Just Like Goober

A working suburban mom, a curious baby boy, and a whole lotta life

Inquiring Minds want to know February 1, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Merrsidotes @ 1:46 pm
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I need some input from the peanut gallery on a few things

  • Breakfast: I am a full time working mom of a toddler who also does double duty as an alarm clock (the toddler, not me.) So I wake up whenever he does and I often choose between showering and eating. This is a problem around 9:30 or 10 at work when I’m slamming my debit card down for a lot of unnecessary calories because it’s easy. Also, I’m not always hungry before I leave for work. I’ve tried bringing cereal and milk to work, but I need protein in the morning. So I need some tried and true ideas that will work around this conundrum. What do you eat for breakfast during the week?


  • Dinner: I’m pretty sure I’ve posed this here, but I would love some good crockpot suggestions. I need food waiting to go when I get home, especially on the nights I have class and I don’t want Hubby taking Goober to McDonalds AGAIN. Any unique, yummy, perhaps healthy slow cooker recipes?


  • Exercise: I would LOVE to hear from a full time working mother of a toddler about when and how they work out! SOMEONE must have the secret to exercising in a way that isn’t boring (Hello treadmill!) and doesn’t fall during dinner time (Zumba, how I covet thee!) and doesn’t require me picking up a second job to pay for it (EVERYTHING ELSE!) What has you saying, “God, I can’t wait to do that tomorrow!!”

For your assistance, I will pay you in cute pictures

Are the answers in here???


Make Your Own Qdoba/Chipotle January 25, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Merrsidotes @ 7:30 am
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This one helps to address To-Do List items #5 (Make dinner from scratch 2x/wk), #23 (Try a new recipe once a week), and #24 (Bring my lunch to work 95% of the time). I love, seriously LOVE, eating at Qdoba and Chipotle. I’m not too picky about which one, but I love the concept: fresh ingredients, quick meal, no fries. If they had an indoor playground for my kid, I’d probably eat there 5 days a week. Which would be no good for my wallet and probably not for that ass shelf I’ve been growing these days. Recently I’ve seen several recipes on Pinterest claiming to replicate that Tex-Mex goodness. Last night I decided to try it myself to see how it compared. I chose to make tacos since I already had corn tortillas, but you can create any of the dishes, tacos, burritos, nachos, etc, with the basic ingredients. Just change your platform (chips, tortillas, taco shells) to change your meal!

First: the chicken. If I would have thought about this prior to 4 pm yesterday, I would have defrosted some chicken or thrown some chicken into the crockpot. Unfortunately most of my dinner ideas occur to me at the last minute. So on the way home I picked up a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store. I know this sort of cancels out the “dinner from scratch” idea, but I did save all the bones to use for stock, so I think that restores me to good standing. I simply shredded the chicken when I got home and threw the bones/carcass (nasty word) into a zipper freezer bag to make chicken stock some other day. Chicken done.

After reviewing several recipes for the cilantro lime rice, I ended up just winging it. I make all my rice in a rice cooker because rice is one of two dishes that always fails for me (the other is pancakes). I threw 1.5 cups of rice into the rice cooker, added the water as specified by my cooker, and turned it on. I used brown rice because it’s all I had. I do wish I had white rice because I think it would have been fluffier, but it was good enough. Once the rice cooker finished doing it’s thing, I threw in about 2 tablespoons of butter to moisten the rice (I don’t think this would be necessary if I had used white rice), a bunch of cilantro leaves and squeezed in the juice of a small lime. Rice done.

While my rice was cooking I opened a can of black beans and a can of diced chiles and heated them together in a small sauce pan. I smashed a couple of the black beans with a fork to make it a little more saucy. Beans done.

Other toppings I put out: shredded cheese, sliced avocado, salsa and sour cream. I heated the corn tortillas by heating a small omelet pan on the stove and then placing each tortilla in the pan for about 30 seconds on each side. You want them to get warm enough that they become flexible, but don’t leave in so long that they start to dry and harden. Dinner done.

I made Goober a regular burrito bowl with out the tortilla since he doesn’t quite grasp the taco concept and Hubby and I each had 3 tacos. I had enough leftovers for a burrito bowl lunch today and there is still some shredded chicken in the fridge.

The verdict: Really really good. It was an easy meal, not a lot of prep work, very filling, and much cheaper than going to the actual restaurant. This will definitely be a repeat meal in our house!


Ramblings October 18, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Merrsidotes @ 10:39 am
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  • Over the weekend we had hired some random guy to come grind down the stumps left over from when we chopped down our front bushes. Ever since we left our yard dotted with stumps, we’ve had one guy after another drop flyers at our front door advertising their services. The $50 guy won out and Sunday morning he showed up to do the work. On Stump #4, the grinder hit a rock. That rock shot up and through our front storm door, shattering it. Today I’m supposed to call this guy with the replacement quote so that he can pay for the new door. Wish me luck that he actually returns my phone call.
  • Shattered door aside, our yard looks awesome. We mowed, pulled weeds, trimmed, picked up dog doo, and put away the hammock and all Goober’s summer toys. Our yard is officially winterized and ready to go!
  • I still keep forgetting to take pictures of my other two Halloween crafts to show you guys. I’m sure I’ll get to that eventually.
  • I still haven’t bought another package of cheese cloth to finish my ghost lights. I’m sure I’ll get to that eventually.
  • My inner homemaker reared it’s head again this weekend. While at Costco last week, I decided to pick up a whole rotisserie chicken. I generally don’t buy those because the ones they carry at the regular grocery store are puny and cost upwards of $7 or $8. But those Costco rotisseries, whoo, those things are fat and only run me $4.99! So I grabbed one and over the weekend I pulled every ounce of chicken off it and portioned it in 2 cup increments and froze the chicken. Then I threw the carcass (someone please give me a nicer word for that) in with some carrots, potatoes, vinegar, and a whole lot of water and simmered it for almost 5 hours. I portioned my newly created broth in 2 cup increments and froze that as well. So, anybody got any good idea for stretching that chicken (and chicken stock) into some LARGE meals that will last us through several meals? Maybe some kind of casserole? Do people still make casseroles, or is that so 80s?
  • My friend Miranda recently quit her job to stay home with her son. This was after much debate, as her husband is a full time pharmacy school student and she was their sole income. But after struggling to find good childcare, questioning the ethics of her employer, and being unable to find alternate work in the current economic climate, Miranda and her husband decided that Miranda would stay home with her son full time and they would just make it work however they could. It’s, in her words, a leap of faith. She’s started a blog chronicling her new journey called My Time At Home. Go say hi!
  • One last thing- my kid is damn cute



















  • Seriously. Cute.

Versatile Blogger Award! September 23, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Merrsidotes @ 9:19 am
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Holy crap monkey! Cheryl gave me the Versatile Blogger Award!! It was such a nice surprise when I got home from vacation.  I’m in shock and awe and blushing a little. She’s sweet, that girl.

There are some rules that come with this award:

Rule #1.  Thank the person who gave you the award and link back to them in your post.


As most (if not all) of you know, Cheryl over at That’s What Che Said is pretty much the best chick ever. She’s a great mom, amazing wife (Freddy better know how lucky he is!), fabulous friend, and as we’ve all discovered over the past few months, really incredible blogger. I think I’ve mentioned before (here, here, here, and here) that Cheryl and I have been friends forever, but until she started blogging, I had no idea how creative and crafty she was. Come to find out, that girl has some serious creativity running through those veins! If polygamy is ever legalized here in Missouri, I’m totally making her my sister wife. I want her decorating my house and fixing my cocktails (Don’t worry Freddy, we’ll find a place for you!!)

Rule #2:  Share 7 Things about yourself

7 things about me:

  1. I have 2 party tricks: First, a more common sight, I can tie cherry stems into knots with my tongue. Second, a little less common and kind of creepy, I have useful toes. Especially to pick things up when I’m too lazy to bend over, and (here’s where it’s weird) to pinch people. I have no idea where I learned it, but I can pinch you one hell of a bruise using only my toes. I’ve been told it hurts more than a finger pinch.

  2. I have never sat traditionally cross-legged on the floor. Instead, I sit with my knees facing forward and my feet pointing behind me, like the letter M, with my butt being the bottom of the V. I’m told it looks uncomfortable, but I find it much more comfortable that sitting cross-legged. It also, over time, has made me knock-kneed.

  3. I have a sister who is 12 years younger than me. She is currently navigating high school, my nemesis, and coaching her through it is very cathartic for me.

  4. My favorite color is purple and my favorite flavor is grape. These things have not changed for as long as I can remember.

  5. I will eat just about anything. I’m a huge foodie with a fast food budget, which makes for disappointing date nights in the culinary department. If anyone would like to treat me to a tasting menu with wine pairings, I’ll be your friend for life.

  6. I’m completely enamored by anything pregnancy/birth related. I have seriously considered becoming a doula at some point in my life. Maybe when I retire?

  7. On the opposite side of the spectrum, I’m completely terrified of death and the great unknown that comes afterwards. I don’t like to talk or even think about the prospect of someday not existing. If my mind starts wandering that way, I have to distract myself with something or I will start feeling all panicky.

Rule #3:  Pass the award on to 15 blogs that were recently discovered!

I’m going to interpret this as my own recent discoveries, despite the fact that most of these have been around for a long time! And the award goes to…

  1. Bower Power

  2. Paw Prints and Pastry Bags

  3. Blue Eyed Bride

  4. That’s What Che Said (I know she already has it, but I can’t help it, it’s one of my favorites and it’s pretty new to me still!)

  5. Mabel’s House

  6. The Spohrs Are Multiplying

  7. Young House Love

  8. The Glamorous Life of a Housewife

  9. PhD in Parenting

  10. Nate is Great

  11. Inside Dog

  12. Craftaholics Anonymous

  13. A Bowl Full of Lemons

  14. 365 Days of Pinterest

  15. Carrots ‘n Cake

Please spend some time visiting these amazing blogs. You’re guaranteed to learn something new and probably find a new favorite.

Thanks again Cheryl!!!


Pinnable Monday September 12, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Merrsidotes @ 10:00 am
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Whew, it’s only Monday and already I’m looking forward to Friday. This week is going to be brutally busy between work, school, and home. It’s weeks like this that I tend to break out the crock-pot and put to use some of the many slow cooker recipes that I’ve been filing away.

Photo courtesy of http://foodiewithfamily.com

This is one of several slow cooker chicken tikka masala recipes I have pinned, but I’m so in love with this dish and to be able to have it waiting for me when I get home from work is equivalent to my husband cleaning the bathroom and the kitchen in the same day- amazing and unbelievable.


It’s at this point while I was writing this post that I realized that Chicken Tikka Masala recipes were the only slow cooker recipes on my pin board. I just assumed I had a ton of slow cooker recipes pinned because I LOVE my crockpot so much. Seriously. I’m not sure what I’d do without it. I have a few standard recipes, like Salsa Chicken for chicken tacos, and Pulled Pork, that I use over and over again. This isn’t going to cut it this year. As fall approaches,  I have a million more things on my plate this year. Plus, with Goober eating people food, I need some really great slow cooker recipes that I can prep either the night before or the morning of.

So, please, send me your slow cooker recipes and help a girl out. Soups, stews, pastas, bakes- if you love it, I’d love to try it! Please leave the recipes or the links in comments, or even better, @mention me on your slow cooker pins so I can Pin it to my Foodie board.

Happy Monday everyone!


Monday Pinning August 29, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Merrsidotes @ 12:22 pm
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I mentioned earlier that I’m doing the HabitHacker 90 day Nest challenge. I get little prompts each day to do something to better the state of my home- either cleanliness or organizationally. This has inspired me to rethink some of my home organization techniques and look for ways get things in better order. This morning I decided I needed to organize my organization ideas on Pinterest, so I created a “Get Organized” pin board to keep better track of these ideas. Here are few of my favorites:

Photo courtesy of http://makeandtakes.com

Menu planning is one place I definitely need some organization (and motivation). This is just a black picture frame, with some scrapbook paper placed where the picture would usually go. Print the days of the week and the “Menu” title on the paper, and BAM! You’ve got yourself a cute little dinner menu whiteboard!

Photo courtesy of http://u-createcrafts.com

Speaking of organizing meals, here is a fantastic idea.  You can create your own personalized grocery list with the items you regularly purchase. Then just check off the items as you run out of things and when it’s time to go to the store, you have a grocery list ready to go!

Once I get all those groceries home, I run into another problem in my pantry. Cans are stacked in all sorts of places and they are hard to see and hard to see around. Using a magazine holder may be just the ticket to freeing up some space for more important things. Like chocolate chips.

Photo courtesy of http://marthastewart.com

Leaving the subject of food, I want to show you this easy piece of brilliance that you can do immediately. If you were to look at the top shelf of my bedroom closet (please don’t), you would feel the need to guard your head in case the teetering tower of sheets and pillow cases were to come tumbling down at you. Marthastewart.com has solved this problem by suggesting that we take one of those pillow cases and use it to keep the matching sheets and pillow case(s) all tucked in together nicely. This is something that requires no materials or tools, yet I still haven’t done it. Bad Merrsidotes.

Photo courtesy of http://bhg.com

One last thing. I’m sure you remember that I’m going to South Carolina- considering that I mention it pretty much everyday. So with a minimum of 30 hours in the car with a toddler and, more likely the bigger problem, my husband, we’re going to need some tools to keep things from getting gross. The brilliant people at Better Homes and Gardens thought to use a plastic cereal container to keep the trash contained. I usually just hang a grocery bag over the stick shift and toss stuff in that way. It works, but things fall out without a lid. I prefer this idea.

So that’s what I’m thinking about this week. What about you? Anything you’re pinning that you want to share? Any great organization ideas that I should try? Let me know! Also if you have a Pinterest account, share it in the comments! I’m always looking to pin more great ideas!


Monday Pinning August 22, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Merrsidotes @ 10:53 am
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Once again it’s Monday, once again I’m too drained to use my brain. For todays Pins, I decided to just take my five most recent pins and showcase them. Here we go!

I love this. LOVE IT. I think this should be the official list of guiding principles for childhood. I want to take this and paint it across a playroom wall. Now I just need a playroom.

Photo courtesy of http://www.ohcrafts.net

How cute are these??? They’re all made from felt! I’m scheming to build Goober a play kitchen for Christmas and I think these would be the perfect compliment to that. Some would even fit in his stocking! Now to just find the time and motivation to put these plans into action…

This is a Snickerdoodle Cake with Brown Sugar Buttercream. What more is there to say? I think my reason for pinning this is pretty obvious. Snickerdoodle? Of course. Cake? Obviously. Brown Sugar? The best kind of sugar in my opinion. Buttercream? Oh baby yes. Put them together, and you can just assume you’re going to have to pry this out of my cold dead hands. I have big plans for this guy. Next office birthday, watch out!

Photo courtesy of http://www.bhg.com

I love things that are smart. This is one of those things. I currently have a tupperware cabinet where I expect an avalanche every time I open it. Trying to keep the lids with their owners doesn’t work, I have too many containers and they need to be nested to fit. Enter the brilliant minds at Better Homes & Gardens. I’m betting I can find old CD organizers like this for nickels at garage sales. I can’t wait!

Image courtesy of http://imgfave.com

This little lovely was tagged to me by Cheryl. Knowing me since birth has given her some experience with my frequent falling, tripping, and stumbling. I like this little print because it takes the blame off of me and transfers it to inanimate objects. I’m for that.

So what are you loving this week?


Want to see what else I’m loving? Check out my Pinterest pins at http://pinterest.com/merrsidotes/.