Paczki Day in Green-vember

Iiiiit's Mint-vember, or Green-vember, when everything is green flavored! (Sometimes they call it "mint" or "Pistachio" and sometimes things are just inexplicably green.) In Chicago we even dye our already filthy Chicago River green, I'm not sure how this hasn't been shut down yet.
It  really IS a beautiful city, despite these shenanigans. Photo by KM Photography
found on blog.myheritage.com

and sell sickeningly sweet green soda called Green River. 

Is that just a Chicago thing? 

Not sure, but we do love to color everything green. 

Bars dye beer green for St. Patty's, and it seems to me it would be easier to just have green glasses designated for that time of year, but what do I know about running a bar? That would be a badonka-doozie of a horrible idea financially and for my poor already overworked liver.

2. #Greenvember (we should make this a thing, use this hashtag every time you see something inexplicably green) means:
Spring is coming! Soon.....ish. It WILL snow again. Tomorrow. It's snowed in April, not that long ago, buuuut soon! March is always better than Feb-blow-ary, always.

Right Mr. Happy, not-at-all-creepy-looking Turtle? Right.
I will melt your soul with my death eyes. from imFunny.net
3. NEXT WEEK is Fat Tuesday--
wait, can we still call it Fat Tuesday?
Politically Obnoxious options:
Big-Boned Tuesday
Husky Tuesday
Water-Weight-Gain Tuesday
Gland Condition Tuesday
Thyroid Problem Tuesday

Whatever. I can say any of them, as a fat person. Look it up. It's one of the many advantages of membership. That and: 

4. Stretchy clothes. You never feel uncomfortably full in stretchy clothes, and that confidence is dead sexy.
from passyworldofict.blogspot.com 

Speaking of that, being Polish.....well, my heritage is Polish, *I* am as 'Murican as Apple Pie-flavored-vodka infused bacon mayonnaise pannini ice cream sandwich spread on pizza burgers. 

Anyhowdy, my people always get excited about Paczki (pronounced "poonch-ky") DayI just like saying it, and speaking of that I heard this 'joke' on the radio:
How do you get "poonch-key" from "p a c z k i" ?
Take her out to dinner first.
*rim shot*
from gillesvranckx.blogspot.com
You get it or you don't, lost in translation thing, but Paczki Day is universally good.

Some call it "Fat Tuesday" or as I call it, Tuesday. The indulgence before Lent. 

I don't play Lent anymore because I'm not 7, or in a plaid jumper being told my every natural-normal-human thought makes me a filthy sinner, but I do play Paczki Day. You can indulge in anything from booze to King Cakes, complete with plastic baby hidden inside. Legend has it the finder of plastic baby Jesus will have good luck for the rest of the year. After you fix that chipped tooth, that is. (Hint: You can ask them to put the baby Jesus on TOP, or leave it off.) 

Paczki are like donuts2.0. Talk to Google about a bakery near you, they are usually filled with delicious creamy-sugary filling, and you may have to order or reserve some if word gets out. 

5. Especially look for "drunken paczki" which combines a few of a my fav-o-rite things. It means the filling and/or frosting is made with booze. A booze and dessert two-fer. Like a double rainbow without hidden meaning.
RIGHT? from wzzm13.com
5. If you're a witch who can conjure up baked goods in your magic cauldron, this is also Boozey Desserts season. I'm not sure how or why that started, but in Spring-time I notice awesome whiskey and other booze-infused desserts and frostings spreading across Pinterest like obesity across our great nation. Click this link for 10 Boozy Cupcakes - From Beer-Soaked Baked Treats to Luxury Cognac Cupcakes. I always find a reason for the season don't I? I'm a drinktomist.

6. This deserves it's very own entry: Blue Moon Beer. It is not my absolute favorite but it's a good Spring tradition. However, I made the Blue Moon cupcakes and they were dry and not very good. That could just be ME though. It's no secret I am very baking-challenged. 

It's our family tradition on Easter to drink Blue Moon Beer with orange wedges, except for my brother who doesn't like beer, which is fine, but that doesn't mean I'm not going to call him a tulip, because: Brothers.
Do these jelly beans in my noseholes make me look drunk?
My niece and I, Easter 2010 or '11

My sisters and I usually get stinking drunk and act like assholes. Well yes, that is any holiday, but on Easter we drink Blue Moon. I will say this has lightened up a little bit for me since I added 2 more small children to the picture. 

I should probably mention without further ado, and this is chock full o'ado, I should let anyone curious know this is part of my favorite not-so-secret community: The Ten Things of Thankful Community. Click here to join the fun at Considerings blog!
I'm especially thankful this week, and this could have been a list in itself, but the teenager:
Found a job! and there's more...

7. It's somewhere near and dear to his hear, the golden arches! My son would eat their McFood like Chad Johnson if he had the choice, and soon enough he just might. 
I love this weirdo. Ocho's Twitter
They only have him working part-time so far, so he hasn't even gotten an on-the-job break yet, but he's getting himself up, taking care of his McUniform and today, 

8. He helped get the baby ready to go, and we even got there FIVE MINUTES EARLY! I took a picture of my car clock and Instagram'd it. That's huge for him lately.

9. My beloved, adorable 2 yr old has entered her Screaming Stage. Every day, every diaper and clothing change, putting socks/shoes/coat on, she RUNS like Forrest Gump and screams the whole time like a bonnie wee banshee. She's the toddler Mariah Carrey. It used to make the 4 yr old cry, but now we smile and laugh and say "Oh, she's so silly!" I'm thankful for that, and that these stages go by fairly quickly, and that she's not twins :)

10. You didn't think we were going to go a whole week without weird facial hair, did you? I've gotten some... intimidated feedback on beards, so we're heading just North to Mustache Town.
Just a little mustache wax
from cathow.com
Nothing intimidating here
from trupanion.com

These cool cats don't have any extra X's, daddy-o, just some creative fur coloring and maybe some 'stache was.

P.S. Can a sister get a LITTLE credit for not doing "Women with Beards" photo montage because yes, that is a thing but I didn't show pictures.

But if you're curious: http://metro.co.uk/2014/02/17/sikh-woman-ditches-the-razor-to-embrace-her-beard-4307719/

 I did get a kick out of Disney Princesses with beards. Yes, that there is a link to it.


My Fruity Secret

I know, that title sucks. I wanted to call this "Shove This In Your Cakehole" but anyone who has read me before would be expecting booze recipes. You can add booze to this, but that's not totally what I'm talkin bout, Willis. For once.

Truth is, I get moody/crabby/whatever you call it by the end of winter, and also all the time, and too much booze makes it worse. I mean, it's worse the NEXT DAY. That day it's immediately better. That's why we drink. Anyway, I was putting together an email to my lovely cousin who just bought a Magic Bullet -- and here I mean the food processor one not the sex toy, though that doesn't hurt a bad moood either. I can't even talk about that stuff though. 

I was telling her about an easy way to get more fruit and healthy foods into your day. I know, I know, everyone has annoying smoothie recipes, but this is simple. This is not a sponsored post, just some FYI on an easy way to boost feel-good brain chemicals. I think you know I'll keep the biology lingo at a my normal (4th grade) level.
from accuweather.com

If I make something, it's easy, cheap and taste pretty good. Otherwise I wouldn’t make it. 

I don’t even make fancy alcoholic beverages, when I see the word “muddle” in a drink recipe, I’m out.

My smoothies are not the Daphne Oz psyllium husk, kale-filled bullshit smoothies, mine actually taste GOOD. I’m not about to preach about oxygenating your blood or any of that other health-related crapola. If you’re like me, your body will be grateful for any fruit you’re throwing down. Especially in winter, when it’s a good idea to boost your immune system.

There are certain things I just cannot eat or drink, no matter what. Like kale. At all. In any way. I don’t care how good it is for me. I’ve tried. Modern Science can’t puree it enough to not feel like lawn clippings.

Don’t come at me with “kale chips,” don’t even. You know what kale chips are like? Eating a mouthful of spiders. 
If I need kale to be healthy, I would rather have the chemotherapy, thanks anyway.
Picture is from hilahcooking.com, I added the words.
I’m just sharing a few things that make ME feel better, especially during the long, cold winter months, and have so far kept me from having to back on antidepressants, because I hated the side effects. Not to mention the cost.**
There are foods that naturally boost your serotonin levels. Long, sciencey story short: You'll feel better when you eat them regularly.
Found this at newyoubootcamp.com
Any search engine can help you with what foods have which benefits, I’m just here to share how I easily get some healthier crap into my day that makes me feel better. In the Midwest not only is the weather is a giant FU from Mother Nature, it also gets dark at 4:30, so by the end of February we’re all but murdering each other for a parking space.

There are tons of things you can add for your own flavor or health benefits as you see fit.

Daily Quick Smoothies
I can't overthink it or it becomes too much. I usually just use whatever fruit we have, add almonds/walnuts or  whatever nuts we have, and then add as much spinach as will fit in the cup. You can't taste spinach over berries, promise. Frozen cherries are also usually really sweet.

I top it off with almond or cow’s milk and a couple of ice cubes. The ice cubes give it a thicker, shake-like texture. If you don’t like that, leave out the ice cubes or add water or yogurt.
Try one and see what you like and don’t like about it. If it’s too thick, add water or milk. If it’s too watery, drink some and ice and/or yogurt and/or add banana.

I start filling the cup part of the Magic Bullet with any parts of fruits my kids won’t eat, the bruised parts of banana and/or
smooshy parts of strawberries,
the tiny/wrinkled/usually sour grapes,
you won’t taste any difference and why waste it?

You can add more ice cubes and/or frozen fruit for a thicker texture. Here is just some pureed frozen bananas, ice cubes, fresh berries, and a little yogurt. 

My kids think this is ice cream. Don't tell 'em, okay? Be cool.
It's actually REALLY good.
I try to do at least 2 different colors, for multiple benefits.
from markushartel.com
When the cup is about half full of fruit, I add the following:
(These are my current favorites)
Spinach, for Iron/Zinc
Berries, the darker the better
Frozen cherries, super sweet
Pcs of more bland fruit like apple, pear, cantaloupe
Bananas, a superfruit, boosts serotonin/dopamine
Almonds or walnuts, or whatever nuts we have
Citrus in winter. Normally I don’t like the sourey taste but they contain a lot of Vitamin A/C and when I add the milk and/or sweeter fruits, it’s not tart.
Then I fill the cup halfway with milk, add a couple ice cubes and that’s it.

You can add honey, or cinnamon or vanilla extract, those are all natural, healthy options so of course I really don't like any of that stuff. I don’t know why, can’t explain it but most fruit is sweet enough.

I try to add:
Plain yogurt, good for immune system, or
Greek yogurt has more protein. It also has a thicker texture and you won't taste it over fruit.
Activia if you believe that hooker from Trader Places, who says it makes you poop.

I don't like the texture of yogurt, so it's easier to get it this way.

You can add:
Whatever the hell else you want.

I started blending fruit with milk out of necessity: 
I needed to shove healthy stuff in my cakehole and 
cut down on sugar when I had gestational diabetes. 

Plus, citrusy fruit is far too tart for me, but added to milk and blended with other stuff, you get what tastes like an ice cream shake, without the ice cream. Plus, I noticed having this amount of fruit every day actually makes me feel better. If I go more than a few days without having them, I start really craving sugar like a crackhead.

When I first started, I would sweeten them with a little peanut butter or chocolate syrup. Then they actually taste like an ice cream shake, aaaand they’re pretty close to it. In winter, I don't like them as thick/frozen so I'll use a couple pieces of frozen fruit and some fresh fruit, and almost no ice. It will still have a thick-ish texture but not be as frozen.

Again, you can use water instead of milk, or coconut water or whatever, but I prefer almond and/or cow’s milk. Any kind of milk will cut down the acidy/tarty taste of the citrus fruits and it’s also fortified with Vitamin D, the "sunshine" vitamin.

Ingesting Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium, and it replaces the loss of what your body would get from the sun. That’s not just something I made up. I’ve read about people taking Vitamin D supplements in winter, going back to a time when people bought snake oil. (Is that still a thing?)

from intermountainhealthcare.org

It's almost March, when they sell the Shamrock Shakes, but I don't like the chemical taste anymore. I did this post last year about some way better options you can make at home. Some are healthier, some not as much, some have booze and some are just plain silly. Because: Me.

That's about it. FYI:
Keep frozen cherries and/or berries in the freezer. Anytime you make a smoothie and you don’t like the taste or texture, just add a few pieces of frozen fruit. Daphne Oz has a recipe, click here to see it, with cherries that's supposed to help you sleep better. I don't know if it works because something in me won't let me follow a recipe 100%.
If you’re worried about shopping for these fruits, they can ALL be frozen.
Do not worry about the calories or fat in nuts, they’re a superfood and a necessary, healthy fat. They’ll help you feel full, among many other health benefits.

I tried adding things like psyllium husks, too many were gross and just a little bit made no difference so I stopped using those. I tried chia seeds, but they are a million calories, and since I can find flaxseed meal at the grocery, I just use those. Very little flavor, and a good amount of fiber.

Just having one or two of these easy smoothies a day and doing nothing else, makes me feel better, and keeps my sweet tooth pretty much in check. I mean, I'll still eat my weight in Rice Krispy treats, but that's just because I'm gross.

For a few months I tried replacing a meal, and then two meals with the smoothies, but that is kind of a pain and if I didn’t add enough healthy things so I just made myself hangry all day. I can’t be hangry all day around all these kids. Pass.

If you do want to try using as a meal replacement, add protein (usually a powder) or be sure to eat plenty of nuts, legumes or eggs for protein and Vitamin D.

Meal Replacement FYI
If you plan to use smoothies/shakes as meal replacement, be SURE to look into RDA of vital vitamins and minerals. You’ll need protein, if for no other reason than protein enhances dopamine production. Be sure to add nuts or peanut butter, and you can find/order peanut butter powder, which is less calories if you count that kind of thing, (sounds exhausting) and/or some kind of protein powder, but you want to do some research. Here is one sight that talks about picking a protein powder. There is a lot of debate on the health benefits vs. risks of say,  soy protein. I switch it up and also use milk, which contains protein.


[**I feel the need for a quick disclaimer: I would NEVER recommend you go stop taking any antidepressants, that is a doctor’s decision. I stopped slowly, under medical supervision, promising I would return if I felt I needed to. Most winters I feel I need to take them again, but if I force myself to do a few simple things, the feelings are few and fleeting. That’s just me, everyone is different.]

Here are some web sites where you can read about healthy eating, and additional nutrients needed in the winter months.


Sexy Animals and RealMood Mood Rings

This week I've been in a foul mood, probably along with most of the Midwest and anywhere else where it's been projectile vomiting snow and rain like a drunk after eating bad sushi from a gas station. A sore throat led me to Sudafed, I know it probably had nothing to do with congestion but let's face it, 
from tshirthell.com
the road to Sudafed is a short one for me. 

I look for any reason to take it, there's a reason they put that shit in meth, yo. 

Anyway, it immediately changes my mood to AWESOME and got me thinking, what if they included a Mood Ring in your box? You could SEE how quickly it changes from black to rainbow. 

I got to thinking about the different degrees of FOUL mood, and a mood ring that would be all different shades of rage and/or poop-colored gray for my non-Suded moods:
This is "Tired Crabby"
This color is "Hangry"

2. I wanted to do a whole post, buuut in searching for a picture of a mood ring to play with in a post, I found this. Already been done.

Let's face it, I couldn't do much better than this:
from Blogadilla.com
This about covers it. Unfortunately, it looks like that blog hasn't been updated in a few years. Hopefully they got a book deal or became independently wealthy or something.

I'm just THANKFUL that instead of scraping the whole idea, like I usually have to do when someone beat me to it, at least I was able to share a funny mood ring picture somewhere, because funny is funny, even if I didn't write it.

Speaking of Thankful, that's what this numbered list is all about. It's a fun game with a great community of awesome people, I hate to even call it a blog hop because it's not really even about that life. This is a celebration of not pretending like your everyday life is perfect, it's taking the perfectly mundane everyday and celebrating it in some way. That's the secret to it all. Life, blogging, all of it. Click here to join along with the Ten Things of Thankful. It's so money.

4. This winter's shit-blizzard snow  included the now infamous "Thunder Snow." Sounds like a character that should be invading Castle Grayskull. That's right, kids, sometimes Mother Nature hates Earth so much that during a normally peaceful, beautiful snow fall she makes terrifying THUNDER.
This video of a weatherman losing his shite when he hears it cracked me up. It's only 30 seconds and serves ALL the weather people right, for always wanting to be RIGHT in the eye of a storm and whatnot. Thanks YouTube.
5. Mr. Incredibeard. Yes, I'm a little obsessed. Last week I posted "Kids with Beards" which fascinated and creeped out a lot of people. This week Mr. Incredibeard posted a photo of a dog with a beard on his FB page.
found at Incredibeard Facebook page
Sexy, right? So I did a search for "Dogs with Bears" and yes, here we go again.
"Get me a bone, brother!"
from vomwasatch.com
6. This lady's dog must go to the same hairdresser as Hulk Hogan, his beard is blondish. What a flirt. 
Get ready, Brother! Or whatever he says, besides "Brother." I kind of strange-love Hulk Hogan, but haven't watched anything with him in a long time. 

7. I'm not sure which bitch stole whose look in this next one, but someone send this to Joan Rivers for her Fashion Police bit "Bitch Stole My Look."

"I'm still sexier than this dog, right?"
from ultimatetop10s.com
Come ON, Brad. You can afford a stylist to create a look all your own. 

Way to think outside the doghouse, bro.

7. This next weener (or Schnauzer if you prefer) has some sort of Napoleon Imperial goatee going, a toughie to pull off but he seems to be rocking it, along with what looks like a Napoleon complex. Don't mess!
"I'm a baad man! I mean DOG."
from schnauzer-forum.co.uk
8. The last one is from a friend of my Facebook page. Christi Morrow was nice enough to share this photo of Mocha, who reminds me a LITTLE BIT of the Something About Mary dog.
Mocha looks like a sweetheart!
This is Mocha, she is a wire hair chi. She is 8 years old and the best little lap dog ever! We have had her since birth, her mother died last year and I experienced a dog crying for the first time ever. My mother recently lost her older sister and moved in with us, Mocha never leaves her side now, she has bonded in loss.

10. This winter, more than usual, I'm extremely thankful we can get out of the house and visit my sister's. I had my last 2 kids later in life, so they have very limited grandparent options, their cousins are all adults, so it's nice to have a relative nearby that dotes on them, and is a lot of fun for all of us. 
sexy cat, seeeexy cat, what are they feeding you?
They love going to her house, bossing around her dogs and digging in her children's rooms. This is a picture of my niece's boyfriend's cat. So spice!

We found a trove of heebie geebies in my nephew's room, I posted a few things on Instgram but this was by far my favorite. 

I've heard of a blue-footed booby, but I have no clue what you would call this Wanker Bird.
This was in my nephew's room. 
I'm just amazed that with genitals like these, you don't see more of these birds in the wild. They can't have any trouble with mating. I may have mentioned before, my people are weird.