Thursday, May 31, 2012

Sodas vs. Lawsuits

The news came out today that New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is proposing a ban on sugary drinks larger than 16oz at restaurants, movie theaters, stadiums, etc.    To be honest, I'm not sure how I feel about this - I wish the government wouldn't invade our choices like this and in all reality this still doesn't solve the obesity epidemic at hand.    You can still buy two 16 oz. beverages, or you can go to the store and buy as large a size as you want.    You can buy a 16oz. beverage and get refills.    Hell - you can ignore the soda, and order a milkshake - or you can order a burger and large fries.   There are plenty of ways around the soda where someone is still bringing in those calories, if not more.  

Its also not the governments place to determine what we should and shouldn't eat.   People need to learn appropriate nutritional habits and exercise routine.   Instead of spending the money to get this proposal passed and enforced, why don't we spend the money to really educate people.    And I'm not talking just about educating the kids - educate the parents, because that is where it starts.   Provide some sort of benefits to the companies that make this stuff, for them to make healthier options, or produce more of the healthier options.   Somehow encourage them to make the prices (and sale prices) equal between the healthy and unhealthy (or hell - make the unhealther more expensive).

This also may solve frivolous lawsuits like this Nutella lawsuit.   This lawsuit annoyed the crap out of me!   I love Nutella, and when I buy it, I know its a treat that I should eat in moderation.   And at no point did I ever think it was a healthy snack - but I also know those peanut butter and jelly uncrustables aren't healthy either!    It annoys me that Ferrero even settled - I understand why they did that, because its cheaper in the long run for them - because they never should have had to.   It opens up a whole can of worms for people to start suing food manufacturers because their food is unhealthy and they can't make their own decisions on how to eat a healthy diet.

I wish that people could just use their brains and stop trying to make a quick buck - and then the government wouldn't need to get involved with our tax payer bucks.

But then again, if that were the case, so much would be different about this world we live in...don't even get me started...

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mothers Day and Some Recipes

I wanted to wish all the mom's and mom-to-be's out there a Happy Mothers Day!   This is my first Mothers Day where I'm celebrating.   I know not all people consider this a first since the babies aren't here, but to my husband and I it is my first (and in June it will be his first Fathers Day even though the babies won't be here (or they better not...they still have another 4-6 weeks after that to stay inside me).

Anyways, this year, we hosted a little breakfast for my MIL and SIL.    All went succesfully with no drama to speak of (yet).    And I made a couple new dishes that were a hit.

The first recipe is this Vegetarian Breakfast Casserole, which I had made before, both times with modifications.  
  • This time, instead of making it in an 8x8, I made it in a 13x9 pan, so I increased everything 50% (8 oz=12 oz, 10 eggs=15 eggs, etc).   
  • Just like last time, I added in "facon" (Morningstar Bacon that my husband and I have become HUGE fans of since my friend introduced it to us at a brunch back in January).   I used 1/2 package (8 pieces) - cooking them in a frying pan first and then crumbling it into pieces and adding them in after the veggies.   
  • Instead of mixed frozen veggies, I decided to just use broccoli this time - buying chopped broccoli so I didn't have to worry about food size.
  • And the last modification was totally by accident.    I realized when I was taking it out of the oven that I forgot to add in the cheese - OOPS!   But it was perfectly fine if you don't like cheese, but I will try not to leave that out in the future as I think it adds good texture and flavor.
The second recipe was the big hit.   I love the french toast breakfast casseroles that soak overnight, but there are so many good options out there, that I keep trying new recipes.   Well I think I hit the jackpot with this recipe!   It was super delicious - and the addition of ricotta cheese really made it perfect.    You don't have to make the strawberry syrup, you could just as well use regular syrup, but it was really good that I think Im gonna make the syrup just to have in the house for waffles (and I've got TONS of frozen strawberries that I defrosted and now need to use up.    I only made one modification, and I wouldn't quite call it a modification.   I had lots of ricotta in the house, so I just spread a nice layer of cheese over the entire top not measuring out 2/3 of a cup.    I probably ended up using about 1-1/3 cups.  

Lastly, we had bagels, and there was a pumpkin cream cheese I have been wanting to try, so I thought this a good opportunity.   I don't think anyone but myself took it, but I was pleased with it - and I have plenty of bagels left for me to eat it over the next couple weeks :)

Now off to enjoy the rest of the day.    I'm celebrating in the same manner I have for the past 8 years or so (although not always on Mothers Day).   I'm taking my mom to the Phillies game for their Mothers Day game.   Its always a fun time - but definitely more so if they win - so lets hope they get out of their slump and put together a few good hits, score a bunch of runs and get solid pitching from the starter AND the bullpen.

And then off to eat at the best BBQ joint in Philly - Sweet Lucy's - with my parents, sisters and their significant other and my niece.   So excited to give my mom her mothers day gift - BIG SURPRISE!!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Back with a Bang!

Note: I started this post about 2 weeks ago - just been too busy to finish, so when I refer to recent days, its really a couple weeks prior.

All my friends kept asking how things were with the ILs cause I hadn't posted anything, and I kept saying that things seemed to be going good and I guess maybe they were learning now that we have kids coming, that they needed to back off a bit.

I was just dreaming...

Or maybe it was the calm before the storm?

Really, I just should have known better.

We somehow have not seen them in almost 3 months, but Hubby has been getting better about calling them and/or emailing them.   But alas, there starts the issue.   It all started probably last Friday or Saturday...

Hubby got a call from his brother, at the same time I got an e-mail from my SIL.    BIL called MIL to say hi, and she didn't pick up - but she emailed him back some crazy email about how she was "decompressing" in the shower because its nice when no one can hear you cry, and its just been rough and blah blah blah, but they are so lucky to have BIL, SIL and their boys in their lives.

So after seeing/hearing about that, Hubby emailed FIL to see how things were doing and FIL responded with "In short, Not Good".    How does one respond to/handle that one?   So Hubby picked up the phone and called to see what's going on.

DUH DUH DUUUUUUUUUUH....the flood gates have opened..

  • He got lectured about how they don't see us.   My counterpoints would be that a) invites work both ways and b) when they did/do invite us over/out, they only invite us when they know it doesn't work with Hubby's work schedule such as a weeknight that isn't Monday, or Saturday "dinner" plans at 3:30pm (he works noon-9pm Tuesday -Friday and 7am-5pm Saturday) - and whenever we tried to get together with them, they were ALWAYS "busy".    They just kept complaining about one thing or another - which we know there is no way to respond that will make them happy - so Adam said he was sorry, and we were just busy with work and preparing for the BABIES.   More complaining.
  • The next day, we got an email from FIL.  MIL and FIL bought us the double stroller we registered for!   This is awesome - don't get me wrong, it was a pricey stroller and I assumed we might need to purchase it, but they let us know a few weeks earlier they were going to buy us our double stroller.   And to be completely honest, I had huge concerns that they were going to pick out some random stroller that we didn't want.   Although ours is expensive it hits 90% of my wants/needs.   The good news is they ordered what we wanted.   The bad news is to save a few bucks (which wasn't even the best savings they could do), they ordered it from one of the furniture stores we looked at and ordered it to be delivered with our furniture.   Issue #1: We haven't ordered furniture, and that place only had one set we liked and wasn't gonna provide as deep a twin discount as the other store, which had 4 sets we liked.   Issue #2: The delivery charge is being paid for by my parents who are very generously buying all of our furniture.   At least ask them before you add on to the delivery - even if it isn't gonna cost extra - it is quite rude in my opinion!
  • A couple days later was MILs bday, and I realized the night before that I never sent out a card to arrive on her bday, which has always been a big no-no.   So we figured we were in trouble.    Hubby called on her birthday to wish her a happy b-day and we seemed to get off with that.
  • But then the day after MILs bday, Hubby got a call from MIL complaining about how I don't call her and give her constant updates on my pregnancy after each doctors appt.   When she was pregnant with hubby, she called her MIL and gave her updates.    Ummmmm - where do I even start with this one??   A) If you want to know how I am - call or email and ask!   We never had a good relationship once Hubby moved in with me and my parents.   MIL has NEVER called me directly, and I have surely returned that favor by never calling her directly.  And B) What happens at the doc is my health information.   There is no reason I should feel like I need to update her - especially when I'm closer with co-workers than I am with her!   Congratulations to her for having a good relationship with her MIL (of course Im fairly certain that was just her fakeness, because I know she talks about Hubbys mom-mom negatively) and being close enough to call her and give her constant updates.   But I am COMPLETELY different from my MIL and have a totally different personality, so she shouldn't EVER expect me to be the same as her or do the same things as her.   And for that matter, no one should ever expect that from anyone - we are all different and do things differently!
  • The very next day, I sent FIL an email inviting him to the Phillies Picnic in the Park that I get tickets to as a season ticket holder.    I knew he wouldn't be able to go because I had already found out when I invited SIL, that MIL and FIL bought tickets to a show for my nephews and were taking BIL and SIL with them as well.   But I wanted to make sure I put the invitation out there in case he found out that I have offered to most of the rest of the family.    In my email, I explained that we get two tickets each year, and that Hubby and I went the first year, but that we try to share the experience with family members as well.    He replied back saying he couldn't go, but maybe next year.   This is a small issue, but one I take great annoyance to!   If someone offers you free tickets to a concert and you can't go - are you gonna assume that the offer will be there again?   That's a rude assumption to make!    We will have two infants next year, and I can't wait to take them and get lots of pictures of them in the clubhouse, in the dugout, on the field, etc.    Why would you assume you are gonna get this offer next year??  
  • And finally 2 days later (3 days after MILs bday), the expected phone call finally arrived.   Hubby got yelled at by FIL for not sending a card.   The most ironic thing is the BIL got a call on MILs bday about how it would be appreciated if the kids actually called MIL on her bday.    The issue being THEY DID, and MIL didn't pick up so they left a voicemail - so BIL confronted FIL and FIL said they have no expectations that we do XYZ and that they send us cards and whatnot because they want to, but its not expected in return.    Oh really now?  

In hindsight, I wouldn't change a thing though!   I much prefer 3 months of quiet and calm and a week of their craziness every 3 months versus seeing them once a month (or more often - AHH!) and having to deal with the pain of the entire experience plus whatever backlash/fights come out of it (because you never walk out of there without some issue to arise from it).

Of course, we invited them for mothers day breakfast at our house, so Im sure there will be more stories to tell after that - because we very rarely see them without a story coming out of it.    Things are only quiet when we don't see them at all :)

P.S. You think since we will see them mothers day, we can get away with not seeing them again until the babies are born?   That's under 3 months :)  Once the babies are here, how long do you think we can hold off after each visit?   I know we will never get away with 3 months again :(