Thursday, November 29, 2012

Not Worth It

I've pretty much been an avid shaver ever since I started in my early teens. And being 1/2 Italian means shaving on a regular basis. I'll also totally admit that I'm all for the natural look if that's your thing, I however (on myself) can't stand stubble let alone full growth. 

However (true confession time) there are times, when I just don't care and will go a week without shaving...but then the weekend comes around and I do it all again. I've tried Nair but had an allergic reaction to something in it and broke out in a rash so back to the razor I went. 

I finally decided to try waxing. I go in and have my brows done on occasion and figured why not try legs? But of course being the chicken...penny-pincher...coward...DIYer that I am I bought a home waxing kit. 

I polled folks on facebook to see what percentage shaved vs. professional wax vs home wax vs "other" and almost everyone said "shave" ... shoot! Means I'm going at this alone. 

The one about shaving once a month was my mother. Haha

(*Warning - pictures of hairy legs coming)

So the first thing with waxing is your hair has to be between 1/4 and 1/2 an inch get my hair that long meant not shaving for over a week. Luckily it's cold and wet and definitely not shorts/skirts weather in Portland right now. 

I was amazed at how little it hurt. I mean it was super quick and more just a pain in the butt than anything else. Twisting my legs around to get the back....propping my leg up on the counter to get it all....and I still missed some.

Would I wax again? Probably. Depending on how long this lasts. But I'll probably go to a professional...I'd much rather pay to just lay there.

At least for now my legs are silky smooth and ready for my party dress!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Shave, Wax or Other

I have a poll happening over on Ms. Morgan's Reality Check Facebook page (here) on whether you shave, wax or other method for hair removal. 

If you have a Facebook page jump on over and enter your vote. 

Friday, November 23, 2012

Pies. Pies. Pies.

Part of my favorite part of Thanksgiving is making pies. I have some golden oldies I make every year (pumpkin), a few I have my own twist too (sweet potato with a walnut streusel top) and then I'm always open to trying out new recipes on the family (spiced apple/pear pie with a hard apple cider caramel sauce). 

All three went over well this year so I thought I'd share them  with you. 

Classic Pumpkin:

3/4 C sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
2 lg eggs
15 oz canned pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie mix but purred pumpkin)
12 oz evaporated milk
1 9-in unbaked pie shell

Mix sugar and spices. Add eggs. Stir in pumpkin and evaporated milk. Pour into unbaked pie shell. Bake in preheated oven (425) for 15 minutes - reduce temperature to 350 for remaining 40 minutes. Serve hot or chilled. 

Sweet Potato Pie with Walnut/Pecan Streusel:

Pie filling:
15 oz canned cut yams (NOT candied yams)
2 eggs
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
3 Tbsp brown sugar

Streusel top:
2 Tbsp cold butter cut
2 Tbsp flour
4 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
2/3 C chopped walnuts
2/3 C chopped pecans
1 graham cracker pie crust

Pie: Heat canned yams, sugar and spices into saucepan for 3-5 minutes to infuse the spices flavor. In large bowl mix eggs and evaporated milk. Temper yams into egg mixture. Mix well - strain if lumpy. Pour into pie crust. Bake in preheated over (375) for 15 minutes - then add streusel.

Streusel: Mix flour, sugar and cinnamon. Cut butter into flour mixture until lumpy (do not over work). Add in nuts. Place mixture lightly onto semi-cooked pie. Bake pie for another 30-40 minutes. 

Spiced Apple & Pear Pie:

2 pie crusts (of your favorite recipe or premade)

3 pounds baking apples (about 6 apples)
1 1/2 pounds baking pears (about 3 pears)
2/3 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling on the pie
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
Generous pinch freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 cup unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large egg, beaten

Peel, core and then slice both the apple and pear into 1/2-inch slices. Squeeze a little lemon juice over the fruit, then toss fruit with the sugar, cinnamon, ginger, salt and nutmeg.

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the fruit and cook about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, and cook, uncovered, until the fruit softens and the juices evaporate some, about 10 minutes. Evenly mix the flour into the fruit; then cook about a minute more to thicken the juices slightly. Stir in the vanilla and lemon zest; and remove from the heat. (The filling should resemble a tight compote.) Cool completely.

Poor into pie shell and top with second crust. Crimp and decorate as you wish. Paint top with beaten egg and sprinkle with sugar. Bake pie in preheated oven (375) for approx 50 minutes (or until both top and bottom crusts are golden brown). 

 Serve with cider sauce* 

 *2 cups of hard apple cider, 2tsp cinnamon, 1/4 C brown sugar and 2 tsps of corn starch cooked on stove top until reduces by 1/2.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

3 Fav Blogs (15 Day Challenge)

Day 13 of 15: Getting to Know the Blogger - "3 blogs you visit and read enthusiastically"

Oh gosh... so first I am an awful blog follower. I get so wrapped up in life I have a hard time writing let alone reading blogs. :( 

However when I do get a chance there are four (I know it said "3" but I'm a rule breaker) that I just can't get enough of:

Because I'm such a fan of Pinterest and have a few DIY blunders of my own there is no doubt I'm in love with Pintrosity. And not just because it's hilarious to see all the mistakes and disasters others have made with Pinterest, but they take it the next step and try to help figure out what went wrong - not just laugh at another's misfortune.

And then there is one I found through a a Blog Hop (I think) and that's Chocolate, Chocolate and More (can you guess what I love about this site?). I don't think I've made anything yet that Joan has blogged but I share her links on Facebook all the time. They just looks so amazing and yummy I can't help but drool. 

The next two are very funny ladies who, when I can't get to their sites on a regular basis, I (will) spend HOURS catching up and reading their posts - even ones I've read before. 

The first is Holly over at Not a Perfect Mom's Blog. She's the mom of four adorable children and blogs about the chaos joys of being a mom; like the time she woke up to her son sniffing her armpit, or her daughter peeing in a water bottle..... As well as her life being a woman and wife. Did you know the day after Valentine's Day is National* Steak and Blowjob day for any husbands/boyfriends that do a good job the day before? (*not really but it should be) or her adventures in waxing Veronica (her vagina). You have to go check her out. 

The last is a nationally recognized blogger turned author (and yes, her book is on my Christmas wishlist) - The Bloggess! I don't even know where to begin with this blog or this woman. She's inspirational and empowering with the way she is open with her own battle of depression. She's hilarious in the conversations she let's you be a fly on the wall for (the last one included God in a three-way). She's brilliant with her comebacks and her love of giant roosters and taxidermy woodland creature (you just have to go read her to understand).

There you are. My favs.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Top 5 Posts (15 Day Challenge)

Day 12 of 15: Getting to Know the Blogger - "Your Top 5 posts and why you think they were successful."

Top 5 Most visited posts:

1. Fashion Friday: Fashion's Invisible Women
2. Plus Size? Or Normal Size?
3. Valentine's Day
4. Noise Pollution
5. Getting to Know You

As for why these were the most visited - probably because of labels really... you just never really know what is going to be a hot ticket post sometimes. So I thought I'd balance this out with:

Top 5 Most commented on posts:

1. I Love My Online Friends GFC Hop
2. Gearhart, OR
3. Bridezilla: The Next Generation
4. Funny Face (Amusing August Blog Hop)
5. Versatile Blogger Award Pt2

Looking at these most include pictures and highlighting other bloggers - which is something I know I look for in other blogs. :)

Monday, November 19, 2012

Blog Tools (15 Day Challenge)

Day 11 of 15: Getting to Know the Blogger - "What are a couple of your favorite blog tools that you use?"

So to be frank I had/have no idea what "blog tools" are. My first thought was the fact I post links to Ms. Morgan's Reality Check Facebook page which then links to my twitter account. But when I Googled the term things I've never heard of were listed.

So today's blog post is going to be these blog cartoons I found instead. :) Haha.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Why Blogging (15 Day Challenge)

Day 10 of 15: Getting to Know the Blogger - 

"Why did you start blogging and what is your blog about?"

I first started blogging back in 2010; just after my 27th birthday. I had a few other friends who blogged and was looking for a creative outlet for everything that was happening in my life. 

I never have really felt like I "fit in" with others my age and as my 20s were quickly whizzing by I started wondering if I was an "average" 20something. Then a few months after that I started a food blog with recipes, food articles, restaurant reviews etc. (Epicurean Enthusiast).

As I approached my 30s sooner and sooner "Surviving 20Something" was redesigned, edited and morphed through a few phases before Ms. Morgan's Reality Check was born. 

Ms. Morgan's Reality Check is just my life as a (soon-to-be) 30something year old woman, finding love long distance, being a cog in the Higher Education world, and loving fashion and food at the same time. 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Hobbies (15 Day Challenge)

Day 9 of 15: Get to Know the Blogger - "What are your hobbies?"

Can you guess based off these photos?

What about these?

Or these?

I'm pretty sure I've talked about this hobby a few times:

Finally, my favorite one:

Any guesses?

Answers: photographing old cemeteries, finding new places to eat/being a foodie, baking, painting, farmers markets and playing tourist in my own town. 

Friday, November 16, 2012

My Family (15 Day Blogger)

Day 8 of 15: Get to Know the Blogger - "Tell us a bit about your family"

Holy smokes where do I begin? Okay how about some numbers first?

1 single mom.
2 sisters but only one biological.
2 uncles.
4 aunts.
4 grandparents + 1 great grandparent (all gone).
2 nephews + 2 nieces (non given birth by my sisters).
19 cousins (not including their spouses).
30 cousins if you count spouses (because some have been in the family longer than I have).
18 2nd cousins + 3 3rd cousins.

Me, Baby Sister and Mom
My mother's side of the family is German, English, Welsh, Scottish, Polish and a few other little things here and there.

The adults are my great-grandparents Elmer and Marie and the children are my mother and my uncle Ron.
This is also the 100% German great-grandmother who lived to be 98 years old and has been quoted to say,
"My mouth is so dry I couldn't spit if my pussy was on fire!"
My father's side of the family is Italian. All four of my great-grandparents came to America on the same boat from the same small mid-eastern Italian village. I'm third generation born but don't speak/understand Italian sadly.

Great-great grandparents
Great-grandparents. This grandmother lived with my
father's family as they was growing up.
My grandfather (boy on right of center) and his family.
My grandparents (Chic & Angie) are on the far right.
This is a picture of them and their best friends on my grandparent's
wedding day.
Now just for some fun pictures to show off some of my wacky loveable family members. 

Mom and sisters at sister's wedding
I'm on the left. Niece on the right.
Do you see a family similarity?
Grandfather Jack, Grandmother Kathy, Uncle Ron
My mom and her little sister Diane.
Sister Celene and her boyfriend Nick
Cousin Raven eating the head of a lobster.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Life (15 Day Blogger)

Day 7 of 15: Get to Know the Blogger - "Has your life gone the way you expected it?"

This is kind of a hard post for me to write on. I guess because I never "expected" my life to turn out one way or another. I have always believed that no matter if an event is "unhappy" or even "negative", they have still shaped who I am as a person. And while sometimes the idea of "everything happens for a reason" can be used too often and not always appropriately (I do not believe that unexpected deaths, harming others, etc was "planned" or "meant to be") I do think that it has a domino effect to how our lives move past that point.

Sure there are thing that I thought I'd have or be at this point in my life - Masters Degree, marriage/children, etc - but I just remind myself that these things come in time and will happen when they happen. But I don't ever think of these things in the terms of my life being "not what I expected". I am happy, with friends and family who love me, and in the end that's what counts.It's the simple things that matter.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Where have I worked? (15-day Challenge)

Day 6 of the 15 Day "Get to Know the Blogger" Challenge: Where have you worked?

Don't take this the wrong way...but I'm not going to put my resume on my blog. 

One summer, in college, I worked at the Wherehouse Music Inc store that was in town. That was soooo bad. Haha. I spent most of my paychecks on CDs. 

When I first moved to Portland I worked for a temp agency stuffing envelopes and then eventually five months for the Portland Rose Festival as a seasonal (busy time) secretary. 

I've worked at mostly colleges - as an office assistant, community assistant, live-in residence coordinator, a housing director, and now an assistant director of student life.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Furries Furries Everywhere!!

This morning, as I'm on the bus heading into work, I noticed a young man (mid-20s perhaps) sitting a few seats away wearing a hat that looked something like this

And all I wanted to do was rip it off his head and throw it out the window.

Okay... yes, I realize this is an extreme reaction to a hat, but it's an emotion that has (how can I best describe it) gone from a twitch to a full on spasm whenever I see an grown person wearing this newest fashion faux-pa fad.

For those that don't know the unofficial Portland motto is "Keep Portland Weird". We're a town of Voodoo Doughnuts, Vacuum museum, annual Naked Bike Ride, and places like Rimsky-Korsakoffee House.

But apparently this isn't a "Portland" thing. I figured I'd find out before I continued this blog. So I posted to my Facebook, "Are furry animal hats on adults a Portland thing or is this phenomena in other cities?" I had a number of people respond, and the general answer seems to be that this is elsewhere.

From Northern California, "They are everywhere here in Norcal as well. The Panda is quite popular at Giant's games (one of their players has this nickname I believe)" ...

Southern California, "It's a very weird craze. My nephew is 21 and my niece us 18. My niece makes full on costumes to wears and goes out in public like that."

Friends in Chicago, DC and Seattle all mentioned seeing them in their areas as well, so I think it's safe to say it's not a "Portland thing"

Okay so I get kids and these hats. I mean children and furry woodland creatures have a lot in common. They're both cute and squishy, you have an urge to pick them up and squeeze them even know you are pretty sure they can rip your throat out with those sharp nails of theirs. 

And so when you combine these two bundles of cuteness of course you're going to get something most people "Awww" at and conjure images of Max and Where the Wild Things Are (the movie of which I blame partly for this fad). 

What I want to know, is with all these consumers obsessively purchasing bears, pandas and wolf hats they even know what furry fandom is and the population of them who associate these anthropomorphic animal characters to sexual pleasure? 

You heard me Furries = Sexual fantasies and fetishes. Now I'm all for sexual freedom and will fight to uphold your freedom for your sexual expression...but this doesn't mean that I have to understand your choices. As with all fetishism it's one that is often misunderstood, "otherized" and misconstrued in pop culture like CSI (for more on this with furries check out this youtube video here).

And I can't help but think of this world when I see someone on the bus or in the store wearing one of these hats (and don't get me started with the ones like above that you put your hands into!)

Back to my point though. I can't help but wonder if perhaps this is where this fad came from, or at least was inspired by. I can see someone walking down the street in Hollywood wearing their fur and some designer thinking "That's a great idea!"

Now we have a country with grown adults wearing children's costumes (and yes, I have seen grown adults trying to shove their big heads into child size hats) and misunderstanding/misrepresenting an alternative lifestyle/culture that they know nothing about

Whether these faux-fur faux-pas have anything to do with the "Furry" subculture or not I still can't wrap my head around it and ask why?!

Teenage BFFs (15 Day Challenge)

Day 5 of the 15 Day "Get to Know the Blogger" Challenge:
Who were your closes friends as a teenager?
15 Day blogger Challenge

The thing that makes this so great is that my closes friends as a teenager are still some of my BFFs.
This gets to be another picture post.

Chelsea and I have been friends since 7th grade
and still are BFFs

Mandy and I met in 4th grade and have been
inseparable ever since - no matter the distance. 

Luke and I met when I was a Junior and he was a Freshman in
high school. I'll always be his "Morgee"

Kat and I met on a school bus when I was in 8th grade and she was a freshman.
It was love at first sight, years later she's now my sister and still a close friend.

Alan (far left) and I met in 4th grade; he's always been like a brother to me.
Emily (between Chelsea and I) met in 10th grade and still get together when we need "girl time".