7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 134)
— 1 —
Well, I’ll just come out and say it: I’m overwhelmed! This is definitely one of the more challenging transitions we’ve had in terms of family size. Well, I guess they were all challenging in different ways. With baby #1 we were shocked by the idea of having a little human who depended on us for everything. With baby #2 we had to adjust to the concept of having more than one of those little humans (especially since my husband and I are both only children). Baby #3 was the first time we were outnumbered by our kids, so that took some getting used to. Baby #4 was a freebie (I mean, seriously: the child just slept and smiled for her first year of life). And now, with baby #5, we’re getting used to living in an environment that’s sort of like a cross between a daycare and an asylum for the violently insane.
I know it’ll get easier once the the baby is on a schedule and doesn’t need to eat all the time, but right now I am definitely struggling to keep my head above water.
— 2 —
I need to tell you about this salad I’ve been making. “Oh, no! Salad talk!” you say, “I’m going to skip this stupid and boring take!” Do so at your own peril, because this is no ordinary salad. Nay, it is one of the best foods I’ve ever had. Here’s the super simple recipe:
Throw a bag of mixed greens in a big bowl. Add feta cheese, mushrooms, avocado, cucumber, tomato, chopped black olives, and any other veggies you like (except onions, because raw onions are horrible, and putting them in salads is just wrong). Top it with oil and vinegar dressing, which you make by just mixing olive oil and balsamic vinegar in a 3:1 ratio.
That’s it! It is so good, I can’t even describe it. Now, here’s the thing: I’ve heard of salad recipes like this before, and assumed that this was some second-class food that people on diets ate because they had no other options. When people said, “This is great!”, I thought they meant, “This is great…compared to the scrambled fat-free egg substitutes I had for breakfast!” Not only did all the raw veggies not sound super appetizing, but, as a person who considers Ranch dressing the fifth food group, oil and vinegar sounded like some kind of punishment. But I was totally wrong. This is so delicious, I could eat it for every meal. Definitely try it.
— 3 —
Well, this is exciting news: A company claims that they have a fertility monitor that has the same success rate as a round of IVF in terms of helping couples achieve pregnancy. It’s called the DuoFertility monitor. (And presumably if it’s that good at helping people have children, it would also be good for spacing them as well.) But here’s the catch: You can’t buy it in the U.S. because the FDA is still reviewing it. Seriously, FDA? Why are you trying to mess with us? I mean, what is there to review? Can someone hurt themselves from knowing their basal body temperature?
I know, I know: We don’t need this monitor, since you could get the same results by tracking your own symptoms. But it sure does make it easy! Someone please let me know as soon as this is out in the U.S.
— 4 —
I keep laughing about this old public service announcement I stumbled across on Youtube:
Maybe it’s because I live in Austin, where pets are valued as much (okay, more) than people, but the “not everyone likes your bad dog” message makes me snicker every time I think of it. It cracks me up to imagine the reaction if something like that were to run around here.
— 5 —
You know what’s getting old? This:
This is what our forecast has looked like all summer. Seriously. Every week. On the plus side, I’ve been able to use more of my wardrobe. When it’s just “really hot” I try to wear light capri pants, shorts, and t-shirts with breathable material. But when it gets to the point of being STUPID HOT, it doesn’t matter anymore. When it is 105 degrees outside without a single cloud in the sky, my misery level is already so astronomically high that the increase in suck from wearing jeans and a heavier shirt instead of something lighter is negligible. Any trips outside are basically survival exercises anyway, where I’m like a Navy SEAL commander shouting “GO! GO! GO!” to the kids as we hunker down and dash from one shaded area to the next, so it’s not like I spend a lot of time just sitting around outdoors. Heck, I spend so much time indoors with the air conditioner blasting right now that I might as well get out my winter wardrobe.
— 6 —
I did something awesome to streamline our dinner planning process recently: Put it all in Evernote! (You knew I was going to say that, didn’t you?) Anyway, here’s what I did:
- Created two notebooks, one called Recipes to Try, another called Recipes We Love.
- Got out my recipe folder and my three favorite cookbooks, and flipped through them.
- When I came across a recipe I knew we liked, I added a note with the name of the recipe to the Recipes We Love folder. (I didn’t take the time to type out the whole recipe, but rather made a quick note like 12 Months of Monastery Soups, p. 98.)
- I did the same thing for recipes we wanted to try, putting them in the Recipes to Try folder.
When I sit down to plan meals each week, I used to have to gather all my books and papers if I wanted to look for ideas of what to make — but now it’s all in one place! I just open up Evernote, and with a quick scan I can see all the options. I also use tags like breakfast, lunch, dinner, sides, crock pot, easy, etc. so that I can filter by what I’m looking for. It’s made meal planning much quicker, and has helped me remember many recipes that would otherwise be forgotten.
— 7 —
If you have emailed me, tweeted me, commented on a Pinterest pin, or otherwise tried to contact me recently, I apologize that I probably haven’t gotten back to you. I’m hoping to dig myself out of this hole and get back on top of stuff soon, but it may be a few more weeks. In the meantime, I’m sorry if I seem rude or unresponsive! I’m just a little overwhelmed.
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