Where’s the Beef?

For the past year or so, I’ve been slow growing more serious about weight lifting.  About three month ago, I upped my protein goal to 130g per day (or more).  As you can imagine, given my height and size, fairly large percentage of my caloric intake is meat.  Lots and lots of meat.  Meat for breakfast. Meat for lunch. Meat for dinner.  Meat for snacks.  Yep. Meat snacks.  Sounds a bit off-putting, huh? Well, it’s not. It’s delicious.  One reason? Mingua (pronounced Ming-gee) Beef Jerky.  This shit is additive.

Original image by RealFoodTraveler.com

Everyone I know that has tried Mingua Jerky is also addicted. In fact, Chris’s company is classified as a wholesaler so they can order it directly from the company in bulk.  Yep. It’s that good.  Locally, I’ve found it as Mapco, but it’s worth buying it in mass from the company.

Grab a bag.  It’s low in fat & carbs, high in protein.  (And sodium. Drink some water.) It’s also high in nomnomnom.

Giving Thanks

My parents separated and divorced when I was very young.  When I was a kid, sometimes my friends would ask me for advice after their parents divorced, but I had no advice to give.  It was the only life I had ever known, which was probably to my advantage, because I didn’t know what I was missing out on.

Of course, now that I’m older and have my own family (and having gone through a divorce too), and I have a better concept on what a traditional nuclear family is like and the advantages of that.  However, I also have a better understanding of the benefits of  blended family.  For example, you get exposed to many more things and can become a more rounded person.  My mom taught me to garden. My dad introduced me to computers.  My stepmother showed me the importance of cooking and family meals.  Without these three people, I wouldn’t be the person I am today.

And neither would Chris.  Like most people in relationships, I’ve shared with him the things that I love and feel passionately about, and after learning about them, he often feels the same way.  One particular thing that we both love is Crystal Louisiana Hot Sauce.  Crystal is a brand of hot sauces manufactured in southern Louisiana, where my stepmother has roots.  She introduced me to it when I was young, and I introduced Chris when we started dating.  Recently, much to my horror, my local grocery store stopped carrying it.  Luckily, we were already planning to go to New Orleans about a week after we ran out.  Instead of checking other markets in my area, I decided I’d just stock up while down in the bayou.  It wasn’t until I went searching that I discovered that Crystal makes an Extra Hot Hot Sauce, which is most definitely not available in the Nashville Metro Area, and at $.75 a piece at the Slidell Walmart, we stocked up.

All this to say, thank you, Crystals for making the best hot sauce ever.  And thank you, Deborah, for bringing it into my life.

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Ahoy, Mateys! I Spot Me Some Tasty Treats!

Cecilia and I had a lot of fun with our friends in Florida.  It was a great trip, and one that changed our lives forever.  One of the many things we learned about was Pirate’s Booty.  Have you ever heard of it?


Kim, our awesome hostest, was shocked that I had never heard of it.  It’s puffed rice and corn.  It has a similar shape and texture as popcorn but without the hard kernals.  Delicious!  Cecilia loves it.  It’s the only food that she’s not willing to share with Lucy.  And with only 130 calories and 5 grams of fat in an ounce (which is about 2 cups worth), I love it too.   They only downside is that it can be hard to find.   Kroger, Whole Foods, and Costco carry the Aged White Cheddar flavor, but that’s the only flavor I’ve found locally.  Thankfully, Amazon carries the other flavors (included Bermuda Onion and Salt & Vinegar).  I can’t wait to get my hands on some!

Lemon Cucumbers

I know things have been a bit quiet around here.  It’s been pretty uneventful since we returned from Florida. Truthfully, I’ve just been too tired to blog, but there will be more on that later. (And, no, I’m not pregnant.)  In the meantime, I thought I’d leave you with a picture of one of the lemon cucumbers from my rather overgrown garden.  Lemon cucumbers are considered an heirloom vegetable.  They aren’t necessarily lemony, but they do have a lighter, crisper taste compared to other cukes.  Every day last week, I ate a lemon cucumber, garden tomato, hummus, and Parmesan pita sandwich for lunch. It was delicious!  If you ever get the opportunity to buy lemon cukes, whether at your local Farmers Market or Whole Foods, I highly recommend it.

Lemon Cucumber

Owls by Mouse

Lately, I’ve felt like Cecilia has a shortage of toys.  I always assumed that other people would be gifting them to her, and it wouldn’t be necessary for me to buy them.  However, when friends and family asked what to give her for the holidays, I always suggested practical items like clothes, and they surprisingly honored my requests.  The responsibility of buying toys has fallen into my lap.

I guess it’s probably a good thing.  Baby toys can be super noisy, flashy, and obnoxious.  There’s only so often you can here a plastic blue table squeal, “Splash little duck! Jump little frog!” without feeling an overwhelming urge to drop kick it at the dog.  (I don’t speak from experience or anything.  I’m just speculating.)  In order to find adorable, silent toys, I turned to Etsy.

Etsy is an online community that allows it’s members to buy and sell handmade goods.  They hope to provide creative individuals a means to support themselves and their crafts.  There is an abundant supply of handmade toys to choose from.  I’ve recently become obsessed with owls so I narrowed my search and found adorable plush owls from a seller named Owls by Mouse.

owl-pals

Based on the pictures, I knew her animals were darling, but Sweet! Fancy! Moses!, when the package arrived at my door, I thought the cuteness was going to kill me.  I was also impressed with how well they’re made.  They’ll definitely withstand the wear and tear of Cecilia, which is a good thing because she’s already becoming attached to Marcia (the pink owl).

So here’s the good part, Mouse has generously offered the green owl (whom I’ve affectionately named Owliver) to one of my readers.  It’s going to kill me to separate Marcia and Owliver, but it’s important to spread the cuteness across America.  (Maybe it can help cancel out some of that AIG mess.)  Of course, there are some rules and regulations.

1. Go to Owls by Mouse’s store and find out what other animal she creates.  Then come back here and post it in the comments.  Make sure to leave your email address.

2. You can have an additional entry for subscribing to sleepingKelly’s RSS feed.

Please only one entry per requirement per day.  The giveaway ends on April 5th at 7 pm CST.  All entry numbers will be placed in a hat, and I’ll have Cecilia draw a number.  Assuming she doesn’t eat the paper before I can read it, I’ll contact the winner (and assuming they provided an email address and didn’t cheat).

owlie

Boxed Wine

My entire pregnancy I craved beer, and though I only occasionally drank before I was pregnant, I really looked forward to enjoying a cold one once the baby had arrived.  However, I still had to wait several weeks because I’m breastfeeding and tiny newborns aren’t willing to wait on dinner just because momma’s got some booze in her boobies.   Once we were on a slightly regular feeding schedule and Cecilia could go more than two hours without eating, I got that beer and, man, was it ever tasty.  Over the last three months, I’ve enjoyed several beers, but I’ve avoided wine.  I just couldn’t justify opening a bottle so I could have only one glass and leaving the responsibility of finishing it off to Chris. That just didn’t seem like a load of fun.  Enter box wine.

When I think of boxed wine, I think of a scene from Grumpy Old Men when Walter Mattheau shows up Sophia Lauren’s house with a cheap box.  However, I’ve recently heard that the cardboard vino has come a long way.  I did a little investigating last week and found Black Box wines, and it was available at our local liquor store so I had Chris pick up a box on the way home from work.  The clerk at the store recommended the Pinot Grigio, which is good since I can only drink white wine. (I’m allergic to the tanins in red.)  It was only $22 and contains the equivilant wine of four standard bottles. The veredict? Pretty good! And considering it stays fresh for up to four weeks, it’s a down right bargain. I’m also happy that I’ll have wine readily available for cooking too.

Fleas and Bees

Sunday afternoon, the entire family, including Lucy, loaded up and went to Chris’s parents house for our weekly Sunday dinner.  Recently, one of their two dogs passed away and propelling the remain pup, Smokey, into a mournful depression. He’s been crying for days, and though he looks like a bloated pinto bean with legs, he has horrible hound bay that’s terrorized their neighborhood for a week and a half.  We thought some playtime with Lucy would cheer him up a bit, and I think it did the trick.  Lucy, on the other hand, was really put out with being outside for several hours with a dog that didn’t match her intellectually or athletically (again, he’s a pinto bean with legs). Despite her snobbish attitude, I think the exercise did both dogs some good.

The next day, I wasn’t as pleased about our playdate.  You see, the pinto bean is an outdoor dog, and our aristocrat is an indoor dog.  Outdoor dogs often have fleas.  Though Lucy has been treated with flea medicine, that medicine only kills the fleas that bite her.  It does not kill the fleas that jump on her fur and then flee from it in our house.  (Okay, forgive me for the pun.)  Monday morning, as I was sitting in the nursery pumping down my super engorged boob, I saw a flea jump on my leg. Then off. Then back on.  Of course, I was trying to catch it with my non-dominant, slightly retarded left hand since my right hand was holding the pump horn.  After several frantic tries, I managed to capture it and stab it with my fingernail.  That’s quite a mental image, huh?

Chris promptly called an exterminator while Cecilia and I sought refuge at his parents house (avoiding the outside and the pinto bean).  Thankfully they came quickly and sprayed the house.  Though we won’t be flea-free for a week or so, the spray does render them sterile, which is good considering that one female flea can lay up to 800 eggs. (Don’t wikipedia these things if you ever have bug problem.  It just makes the panic and repulsion that much worse.)

On Tuesday, another flea jumped on me.  There was some comfort in knowing that we prevented the little punk from passing on his lineage, but it’s still creepy to find a bug on your body.  For the rest of the day, I had phantom bugs crawling on me.  (You know the feeling.  It’s why your head always itches after someone mentions headlice.  Go ahead, try to ignore the tickle on you feel on your scalp right now.)  For those reasons, I am very thankful for Burt’s Bees Peppermint Shower Soap.  It has a nice gritty texture that exfoliates all the phantom fleas. Also, it has a clean minty smell that makes you forget about the smell of bug spray, even if that moment is only short lived.



For the next few weeks, we have to vacuum every nook of our house twice a day.  I love my Dyson vacuuming cleaner, but I don’t love it that much. It’s going to be a workout, but it’s still much better than the idea of flea larvae living in my carpet.  Okay, time to go take a shower. My head is itching again.