I am so clumsy

I am constantly injuring myself through clumsiness, and I have decided to start documenting these incidents. Not only will it give me an idea how often I’m actually doing this, but, let’s face it, it’s just good blogging. The posts where I’ve done something idiotic seem to be the most popular, so this is all for your entertainment.

12/9/11: I was trying to refill the paper towels at work. In the midst of unwrapping a new role, I started to drop it. Rather than just catch it, I super-panicky caught it, as though it were made of glass. In the process, inadvertently slapped the copier so hard a piece popped off. I managed to reassemble it, and refill the paper towels, but now a couple of my finger tips are numb.

12/9/11: (about an hour later) Gave myself a horrific paper cut on my right pinky knuckle. It now itch/burns. Both of these injuries were to my right hand.

12/9/11: (about 30 minutes later) While washing my bowl in the sink, I started to drop it (it maybe early, but I think I see a pattern emerging). I tried to catch it, and in the process bent my left thumb nail waaaaayyy back. It hurt. This is not looking good so far.

Ok, I was out of commission due to Hubby The Human Disease Machine, but here’s a few highlights:

12/20/11: At work I banged the top of my head on the cabinets, and home I dropped the footstool so that it scraped the back of my heel, and I slipped on the stairs, causing me to break a nail.

12/21/11: At 12:30 I banged my head into a metal shelf. Not hard, but hard enough to hate myself.

12/25/11: While cooking with Mi Madre I burned my knuckle on the side of a hot frying pan and gave myself a tiny blister.

The last recorded injury of December is a mystery scratch down my right ring finger. I have no idea how I got it, but it smarts like the dickens no matter what I’m doing.

Overall, it doesn’t seem that bad, but I know there’s a lot of stuff that occurred that didn’t make it to the blog. I guess I really do need to be more careful. Or just wear an entire padded outfit at all times. Happy New Year!

December 31, 2011. Tags: , , , . Random typing. 2 comments.

It’s Salad Time

I wish I could show you the salad I’m eating right now. It’s amazing. I mean, techinically I could take a picture and stuff, but then I’d have to stop eating it, and we know that’s not going to happen, so you’ll just have to use your imaginations.

Hubby has recently started working for a Bar B Que restaurant, and was getting a little sick of eating mostly meat every day for lunch. Also, he has no microwave available at work. In addition, there’s the constant battle for both of us to lose weight, and people’s New Year’s resolutions, and then I saw this idea on pinterest:

The advice is to make salads in jars ahead of time for a whole week of work lunches. Why did I never think of this? I’m not going to use jars, just tupperware that we can eat directly out of, but still, this is genius.

Last night I made 5 salads all at once for lunches this week. I would have made more, but was hampered by a lack of clean tupperware. I used one head of romaine lettuce which cost about a dollar, making the cost per salad twenty cents. I can’t really quantify all the other stuff I put in the salads, but I’m guessing I spent between $1 and $1.50 per salad.

I bought a ton of different salad toppings, and put different things on top of each one to give them variety. I chopped up a bunch of veggies at once while I was chopping and cooking our dinner (chicken vegetable curry). A couple of the same items went into both dishes. Here are some ideas for salad toppings:

Radishes
Cucumbers
Soy Beans, or Edamame (you can find this in the freezer section, cook them, then keep them in a tupperware in the fridge to throw into salads)
Peas (you can throw them in frozen if you make these ahead, and they’ll be thawed in time to eat)
Chick Peas (I used rinsed canned ones, or you can make them from dry)
Carrots
Celery
Cauliflower
Avocado
Cherry or grape tomatoes (instead of chopped tomatoes to keep salad from wilting)
Black Beans
Corn
Onion
Snow Peas
Sunflower Seeds
Pumpkin Seeds
Bacon Bits
Leftover cooked veggies
Cheeses like feta, blue cheese, or shredded cheese
Olives
Mushrooms
Chopped lunch meat
Leftover meat from other meals
Broccoli
Cooked grains, like quinoa
Nuts like almond slivers, or walnut pieces
Different lettuces and green, like arugula, spinach, or kale
Raw herbs, like basil
Some people even put fruit in salads. I’m not here to judge.

And just now I flung salad dressing all over my desk, reminding me that dressing is important. I like red wine vinegarette. I bring it to work with me in a small container separate from my salad.

Salads are a great way to use up small amounts of leftovers. I know I always end up with a tablespoon or two of leftover taco meat, refried beans, or sauteed zuchinni somehow. Leftover salsa, or even cooked grains, like barley, are awesome, and create variety. You can also marinate chick peas and other beans to add more flavor.

If you’re going to put things in your salads that might not last long, like avocado, put that into the ones you’ll eat the next day, and put more durable ingredients in the others, like cherry tomatoes, carrots, radishes, and cucumber.

Salads are usually good for you, as long as you don’t add a mountain of meat and cheese and a gallon of dressing. I also like them because they are a nice light lunch that enables me to continue working instead of sliding into a food coma.

I will acknowledge that I have gotten a lot of ideas on Pinterest lately. For those of you who don’t know, pinterest is an online tack board. You can find things you like all over the internet and add them to your pinterest, or you can flip through pinterest and see what other people have added. I have several friends that peer-pressured me into joining, and I’m now severely addicted. They have categories for everything, but I’m hooked on the arts and crafts stuff, obviously. Beware of pinterest!

*UPDATE* When I recently made a large batch of salads, I did the math on how much they cost. Here’s the break-down:

Romaine lettuce (on sale) = $1.00
Tomatoes = $1.00
Cabbage = $0.25
Radishes = $0.25
Cucumber = $0.50
Green onions = $0.50
3 mushrooms = $1.00
Soybeans (one package) = $3.00
Sunflower seeds = $0.50
Pumpkin seeds = $0.50
Fake bacon bits = $1.00
Feta cheese = $2.50

That totals up to $12 for ten salads, or $1.20 each. That is damn amazing to me. The soybeans are the most expensive ingredient, so when I use black beans, lentils, or chick peas, they are even cheaper. That kicks the ass of any fast food ever!

December 29, 2011. Tags: , , , , , . Cooking, Thriftiness is Cool. 4 comments.

More Book Reviews

While I was sick awhile ago, I did a bit of reading. Here are a few of my “reviews”, for lack of a better word. It’s more of a chronology of things I’ve read, with vague descriptions and my useless, barely literate opinions attached. Lucky you!

Tuck Everlasting is about a young girl in the 1800’s that stumbles upon an immortal family. Here’s the thing about this book; it’s for little kids. I didn’t like it, but I’m not necessarily supposed to. It’s simplistic, and pointless. There are some kids’ books I do enjoy though, so maybe this book is actually boring? On the Clever Chick Scale it gets a “I am giving it away as soon as this post is published”.

This book is an easy read, a little bit sci-fi, and a little bit smutty. It’s about a family of telepathic individuals who are in an on-going war with another such family. A random girl with similar abilities that she knows nothing about gets mixed up in the hoopla. It’s fast-paced, and great for if your brain needs a vacation. If you enjoy the True Blood books, you’ll probably love this. On the Clever Chick Scale it gets a “Giving it away immediately”.

This is another of the Elemental Masters series by Mercedes Lackey, which I LOVE. If you have read any others in this series, you will recognize the character Lord Alderscroft. This book is about two young girls who have telepathic powers, who are being targeted by an unknown magic assailant. Lackey’s great writing style and story telling hold true, so if you’re a fan of hers, grab this one too. On the Clever Chick Scale it gets a “Has earned a place in the collection on my sacred shelves”.

This book is basically about one year in the life of the main character. Very little happens to her during that year, but it’s a slow-paced, restful book. The writing is good, and it’s slightly funny, but uneventful. On the Clever Chick Scale this gets a “Crap! I forgot to give it to Mi Madre when she was visiting!”

This puts me at 44 books so far for the year, which averages to one book every 8.3 days. Not bad! Maybe next year I can get it to one a week!

December 27, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , . Book Reviews. Leave a comment.

Merry Christmas!

To all my friends, family, readers, and minions,

This year we have made a donation to the World Wildlife Fund for y’alls gift. A hundred years from now there will still be pandas and polar bears in the wild (hopefully). You’re welcome.

Merry Christmas!
That Clever Chick

December 25, 2011. Tags: , , , . Random typing. 2 comments.

Donating for Christmas

I think everyone knows that I am a big fan of donating to charity for Christmas. I never have to worry about “Do they already have this?” or “Is it the right size?”, and I don’t have to provide a gift receipt. Here are the big long rant posts I wrote about it last year:

Anti-Shopping Christmas Guide

Christmas Fatigue

How Did it Go?

I have been exhausted of Christmas for months at this point, and I just don’t really have the heart to write about it. I just reread these posts from last year, and they made me laugh, so I’m sure you’ll enjoy them. I am pretty damn funny. I also noticed that I have a terrible crick in my neck again this year, and it’s actually been plagueing me for days. I wonder if there’s some correlation with the holidays?

My goal for the miniscule time off I have is to put away the Halloween decorations, and just let myself get better. I have been hounded by colds, sore muscles, and a stiff neck, and it is severely impeding my crafting/sleeping/work/video game time. The only thing that isn’t suffering is my Netflix instant queue.

Anyway, Merry Freaking Christmas. If you need me I’ll be on my couch with a box of wine and some gingerbread men.

December 23, 2011. Tags: , , . Random typing. 1 comment.

Jar Lids become ornaments

I finally got my act together for one Christmas Craft. I’ve had these jar lids sitting around for awhile with the idea of making them into ornaments.

I spray painted them with a matte primer to start with. It doesn’t really matter that it’s grey instead of white, and I was out of white.

Before painting them, I used a hammer and nail to punch a hole to hang them up. This worked, but resulted in a lot of swearing on my part, like most projects that involve tools.

I painted them all blue, let them dry thoroughly, then painted them blue on the other side and let them dry again. I decided this project would be a great way to use up some random odds and ends of crafting supplies, like beads and sequins. I used some Elmer’s clear glue to draw a Christmas tree on this one, and wreaths on others. You could use glitter or buttons also, and this would be a great craft for kids.

Fill in the tree with glue.

And cram it with sequins or glitter. I used a little star bead at the top for that finishing touch.

Here are some wreath ornaments also:

On the inside you can glue all kinds of cool stuff. This is a great way to reuse Christmas cards, tiny toys, or even broken ornaments. Be creative! As long as it’s sparkley it counts as an ornament.

 

December 21, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , . Arts and Crafts, Thriftiness is Cool. Leave a comment.

Dear Coffee,

I’m so sorry for no posts for awhile. Hubby got me sick, and this was serious, take-time-off-of-work-during-the-busiest-time-of-year sick. This was didn’t-even-play-video-games sick, so that shows how out of it I was. In my slightly-high state (due to cold medicine. Seriously.) this is what I came up with. Enjoy my ramblings!

Dear Coffee,

You are my friend, my coworker, my sanity, and my crutch. You are my performance enhancing drug, my addiction, and my soothing cup of understanding. Only you understand my trials and give me the strength I need to face them. You are a calorie-free guilty pleasure that I can’t function without.

We go side-by-side into battle, wreaking havoc on To Do lists and menial tasks. You give me motivation to wade through acres of useless work. You cuddle with me on the couch on Sunday mornings. If you’d quit burning my mouth we could be Best Friends Forever.

Love,
That Clever Chick

December 20, 2011. Tags: , , . Random typing. 4 comments.

Quilt Repair Finale

A few of you may remember one of my early blog posts about repairing this quilt. It’s a family hand-me-down from the 80’s or 90’s, and it was in rough shape by the time I got it. There were whole pieces missing or loose. Clever Chick to the rescue!

Techinically, Clever Chick’s Mom to the rescue also! Once I had the majority of the repairs done, and a whole new sheet tacked on the back, I passed it off to her for the quilting part. She has some super amazing sewing machine that can quilt all that crap together. I don’t, so she stepped up. She even put edging all the way around. The corners, however, seemed to foil even her mad skills.

The first thing I did was make sure the edging lined up with the edges of the quilt. I then folded one end inside itself, and sewed it shut.

Like this:

After that, I folded the other side over, and trimmed off some extra, leaving the end to extend about half an inch past the edge of the quilt.

I folded the raw edge under and pinned it in place, like so:

I then sewed that shut. It’s not the most square corner ever made, but the other 3 worked better, and this was my first one ever, so that’s probably pretty good.

Plus, I had to stop and take pictures every two minutes for you people, so it’s not perfect. Yes, maybe I was a little distracted watching True Blood (Team Alcide!!), but wouldn’t you be with this guy on the screen??

Be really careful googling more pictures of him online; there are LOTS with his shirt off. I think I had a tiny heart attack while finding this one. But I had to choose just the perfect picture. For you. Yeah, for you, the readers. I have lost the ability to form sentences. So, the end. Enjoy!

December 19, 2011. Tags: , , , , . Arts and Crafts, House Stuff. Leave a comment.

Generic Breakfast Egg Sandwiches

This is another amazing idea I found on Pinterest. If you haven’t been on there, be careful. It’s addictive. If you ever wanted to make your own McMuffins generic breakfast egg sandwiches this is the perfect recipe.

Spray some baking spray into a muffin tin, and crack an egg into each muffin cup (or however many you want to make). Bake it at 350 for 15-20 minutes. These bad boys pop out looking just like this:

Well, I semi-scrambled mine. On hers the yolks were intact. These are the perfect size to fit on a mini bagel, with a little cheese!

The author of the recipe was pre-assembling whole sandwiches, wrapping them individually and freezing them for fast breakfasts during the week. She used english muffins also, but the eggs fit better on mini-bagels.

Here are my ideas (as yet untried) for variations that could be mixed into the raw eggs before baking: chunky salsa, cheese, diced onion, spinach and romano cheese, bacon or sausage bits, chorizo or soy-rizo, and sauteed mushrooms and onions. I would mix in ingredients that have low water content, so things don’t get mushy, but it seems like having it mixed in would make these so much easier to reheat.

She recommends reheating in the oven, but if you keep the bun separate from the egg, that’s not necessary. I just toast my bagel and microwave my egg for about 30 seconds on 50% power, or else exploding happens and I get teased.

December 17, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , . Cooking. 2 comments.

I’m sick of my hair

When I tell people I’ve decided to chop off my hair, I get one of two reactions: “But it’s so pretty!” (almost exclusively from Mi Madre), or “WHYYYY???” with sadness and alarm. Everyone knows that given the opportunity, I will talk until the day runs out, so let me tell you wwwhhhyyyyyy.

My hair is about 2 feet long, reaching the middle of my back. It is heavy, and unwieldy, and tries to foil me as much as possible. Whether I’m eating, crafting, or bathing it interferes, almost as though it’s self-aware. I have to wear it in a bun at almost all times in order to contain its wrath.

If I wear it down while I’m asleep, it spreads out to become a giant target for Hubby’s elbows, or the cats to walk across, or the dog to get tangled in. This of course causes me to wake up screeching, which wakes everyone else up. I frequently lay on it myself, or get so wrapped up in it I need assistance to get free.

Bathing has its own plethora of problems. When wet, it weighs exponentially more. It sticks and wraps around me. It’s like having a lazy, angry octopus on my head. I use three to four different types of conditioner on a regular basis, just so I can get a brush through this mass of irritation attached to me. I can’t blow dry it, because a) my weak little T-Rex arms can’t take being in the air for two hours, and b) I have a full-time job.

The bangs are the sole redeeming characteristic. They generally look cute and behave, while the hair behind them is a barely contained ball of frizz and hate. I’ve actually been able to even style them a little, but they’re starting to rebel. The rest of my hair is giving them ideas. They’re starting to poke me in the eyes, and go in bizarre directions. You think I’m stuck with you, hair? Well you’ve got it all wrong. You’re stuck with ME.

I can’t let my hair start getting ideas about who’s in charge. So I did this:

I found some photos online that I liked:

Here’s the before of the back:

Before side view:

Since my hair was so long, I decided to donate it to Wigs for Kids. It only has to be 12 inches long. They have directions on the website explaining how to donate your hair, but basically put it in 4-6 pony tails, bound at both end with rubber bands. Cut ’em off, and mail ’em in. That’s it. Here’s the after back view:

After side view:

And the front! I freaking love it. It took me two minutes to wash it yesterday! TWO! I had no idea what to do with myself after that. It’s so light, and simple. I’m so glad I just went ahead and did it. Why should my hair be sitting around irritating me when it could be helping young children with cancer feel better about themselves?

If you live in Austin, I will totally send you to my hair stylist. She did an amazing job, but doesn’t have a website. I totally have the hook up, so just let me know. You can’t ask for the “Clever Chick” though. This one’s mine.

December 15, 2011. Tags: , , , . Random typing. 8 comments.

Christmas Cookie Party

One of my dearest friends has a Christmas Cookie Exchange party every year. It ends up being a bunch of girls eating cookies and socializing, which is the best. This year I made a recipe I found on pinterest, my latest addiction. They are nutella cookies, and they were easy, but relatively expensive to make.

Mix 1 cup nutella (which is about half the jar, which is what makes this expensive), 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup sugar, and 1 egg. My batter was really dry so I added another egg, and it worked great. Roll the batter into 1 inch balls, then squish onto the cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 7-8 minutes. Since mine had an extra egg in there, they seemed to need a little longer, so I baked them for about 10 minutes.

I ended up with 2 cookie sheets full of cookies, which surprised me. On one sheet I used some Pam, and on the other I forgot, so it accidentally turned into an experiment! The Pam ones spread out more, and therefore weren’t as pretty. The non-Pam ones looked good on the sheet, but wouldn’t come off!! I ended up leaving these behind so I could rush to the party.

This is only part of the giant selection of cookies. There were snickerdoodles, gingerbread men, sugar cookies, chocolate chip, and a bunch of other things I can’t name, but were delicious.

Look how amazing those are! I wish I could claim I made them, but you know I would have taken dozens of “in progress” pictures and written a whole blog post complaining about how impossible this was.

One year I tried to make beautiful, hand-decorated cookies to give out, and they came out demented. If I can find pictures that will be a whole separate post. Let’s just say, I accidentally made a pregnant cyclops cookie. It was that bad.

 

December 13, 2011. Tags: , , , , , . Cooking. 1 comment.

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