Life (and Lack Thereof) of a Modern Housemommy

One women's journey of self-discovery AFTER love, marriage and the baby carriage…

Yum-o! September 13, 2010

Filed under: Food — housemommy @ 10:08 pm

For some reason, fall always makes me think of food.  Maybe it’s a little soon to be thinking about Thanksgiving, but where I’m from in western Pennsylvania, fall=the harvest season and harvest=soups, pies, dumplings and (if you’re like me and don’t have central air conditioning) finally being able to make use of the oven for the first time since early spring.

 

So I’m including a few of my very favorite “fall-ish” recipes.  A creamy, flavorful potato soup, spicy barbecue chicken drummettes (done in a crockpot…super easy!), a pretty cocktail (perfect for those family get-togethers that always seem to commence around the end of the year) and some very yum-o-worthy mini cheesecakes.

Bon Appetit!

Homemade Potato Soup

-8 c. diced potatoes

-1 c. celery

-1 c. onion

-salt and pepper to taste

-2 tbsp parsley (fresh is best, but dried works too)

-4 chicken bouillon cubes

-1 lb velveeta cheese (cut into smaller portions)

-4 tbsp. flour

-3 c. milk

Put diced potatoes, celery, onion, parsley and bouillon cubes in a large pot and add enough water to cover.  Cook until tender.  Stir in 4 tbsp flour and 3 c. milk.  Bring to a boil and add 1 lb. velveeta cheese.  Cook until cheese has been melted.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Garnish with extra parsley if desired and serve!

Spicy barbeque Drummettes

-2 lbs. chicken drummettes

-1 tsp. salt

-1 tsp. pepper

-Frank’s Red Hot Sauce to taste

-2 c. barbecue sauce

-1 c. honey

-2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

Add all ingredients to crockpot (chicken must be defrosted if frozen), stir until well mixed.  Cook on high for approximately 3 hours.  I told you it was easy!

Miss Mary Cocktail

-1 sugar cube

-1 shot brandy

-1 shot chilled cranberry juice (or to taste)

-chilled champagne

Place sugar cube inside a champagne glass.  Add brandy and allow cube to become saturated.  Add cranberry juice.  Just before serving, top up with champagne.

Mini Cheesecakes

-1 package Nilla wafers

-2 packages cream cheese

-3/4 c. sugar

-2 eggs

-1 tsp. vanilla extract

-1 (21 oz.) can cherry filling (or fruit topping of your choosing…blueberry is also very yummy!)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line cupcake tin (I like using the full size cupcake tin rather than the mini tassie pan, but that’s just me) with paper liners.  Crush the vanilla wafers and fill the bottoms of each paper liner with the crushed wafer (approximately 1 tbsp. should do it).  In a separate bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, eggs and vanilla until light and fluffy.  Fill each paper liner with the mixture, almost to the top.  Bake for 15 minutes.  Top with cherry pie filling.  Chill in the refrigerator and serve!

 

Fall Favorites September 9, 2010

Filed under: Random — housemommy @ 3:08 pm

 

Fall is here!!  Ok, I know it’s not official, but Labor Day has come and gone and that’s my unofficial mark of the end of summer.  Here’s a list of a few of the things that make me love Fall 2010:

-Swiss Miss Hot Chocolate

-These adorable sock monkey hats for children

-Harvest-y foods, like this yummy Apple Crumble Recipe

-Plaid western shirts are finally back in style (woohoo!)

-Preparing for Halloween (Check out these adorable pet costumes from Target!)

Happy Fall everyone!!

 

List Item #17 August 26, 2010

Filed under: Discovery,Family — housemommy @ 1:44 am

I was recently inspired by my cousin (and dear friend), Nicole, to write a “30 before 30” list–a list of 30 things I wanted to do/see/accomplish before I turned 30 years of age  (to be honest, she was writing a 40 before 40 list, but again, I’m a bit of an underachiever).  My list includes all kinds of things:  Parasailing, rock climbing, travelling around the world…I thought it would be years before I accomplished any of them (I am, after all, notorious for leaving projects unfinished), so imagine my surprise when I got home from vacation this morning and realized I could scratch off not one list item, but TWO!

Let me backtrack: in a very uncharacteristic act of spontaneity, my husband and I decided to pack up the kids and drive to Virginia Beach for a few days (List Item #12)  Go on a road trip).  It was glorious!  The sand, the surf…the ability to walk around in a bikini…

List item #17)  Wear a bikini in public

Now, wearing a bikini may not be such a big deal for most young women in their 20’s, but I have given birth to two children.  Don’t get me wrong–I revel in my body’s ability to produce and sustain life.  I’m a mother, a goddess!  On the other hand, my poor 20-something body has totally trashed by the pregnancies and births of my children.  And by trashed I mean stretch marks, an “accordion” belly, and other horrors that shall not be mentioned here.

When we walked down to the beach I had my swimming suit on, but it was cleverly hidden underneath shorts and a tank top.  I had no intention of removing my clothes, but it’s hot in Virginia in the middle of August!  It’s hot and I have every right to wear whatever I feel like wearing!  I am a mother and a goddess, goddamnit…so off they went. 

And I haven’t felt so liberated in years.

 

Throwing in the Towel August 17, 2010

Filed under: Discovery,Random — housemommy @ 10:09 pm

I never finish anything.

In fact, there’s a half-folded laundry basket of towels sitting on the coffee table in my living room at this very moment.  I quite literally walked away from them so that I could sit down and write this post.  Of course, I hate doing laundry so one might think that is why I found them so easy to walk away from, but I assure you it is not.  In fact, what really drove me to throw in the towel (ha ha) was the thought of this poor forgotten blog just sitting out here in cyberspace completely untouched since June.  JUNE, I tell you!  

The more I thought of the one lonesome post I’ve made to this blog, the more I realized I’ve not only made a pathetic attempt at writing, but I’ve made a pathetic attempt at nearly everything I’ve ever set out to do.

For example, my husband thinks it’s quite funny to ask me how my “oriental living room” is coming.  You see, about six months ago I decided I was going to redo our living room with an Asian theme.  I bought string lights, new curtains, gold and red paint…I was even going to make a mural out of ceramic tile in the form of the Chinese character for “family”.  Guess what?  It never happened.  The string lights sit, dust-covered, in the corner of my office.  The ceramic-tile-character-mural, despite my purchasing all of the materials for it, was never made.

Why? 

It’s a question I’ve asked myself often.  Why do I allow myself to remain the eternal college sophomore?  Why do I have half a dozen half-read books sitting on my shelves?  Why haven’t I contributed to this blog since June?  Why do I find it acceptable to create excuse after excuse for my behavior?

I don’t have an answer.  My husband thinks it’s because I am too easily distracted (I think he might be implying that I’m a bit of a ditz, but he’s too kind to say it), but I think it’s because I’m trying to find myself.  I’m trying to understand who I am as an individual.  Maybe I thought I would like an Asian-themed living room, but I got it home and decided that, despite my undying love for General Tso’s chicken and bamboo, Asian-themed isn’t really my style.

Is this what I want though?  A life full of unfinished projects?

So I’m setting a goal for myself:  I will write at least one post every week for the next six months.  I can do this.  I must do this!  I will not allow my ditziness, my discontent, my whatever, to keep me from accomplishing anything in my life.  I may never finish my degree, but goddamnit I should be able to keep a weekly blog!

A weekly blog…I can do that.  All it takes is baby steps, right?  

Perhaps I should start with the load of towels waiting for me in my Americana living room.

 

Who are you and what do you want? June 18, 2010

Filed under: Discovery — housemommy @ 8:05 pm

For years my husband has been telling me I should write a book, but I’m a bit of an underachiever so I suppose a blog will have to suffice for now.

Who am I? 

I’m a mother. I have two beautiful children–a 17 month-old son and a two month old daughter.  I quit my job as a nanny to stay home with them everyday and while I love watching them learn and grow into little individuals, the bordem of being alone with them on a regular basis is enough to make me want to hitch a ride to Mexico and never come back.

I’m a wife.  I married my high school sweetheart, Steve, on April 1, 2009 at a little courthouse just outside the town we both grew up in.  Firstly, the answer is yes–I was wholly aware at the time that our wedding date would be on  April Fools Day.  I chose that day anyway because I thought it was strangely appropraite for our relationship.  Laughter, I’ve decided, is the key to a successful marriage (but more about my philosophies on relationships later).  Secondly, if you’re clever enough to do the math you’ll realize that if my wedding was in April, I’ve been married for 15 months.  15 month old wedding…17 month old toddler…you see where I’m going with this, yes?  I know pregnancies out of wedlock are so commonplace these days it really shouldn’t matter (thank you Brangelina), but I can’t help myself–I still think it’s funny.  Of course, I grew up attending a very conservative Baptist church, so maybe it’s amusing because this is my one truly legitimate act of rebellion, but I’m getting off track…Where was I?

Oh, yes.  I’m a student.  I began my college career attending Slippery Rock University for Elementary Education, but dropped out after I had my son.  Never one to accept cliches for my life (baby out of wedlock, college dropout, barefoot and pregnant…ugh!), I decided it was of vital importance that I finish my education, even after I realized how much I hated my major.  Allow me to reiterate:  I. Do. Not. Want. To. Teach. Elementary. School.  I have no interest at all whatsoever in spending all day surrounded by young children.  I need something more intellectually stimulating than “In fourteen hundred and nintey-two Columbus sailed the ocean blue!”.  This distaste for my major didn’t keep me from continuing to pursue a degree in Education when I transferred to the University of Phoenix, however.  Why you ask?  Well, mostly because I was half finished with my degree already and I was too lazy to start from scratch again.  What a waste of time and money!  I just want to finish my degree.  To be able to say, “Why yes, I graduated from college even after getting married and having children.”  Graduating is something I need for myself.  Also, when my children are older I don’t want them to look at me and think I’m a big dummy and a failure.  So here I am…five years into it and still plodding along.

The truth is, I lack direction.  I don’t know what my life has in store for me.  I named this blog the Life (and Lack Thereof) of a Modern Housemommy, because I’m really on a mission to find purpose.  I want to wake up and feel excited about my day.  I want to feel like I’m making a difference.  I want passion! 

I also want readers, so I suppose I’ll stop there for now.

So that’s me.  At least, that’s a little bit of me.  I suppose there’s only so much Crista a person can take in one blog entry.  If you’ve kept reading this far, by the way, thanks!  I don’t know if what I’m writing will be of interest to anyone else, but this is mostly an exercise for myself (so keep it to yourself, haters!).  If you decide to take the journey with me, that’s great too.  I hope we all find what we’re looking for…and maybe learn a thing or two in the process.

Welcome aboard!

Crista