Monday, May 26, 2008

...Finding a Swim Suit

Hey ladies, this one is for you.

I'm off to Vegas this week! My best friend from college is getting married to her Navy boy, finally! I'm so flippin' excited, eager, happy for her, ready to go, ready for fun! But I bet you ladies know the hardest part of going on a fabulous trip someplace warm with pools all over the place. It's not finding space in your suitcase for those 7 pairs of shoes and bags to match for the 4 days you'll be spending there. It's not all the mani/pedi/waxing/tanning you have to do before you leave in preparation. No no, its finding a swim suit.

This is a touchy issue for us ladies. You boys have it easy. You simply wear shorts, essentially. But we women have to wear pretty much our undies. But swim suits are less supportive, more colorful, and quite complicated with all their strings and elastic and criss-cross halter tops. Let's face it, bikinis are made for stick figures with no boobs and no junk in the trunk. At least, this is my personal discovery anyway. Every woman you talk to about this will have something different to gripe about when it comes to the swim suit, because we are all different. So why are all these swim suits so much the same?

The selection of swim suits in Northern Indiana isn't exactly what you would call diverse, but still, there's lots of people here who love to take vacations and want to be prepared for those vacations, so why isn't there more of a variety out here?? That's a little specific to areas like the Midwest. But I've been to Miami, I've been to beaches other places, and the beach-side shops don't offer much more, really. You can order from Victoria's Secret catalog according to your bra size, but then again, most of their suits have padding and ties and they really don't compare to a simple bra when all is said and done. Then you lose like 6 bucks on shipping. (Can you tell I've been there before?)

I've been wearing the same suit for 2 summers now. I found it at Target of all places. But come on, its a Target swim suit, 2 years is pushing it. I wanted a new one this year, especially since I'm going to Vegas! So the search began. Four months ago. I went to every single store here that sold suits. I ordered off the internet and returned and lost money on shipping. I cried. I ranted, much like I am now, only with more curse words and personal attacks on the department stores! If you know me personally, you probably know why it is so difficult for me to find a suit that I don't fall out of, however, I'm not about to advertise that on the internet for the world to read! But come on, why does this have to be so hard???

I was ready to just say, ok, I will just wear the Target suit and hope it doesn't fall apart as I swim up to the pool-side mini bar to get my daquari. But I gave one more store a second chance. I went to TJ Maxx. Then it happened. After my third time in the fitting room, I found one that semi fit! I literally had to take in sizes 6-14 to see which was right for me. I ended up with a size 12. Ok ladies, I'm a pants size 4. Among all this swim suit shopping I found out that swim suit sizes are for some reason very different than normal clothing sizes. So don't let the tag get you down! If it looks good in the mirror, buy it. That is just what I did. I got 2 different ones, too. And the thing I love about TJ Maxx...they were only $20 a piece. Oh yes oh yes.

The brand is called Jantzen. The plain dark blue tag said 88 bucks for the 2 piece. Damn! I think I really lucked out. Find Jantzen swimsuits here! If you are around a TJ Maxx or Marshall's, I suggest you go check it out. Or, if money isn't an issue, check out the store finder on their website. Chances are though, what fits for me won't fit for you. But I'd like to know if any of you ladies have found a brand that works for you. Share it with us all, enlighten us if you will! Leave a comment, or email me if you'd rather not share it with everyone. Anything to make this process easier is greatly appreciated, am I right!?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

...Paula Deen, ya'll!!

I normally don't like Paula. She is sort of obnoxious and quite frankly her false eyelashes make me cringe a little. But I've been sick and a couch potato lately, and she was all that on was on TV Sunday afternoon, so I tuned in. She made this yummy looking lemon cream sauce, and even though I am sick (with a head cold) it made me want it! Ok, so I sort of like Paula now.

I looked for the recipe online and I can't find it! But I enjoyed it so much, I decided to blog about it. It is a very easy thing to make, and you don't have to make a lot of it, you can just make enough for you. Its very easy to eyeball, which is what I did. I don't ever really measure unless I'm baking.

Basic ingredients:
fresh parsley, chopped (shown IN the chopper!)
some onion and fresh garlic, also chopped (not shown)
milk (not shown)
sour cream
margarine (not shown)
lemon, zest and juice
parmesan cheese (fresh cheese would be better!)
pasta of your choice (Paula used linguini, I like rotini, whole grain of course)
First, chop your onions and garlic. Put some margarine in your frying pan, and get them nice and brown. My onions and garlic look a little green because I chopped them in my Cuisinart Mini Prep Plus Processor after I chopped the parsely, and didn't clean it out. hehe (= If you don't own one of those choppers, GO GET ONE NOW. Your heat should be medium to low, you don't want to burn the garlic. I have the pasta boiling on the back burner while I'm doing all this. Don't forget about it!
Once it is brown, add your dollop of Daisy. Yep, now it is time for the sour cream. Paula used A LOT. I just scooped it out and mixed it in until it seemed creamy enough. Then I added a splash of milk. Turn your heat up a little, but keep stirring it. Now you can add your parsley (shown below), lemon juice and zest. This is where you need to taste and eyeball. After that is stirred in, add your parmesan. Again, I have no recipe, so just taste and stir and eyeball. This is the beautiful part of cooking, because now it becomes not just something to eat, but something you actually made and cared about. It's like artwork. Just be creative.
When your sauce has reached your desired consistency, taste, and lemony-ness, you can take your [cooked] pasta and just plop it into the sauce pan and mix it all together. My sauce wasn't as creamy as Paula's. (I don't see how that woman isn't 500 pounds by now!) I think I also added more cheese than she did. (I LOVE cheese...) Here is what my finished product looked like:
I think the photo is a little grey..I tried getting some natural light. But it was a nice off white and parsley-colored yumminess. If you are serving this for others, add a sprig of parsley and a twist of lemon.

So there you have it! I think it took me 15 minutes to make a portion just for myself. Very good and very easy. Perfect if you don't really cook a lot. Just keep in mind that garlic can burn if the heat is up too high, and milk/cream can scorch for the same reason. Have fun with it, ya'll!!