Turning up the heat

Turning up the heat

I like my food spicy. Make that, the spicier the better. I grew up with spicy food and have progressed from heat to heat since. Apparently that’s rubbed off on my brood 😆 .

Not a meal goes by when we don’t have a fiery kick here, a flame shooter there and a fire extinguisher on standby. Because my cooking tends to be super low-sodium, which makes it kinda bland, the heat helps fire things up a notch and makes the meal much more interesting and palatable.

Chilli sauce for fish and fries. Trust me, it’s not as spicy as it looks. They always seem to serve us 2 little bowls for 4 or 5 of us and we keep them busy running up and down with refills.

Peri-peri sauce is our favorite by far. They come in 4 flavors – garlic, mild, hot and extra hot. Pick the extra hot if you dare. It’s a killer, trust me on this one! Here’s a quick tip: If your mouth’s on fire, grab a warm/hot drink rather than a cold one. It’s proven you need fire to fight fire!!

Fresh birds’ eye chillies in soy sauce, a perennial favorite. At most restaurants, we have to specially request this. They’re usually not the most generous so we keep badgering them for refills. This picture is one of the few instances when the server read our minds and brought 2 heaping platefuls. The guy is brilliant, he deserves a promotion 😉 .

In short, I can’t imagine a world without chilly and spice. Does this qualify me to be a ‘hot’ mama? Just wonderin’ *shrug* .

The mane

The mane

So my hair was beginning to resemble a lion’s mane. Which would’ve been totally fine if I were a lion. Of course, some might argue that I can be quite the lion mom but that’s totally untrue 😛 .

Thing is I’ve been procrastinating on taming my unruly mane for 3 whole months and I was beginning to feel that pretty soon it’ll be spring and birds might see it fit to nest and sing from the top of my head.

So I had to kick some butt and get going. Finally, I’ve got some structure back on my mane and that can’t be bad, right? My hair’s a lot shorter and my head feels a lot lighter. It’s quicker to wash and air-dry after my workouts.

I think I like it 😀 .

It’s kinda different than the style I had before. If you know me, you know I like something adventurous, something stylish but not in style. That’s just how I roll, baby!

Say, do you like experimenting with different hairstyles like I do, or do you tend to stick with the same cut?

Yes, I wear the same thing

Yes, I wear the same thing

… every day!

So last week, I read that Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg admitted to wearing “the same t-shirt every day”. What a relief! I’m so glad someone actually came out in the open and admitted it. In case you haven’t noticed, he and his grey t-shirt are inseparable, and he has a stash of 20-odd identical grey t-shirts.

I’m sure he’s not the only one. You might even know someone like that. And some of us do variations of this.

I’m guilty of wearing tank tops every single day. They are the most comfortable things ever. I have 6, maybe 8 tanks in different colors of different designs. Of course, I make sure I wear a different color every day just in case folks start wondering if they should hold their breaths around me 😉 .

Nothing wrong with wearing the same thing every day. Or is there?

There was a guy at the office where I worked who wore the same exact shirt, pants and tie every single day. Did he even change for a whole week? What was most disturbing was that I had to deal with him quite a bit and there’s a limit to how long I could hold my breath around him 🙄 !

My cellphone and I


I’m notorious for not answering my cellphone. It’s usually in the next room, or in my handbag, or downstairs, or wherever I happen to park it… usually far away. More often than not, when it rings, I don’t hear it. Which leads folks to think I may be deaf, maybe, so they gently suggest I search HearingAidsElite.com for hearing aids.

I can’t blame them. That’s how I roll. Only when my kids are out do I keep my cellphone next to me, just in case they need to get a hold of me. Once all my kids are home, I really don’t care about my cellphone any more. It can ring itself hoarse, it can try to walk over to me, it can fire flares to attract my attention, I don’t really give a hoot.

If it’s urgent, I reckon the person will call me back. If not, they can always send me a text. The thing I still don’t get is the folks who leave me voicemail. Um, voicemail is like so 1997. A text message does the job so much better. Just sayin’.

Kiss me gently


The gas station was busy as usual. There will always be the selfish folks sitting in their cars texting, having a drink of water, checking their makeup and taking their pokey time, long after they’re done filling up, completely oblivious to the number of cars waiting to get in.

There was an older woman who had happily parked her tiny car at one of the pumps, locked it and strolled off. I saw her walking away. After the guy in front of her drove off, I had to reverse into his spot, having been displaced by all that moving back and forth to make room for other folks to get in front and back of me.

Anyhoo, I backed into the spot in front of the woman’s car, got out and went round the back of my minivan to get to the pump on the other side.

Whoa, guess what?

I couldn’t get through. There was not an inch of space between her car and mine. I had backed my car right into hers! My back bumper was right up against her front bumper. Our bumpers were just touching. No jolts, no dents, no scratches, no marks, nothing. Amazing! Whoa, how did I even do that?!!

From the corner of my eye, I spied her strolling back from across the other side of the road. Heck, no time to stand there and admire my awesome parking skills, not even time to take a picture of my Hollywood stuntsmanship (or is it stuntspersonship now? 😆 ). I jumped back in my car and eased it forward. No reason for her to see what didn’t happen. And definitely no reason to give her a heart attack!

The thing about sushi

The thing about sushi

I finally figured out why I’m not as crazy about sushi as I should be. I mean, I love Japanese food. It’s true I wouldn’t touch Japanese noodles of any kind – shoba, udon, I don’t care what you call them – with a 10-foot pole. But apart from that, I love everything else – the sashimi, tempura, teppanyaki, wasabe (especially the wasabe), even the odd teriyaki.

So what is it with sushi? *sigh*

I think the reason may well be this. A typical sushi roll is too big a mouthful to take in all at once without looking like a glutton. Yet the fact that it comes packaged so neatly in a roll with a piece of seaweed in the middle makes it madness to even try to bite in half.

Darn that seaweed!

Have you ever tried biting through sushi without getting your teeth entangled in that almost elastic seaweed and the topping mashed up against your front teeth?

Not a pretty picture!

I turn the sushi sideways, forwards and backwards, east and west but there is just no way!! So if I can’t cram it all in and I can’t bite it in half, how else can I get at it – gracefully? I’d like to hear how you eat your sushi, pray tell. I need to learn to do this with grace without embarrassing myself.

Something that makes me happy

Something that makes me happy
Going Green with the Grizls

Enough of the laziness, the humdrum and the procrastination. Time to get off my butt and onto something to distract me from the call of my pillows on these hot, dull, drowsy afternoons. I’ve decided I’m going to try the Summer Blog Challenge hosted by Going Green with the Grizls. It’s the sixth day of the challenge. I’m late to the party so let me jump right in.

As my lovelies and I were getting into our minivan this morning, we noticed something that made me us smile. Indeed happiness is when you see a single daisy in full bloom in the front yard of a family of green thumbs.

Our garden, if you can even call it that, might as well be the Sahara Desert. No plant in its right mind would flourish here. So I’m not even sure how this purty little survivor beat the odds and grew into such a raving beauty. Truly a picture of something that makes me happy. Don’t wilt, Daisy, you’re all we got 😆 !

The eleventh hour

The eleventh hour

This is the typical scenario in our house on the weekend before the exams.

  • “Mom, I need to go to the bookstore. Got to buy some workbooks.” — “Okay, when are the exams?” — “Next week.”
  • “I can’t find my Biology book! Has anyone seen it? It has a blue cover.” — “Isn’t it on the table? Thought I saw it there.” — “No, that’s not the one! Can someone help me find it please? My test is tomorrow!”
  • “Has anyone seen my test timetable? Think I need to text my friend to text it to me!”
  • “How can you study with those headphones on?” — “Music helps me remember.” — Wokay 🙄 !

  • 4:00pm with book over head: “Zzzzzzzzzzzzz!” — “Wake up and get studying!” — “I am, Mom… by the process of osmosis!”
  • 20th trip to the fridge: “Where are you going – again!?” — “Hungry, Mom, gotta eat!”
  • 10:00pm: “Going to sleep, Mom, goodnight.”

No grades were harmed in the actual exams.

Quinoa and us, the anti-climax

Quinoa and us, the anti-climax

I’m not sure what possessed me to buy a whole bag of this. But I did.

Yup, you see it right there inside that mushroom cap, peeking out from underneath the layer of cheese.


That’s right. Quinoa.

I’m sorry I can’t post a close-up because just looking at it gives me goosebumps! This is the best I can do. As long as I don’t see it, I’m fine. I mean, after all, it’s just a grain, right? And the name sounds so cool some celebrity will name their baby after it, just you wait.

So how was I to know an innocent grain could look so utterly unattractive when cooked?

Okay, here’s the story. I’ve been reading about quinoa. The rave reviews. The health benefits. The disclaimer, I’m not someone who falls for health fads like detoxes or enzymes or electronic belts that can jiggle away your belly fat (huh!), or whatever’s making the rounds on the internet today.

I prefer to err on the side of common sense and I do my homework before I even think about jumping onto the bandwagon. Exactly why I don’t bother with Facebook. Apparently some people (not all) get such a big kick from posting a bunch of bull. And people actually believe that bull!! 🙄

Quinoa, now that’s a different story. It’s not an urban legend. It’s not from an email spam written by some 10-year-old kid with too much time on his hands. Quinoa is supposed to be good for you and I thought we could actually be good together. But I just can’t stomach looking at it!

You know we don’t like to waste food. *sigh* So I forced down 4 of those quinoa stuffed mushrooms, Hip2bDaughter2 ate 3 with her eyes closed and Hip2bDaughter1 only managed 1 before she started to gag. We were laughing so hard we almost fell off our chairs as we tried to wash it all down with a gallon of iced lemon tea. Pretty traumatic but funny! 😆

Now I have a whole bowl left over! No one’s going to eat it. So it’s going to the dogs. Or birds. Literally. I’m dropping the whole bag of it off at the park with a little note to our feathered and furry friends, Enjoy and here’s to good health! Hip2bDaughter2, my animal lover, is going, Mom, are you trying to kill the birds in the park? Or the dogs? 🙄 No, honey, they’ll be in the pink of health when they’re done with dinner.

I have a whole bag of uncooked quinoa in my pantry! It’s expensive and I don’t want to waste it. What am I going to do? I’m thinking maybe I should make quinoa dog food for Tyson. Now where do I find quinoa recipes for dogs?

That obligatory what-I-had-for-lunch post

That obligatory what-I-had-for-lunch post

Okay, so here’s the post that has everyone on the edge of their seats. The “what I had for lunch” post. I know everyone’s dying to know what’s for lunch today… and I’m not going to disappoint you guys. Oh no! 😉

Bacon on Italian toast

Fiery tuna on Italian toast (Spicy advisory: Have a fire extinguisher nearby!)

And that’s it! Did you think there was more? Am I on a diet? Not this carb freak 😉 . I need my carbs. I love my carbs. And don’t let the size of the toast fool you either. Two little slices of my Italian toast = 4 slices of regular storebought air. Ya, I know, my pet peeve, that!

My new toaster oven did a good job, eh? Our old one went to toaster heaven more than a year ago and that’s exactly how long I’ve procrastinated. I’ve been spending most of my days sitting in traffic jams, that’s why!

It’s a really simple toaster oven with an on-off timer instead of the one with the temperature setting (since I already have that on my inverter oven). Quickest buying decision ever. Let’s toast to that!

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