER!”

This is the reality of cancer….a father and two grandparents taken too soon.  I’ve also lost my Dad’s mom to cancer!  I have a serious bone to pick with this awful disease!  I have however, also been fortunate enough to watch people fight and win!!  Those wins are the moments which provide hope and the strength to celebrate the memories.

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Hear Ye, Hear Ye!!!

So…….I have an announcement to make……

I’M NO LONGER A SINGLE TWENTY SOMETHING!

I, through the denied schemes of my Chemistry Smarty Pants and her boyfriend, have managed to snag myself a super cute, super nice, Nebraska guy.  For years now, the CSP has been touting the wonders of boys from Nebraska……”Come visit and we’ll find you a nice Catholic boy!”, “We just need to find you a nice guy, come to Omaha!”  Well CSP, hats off to you because you were right all along!!  He was part of my New Year’s adventures with the Bear Cubs, sooooo technically…I didn’t even have to go to Nebraska to find him! 🙂

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I only have the two pictures, and they aren’t great cuz they were at a bar and a concert…..  but seriously…..LOOK AT THE CUTENESS!!!!  Ugh, I die!!  Plus, he makes me a very happy girl. 🙂 (Ignore my extra spiky looking eyelashes in the first pic, they usually don’t look like that I promise….. :/ )

So last Friday night Scout, my new travel french press, and I ventured into Nebraska to spend a long weekend with my Main Squeeze!  I had to haul my own coffee because he doesn’t drink coffee.  He’s one of those moderately disturbing “morning people”.  So, I ordered myself a little travel mug french press thinger to leave there so I don’t die when I visit.  I’m way less fun to hang out with if I don’t get my morning caffeine fix.

It should be noted that I’ve spent most of my life avoiding Nebraska.  This stems from a deep seated, high school hatred of the stupid kids…..who would drive across the river in their stupid dually trucks….to the DQ….to try and order stupid amounts of food…..all on separate tickets…..through the drive through window.  Pro tip kids…..all we ever heard was your trucks!!  Might as well just park that puppy and come inside because you’re gonna have to shut it off to order anyway.  Sorry for the sidetrack……but it needed to be said….if only because it still annoys me and I haven’t worked at the DQ for 10 years!  Going to Nebraska is a hot button issue for me!

Friday

He took me snack shopping Friday night because my Juice Stop for the road was not cutting it.  I……WE….WE…..then proceeded to sorta burn a double pepperoni frozen pizza which we should not have been eating anyway because #FridaysduringLent!  It wasn’t that burnt, and frankly wasn’t even the worst pizza I’ve ever eaten.

Saturday

The dogs and the window replacement dudes woke us up.  So, we mostly hungout in the kitchen corralling the dogs.  I may or may not have eaten half of the burnt pizza, a bag of sour octopus gummies, and struggled trying to make coffee in what I can only assume is a miniature microwave.  He had a bowl of dry cheerios and at some point started eating croutons our of the bag like chips…….I giggled…. a lot.

After the windows were done, we napped.  Basically, we were super anti productive! We did finally shower and motivate because there was a baseball fundraiser event we were meeting the CSP and her man at.  So, I spent the night in a small town gym with some of my fav people, drinking Bud Heavy, discovering that toy tractors are a thing people collect…..like seriously collect….. and generally living life like a big cob.  The hat is maybe only funny because of how I became the owner of said hat.  I think it’s hilarious, given my company that night, you don’t have to understand!

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So this is what I’m gonna be rocking from now on….Big Cob Hybrids…totally a thing!  I mean you wouldn’t wanna be a small cob!?

On the way home from the small town I had that moment where you don’t realize how much you have drunk till you leave the party.  Also, we didn’t really eat anything during the day which could have also contributed to the slightly tipsy munchies.  So….we had to stop at McD’s.  Whilst in the drive through I discovered that he doesn’t eat Ketchup…..cue face palm.  I, who allegedly while drunk, used basically an entire bottle of ketchup on a chicken strip basket, am dating the only person I know who doesn’t eat ketchup.  Sigh…….I mean I guess he’s allowed to have a downfall…..I just never expected that it would be ketchup!!

Sunday

Sleeping in is glorious!  Well as much sleeping in as the fur babies would allow us.  Followed by more sleeping, because that’s what weekends are for.

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These are the fur babies….code named Thunderpaws and Little Foot.  Little Foot is always down for chilling, Thunderpaws is always down for fetch.

We lounged around, whined about being hungry, and then…..shopping!!  My Main Squeeze drove me over to Lush because I was out of bubbles, and a life without bubbles isn’t really a life I want to be living honestly.  So, into Lush we went and started the process of sniffing bath bombs and bubble bars.  Mostly I buy Lush online, so there is a whole world of stuff there that I know nothing about….smell wise.

Everything was alright until we got to a pink bubble bar…..I couldn’t even tell you what it was called, or even what it was supposed to smell like.  Not great….it was pretty not great! I do however really wish I had a camera to capture the subsequent face of horror/confusion/terror that flashed across Main Squeeze’s face when I made him smell it!!  After the initial shock was over, he just looked at me panicked and asked, “Why can I taste it!?!”……followed by several “That was awful!!!”.  All in all I think he’s pretty glad to have survived the experience in one piece.  Lucky, for me though I got stocked up on all my fav things!

  • 2 Brightside Bubble Bars — Orange scented and amazingly refreshing.  These are my favorite.  I break each bar into 4 pieces and it still gives a huge amount of lightly zesty bubbles.
  • Rose Jam Bubbleroon Bubble Bar — Smells like a huge bouquet of fresh roses.  I used half of this the other night and it was lovely.  More calming I think than the Brightsides, but it’s just a difference in scent.
  • Blackberry Bath Bomb — Haven’t tried this yet, but it smells fruity and nice.  I’ve used a different scent and I like them because they are huge.  I generally throw them onto the floor of my garage to crack them in half.  I find that I feel softer after the bath bombs than the bubble bars.
  • Ro’s Argan Body Conditioner — Same Rose Jam smell as the Bubbleroon.  It’s lotion you apply in the shower!  Sorta weird as it makes water bead up and repel off of you, but I’d rather put on my lotion in my nice toasty shower than in my cold bathroom!!  It feels a bit waxy in the shower, but once you dry off it leaves you super soft with a nice light scent.

Next time I need to refill my stash I’m hoping they still have Big Bang Bubble Bars.  They are supposed to be lemon and grapefruit scented and that sounds perfect for summertime relaxing!!

So Nebraska has this thing…..called Nebraska Furniture Mart.  Sounds harmless and normal right!?  Well people kept talking about it like it was some huge deal, and I’m just over here thinking like, “It’s a furniture store people, like calm the fuck down kids!”  So, after Lush and stopping to grab me another Juice Stop for a snack, Main Squeeze took me to the furniture mart.  I HAVE NO WORDS!!!!  I mean obviously, it’s a blog so there will be words…..but seriously!!  Someone should have emotionally prepared me!!  I spent most of the time while we were trying to find a parking spot freaking out cuz he was hungry and hadn’t had any food yet, and here he was taking me shopping instead of getting food.  Unbeknownst to me, he was scheming the entire time……he’s very scheme-y this Main Squeeze of mine, always in the cutest way possible.

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HE KNEW THERE WAS FOOD THERE THE WHOLE TIME!!!!

We spent a while wandering around the various BUILDINGS that comprise the Furniture Mart.  Like you have to walk outside to get to different departments!  It was amazing!!!  So, I found a bedroom set I can’t afford, the mystical mermaid pillows, and taught him all about the struggle that is finding a good, affordable, and not heinous area rug.  Did you know that they now make a refrigerator that has a Keurig machine in it?!?!?  The Squeeze has been informed that that’s the fridge I want for the European castle we are going to buy.  He supports my choice…..he’s the best like that.

Sunday night we watched some History Channel…..which I never get to do.  I‘m glad that he shares my opinions on how stupid some of the sellers on  Pawn Stars are!  After we got some TV ranting outta our systems, Squeeze made me noodles and we watched Crimson Peak.  Bitch Faced Bestie told me it was scary…..it was good, but idk that ‘scary’ is the word I’d use to describe it.

Monday

My Squeeze had to run to the DMV in the morning to register his new car, so the fur babies and I stayed home and packed my stuff back up.  I had basically exploded my bag all over his spare room and taken up the entire bathroom with stuff, so getting it all put back together is a bit of an ordeal.  As soon as he got back home, it was snack time.  If you haven’t discovered, I’m a bit like a puppy.  I like snacks, naps, and occasionally some exercise!!  We had bacon and toast, and then it was time for a movie and a nap.  Luckily, I know what happens during Pirate of the Caribbean, so missing the middle due to a quick nap was no big deal.

After the nap and movie, it was time to head home.  I pretty sadly loaded up my near to exploding bag and the pupster, and we headed home.  After a brief detour through the Burger King drive through, I was confronted with a pretty substantial amount of traffic.  It took me probably 10 minutes to remember that it was Monday around 5pm!!

All in all, it was a good weekend.  I’m glad I got to spend some quality chillaxing time with my Main Squeeze, and I’m pretty excited to tell you all about him!!