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NaBloPoMo Day 27: Black Friday.

NaBloPoMo Day 27: Black Friday.

LOOK YOU GUYS I AM POSTING THIS ON TIME.

So today was actually the most laid back and wonderful day ever. Because we visit family in Maryland for Thanksgiving, we decided to make another turkey today so we could have leftovers. I made a couple side dishes like stuffing and potatoes. And then I roasted like 8 heads of garlic. Some of our friends came over, and they are the kinds of close friends that they were not worried about bad breath, they were like YES PLEASE PASS THE ROASTED GARLIC. Now don’t get me wrong, we did have a very nice Thanksgiving. But it was also nice to gorge ourselves with bad breath and without shame.

It was laid back, yoga pance were plentiful as was wine, and it was lovely. Then after they left, my husband decided to play his dance mix and Baby Beez decided it was time to dance to TURN DOWN FOR WHAT. And all was good in the world.

Wishing you all the best for you and yours.

TURN DOWN FOR WHAT?

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NaBloPoMo Day 26: Black Friday

Does JC Penney still make its massive holiday catalog? As a kid, I looked forward to that behemoth ALL YEAR LONG and then it would finally come in the mail, and I would page through the toy section, over and over again, circling things I wanted.  We don’t get that legendary tome in the mail now, but various toy and book catalogs have been trickling in. I’ve handed them over to Baby Beez along with a pen, and she’s enjoyed the process of “window shopping” through those pages just as much as I have.  It’s adorable to watch her curled up on the floor, chattering away to herself as she makes her selections.  She told me that the one thing she wants the most this year is a Singing Elsa doll.  I have a feeling she’ll end up getting it (and I’ll end up wearing headphones around the house even more, because my mind is going to Let it Go if I have to hear that song again).

I didn’t grow up participating in the Black Friday shopping frenzy. Even though it wasn’t nearly as insane in my childhood as it is now, my family preferred to stay as far away as possible from crowded, crazy stores. A few years back I went to the mall at the midnight kickoff and it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.  I think the most crazy is concentrated at electronics stores and Wal-Mart. I had not intention of going to either of those places.  There were a lot of people at that mall shopping and a lot of good deals, but no one was trampled.

This year I decided to try bringing Baby Beez. We visited family in Maryland for Thanksgiving. We drove there and back in the same day (ouch) and got home around 11.   I brought up the late night shopping thing to Baby Beez earlier in the week to see what she’d think. She did have some birthday money and gift cards left over, so I decided she could do some shopping for herself, too.  Mr. Beez and I had talked with her a few times this week about how there are kids who don’t have toys, so we are getting toys for them so that they can have a happy holiday season.  I told her that I needed her help in picking out those toys, but she would also get to spend some money she had from her birthday, and get some toys for herself.

As I expected, she slept through almost the entire drive back from Maryland. She woke up when we got home and said she still wanted to go (I wasn’t going to torture her–and everyone else who was out shopping– by dragging her out if she was exhausted and unhappy). I did let her go shopping in her pajamas. Because why not?

We went to Toys R Us and Target.  Since both stores actually opened at 5, they were fairly busy but certainly not crowded.  This, however, also meant that we missed out on some of the best deals, because those products had sold out hours before. It was fine though, we still got lots of great deals and lots of toys for the kids.

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She’d been asking for one of these stuffed animal purses every time we went to Target, so she finally got one tonight. Baby Beez was impressively well behaved and enjoyed picking out the toys. We also managed to cross off a number of Baby Beez’ friends off the “to buy presents for” list tonight.  She liked talking about what kinds of things other people like and picking out toys for them.

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Once we got to the checkout she was pretty punchy and it was clear that it was time to go home. She didn’t actually fall asleep in the car on the way home. I asked her if she likes Christmas music (in case you are wondering, NO I DO NOT LIKE CHRISTMAS MUSIC. Except for “All I Want for Christmas is You” because there is no one, not even me, who can hate that song). She replied that No, she only likes Nightmare Before Christmas music. So I put on the soundtrack, and we belted out “THIS IS HALLOWEEN HALLOWEEN HALLOWEEN!” on the drive back home.

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NaBloPoMo Day 25: Thanksgiving

NaBloPoMo Day 25: Thanksgiving

This year, I am thankful:

  • For my family, and our love for one another.
  • For friends who are always there for me and my family, whether it’s to just grab a beer and relax, to take our kids out to do fun things, to explore the city together, or even sit around the table and share a meal.
  • For our home, our food, the heat and water and all the other comforts in our house. These little things bring comfort and security to everyday life, and are so often looked over.  We are lucky to have them.
  • That I have a job that I enjoy, that keeps me constantly learning new things and challenging myself, and which provides for my family.
  • That we are secure enough in the necessities of life that we can help others out. I’ve been doing 412 Food Rescue deliveries when I can.  This week I transported a donation of milk, and it made me so sad that there are families in Pittsburgh who aren’t able to afford milk on their own. I was thankful to be able to be a part of helping them out.

412FoodRescue

  • For Black Friday sales— I’ve never been one for the mayhem of Black Friday shopping, but the last few years I’ve gone out and taken advantage of the doorbuster sales to get toys for the Allegheny County Bar Association Young Lawyer’s Division holiday parties for kids in local shelters. The better the deals, the more toys I can get for more kids, and I’ve had a lot of fun with it.  This year, I’m taking Baby Beez with me to do the shopping, and I’m looking forward to teaching her about helping others.
  • To be a in a community where people care about each other and do want to help out.  I’ve seen a lot of posts on Facebook lately asking for people to help whether it’s donations for a holiday meal, or to provide clothes or toys for kids who don’t have anything. It breaks my heart seeing that those needs are there, but it is wonderful to see how Pittsburghers step it up.
  • For everyone who reads this blog.  It’s a fun and silly thing, but I have fun with it. As I’ve worked on it through the years, it has been fun to see it grow, and I love it every time someone tells me they read it and like it.  Thank you to everyone who is reading.

Wishing you all a wonderful Thanksgiving!


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NaBloPoMo Day 24: Not Much to Say but Sweatshirt Dresses.

It’s 9:42 and lately I’ve been wanting to go to bed around 8pm. I don’t have anything to say, but I don’t want to fall behind on NaBloPoMo either. So I’ll leave you with this: Today Baby Beez asked me when it’s going to be summer.

I had to give her the honest, but tragic answer.

I hate winter.

But I’m not so sad that it will soon be time FOR ALL THE SWEATERS NONSTOP.

So in lieu of actual content, I am going to share with you various sweatshirt dresses that I love. Click on the pictures to go to the websites where you can buy them.

Angie Roots Cabin Hoodie


traverse city sweater dress


Tobi Renegade Sweatshirt Dress


Mesh insert sweatshirt dress


All sweatshirts. All day long.

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NaBloPoMo Day 23: Seasonal Specials with Potential but Room to Grow @TheYardPGH @mad_mex

NaBloPoMo Day 23: Seasonal Specials with Potential but Room to Grow @TheYardPGH @mad_mex

Autumn is my favorite season for all the reasons, but especially because of the food. I’m a sucker for pumpkin and cinnamon and apple everything. Roasted veggies appear on all the menus, and various establishments roll out their take on “gluttonous Thanksgiving meal.”  Mad Mex’s Gobblerito is probably the most beloved Autumn food in Pittsburgh.  I do like it, but there are enough things about it I would like to change to make it fit my specific tastes, that I am not obsessed with it the way most of the rest of the city is.

In general I don’t write negative reviews of places. There is enough negativity in the world that I don’t feel the need to pile it on any further. In this case, however, I do generally like both of these restaurants and often go and am very happy with other things I’ve ordered. The dishes I’ve had at each have the foundation of a really, really good dish.  As is, the dishes are just okay. But after a few tweaks, I think they could be delicious.

Last week my friend, Christine, took me to The Yard for my birthday, because I’ve been eager to try their “Turk’d Up” sandwich. The Yard serves local brews and all kinds of gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches. The Turk’d Up is their version of a Thanksgiving Dinner grilled cheese. It’s got turkey, corn, stuffing, potatoes and gravy, and is served with a side of cranberry cobbler.

The Yard Turk'd Up

My chief issue with most Thanksgiving themed dishes is that they involve slices of turkey rather than chunks of turkey, carved off the bird. It probably is unwieldy for a restaurant to have lots of for-real Thanksgiving turkey for its dishes, but slices of turkey just do not add up.  The bread was also much too thick and inadequately buttered on the outside for this kind of dish. Thin bread, generously buttered and grilled on the outside would make this sandwich delicious.  Also, I am one of those disgusting people who loves to turn my Thanksgiving inner into a goopy mess, so I would love it if cranberry sauce were served in the sandwich (instead of or in addition to the cobbler on the side), and if the whole thing were soaked with huge ladles-full of gravy. Yummmmm.  As the dish was, it was a nice, heavy, comfort food kind of lunch, but with better turkey, thinner buttered bread, cranberry sauce and a ton of gravy, this would be great.

Tonight Baby Beez ad I grabbed dinner at Mad Mex.  At first I planned to order the Gobblerito and do some kind of Turk’d Up vs. Gobblerito post. When I saw the Shishito Pepper Burrito on the menu, however, I opted for that instead.  The burrito features roasted butternut squash, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, feta cheese and is topped with delicious roasted shishito peppers. The default protein in the burrito is grilled chicken, but I subbed in tofu.

Shishito pepper burrito

I love the concept, as well as the mix of flavors. The peppers are just on top, not inside the burrito, but I liked the independence of the peppers’ texture, when I would put a bite of pepper together with a bite of burrito in my mouth. This burrito’s downfall is that there is about 5 times as much rice in there as there is anything else. At times I felt like I was just eating a rice burrito.  I’m not sure if Mad Mex would go for this, but if you could order it with no rice (or with very, very little), I think it would be a really excellent seasonal dish.