How do you always read my mind?
These are pretty basic things, mind you. Recently, Pioneer Woman asked this question of her readers for entry into a giveaway: "what is something you purchased recently just for fun?" And the only thing I could come up with was this:
Granted, that's some super cool shampoo. It's SWIRLY, people, like a tangerine and pineapple smoothie - for your hair. The inquiring public should note that this is Herbal Essences Hydralicious.
Okay, so the economic downturn has me listing shampoo as a fun purchase just for me. But sometimes it's the small things in life.
Like my brother just walking into the room and teepeeing me. Yes, with toilet paper. Me.
It helps to enjoy the small things. I've had a gorgeous yellow lily blooming the past several weeks that my sister in law (Hi, Becky!) dug for me out of her flowerbed. I plunked it square in the middle of my front flower bed where its showy blooms were nicely complemented by blue bachelor's buttons. I was going to take a picture of it for you as show and tell. I kept forgetting. Now its season is over. But I do have lots of photos from camp this year. I'll show you some of those later.
Anyway, what else have I been enjoying these days? An old Single Meal favorite: tortellini. Listen up, single gals. You know how sometimes you live in a small apartment and you don't want to cook a whole four person meal but you can't afford to eat out every single meal?
Insert fanfare for tortellini! Here was a great solution from back in my tiny, cosy apartment days: get refrigerated tortellini from the store, along with a jar of Newman's Own pesto and tomato sauce. Make sure you have cheese on hand - mozzarella, roughly grated parmesan, even goat cheese. Thaw a chicken breast you individually froze for Just Such A Time As This.
Grill the chicken breast on your little Single Woman's Foreman grill with oregano, basil, salt and pepper. Cook the tortellini on the stovetop. Heat the sauce in a pan or the microwave.
BAM! You have sliced grilled chicken and cheese over tortellini and sauce, without leftovers that would feed Lichtenstein for a year. (Usually it yields one serving plus a small serving for part of lunch the next day. Or, if it's a Friday night and you're in by yourself watching Sandra Bullock movies, the tortellini will yield One Large Serving.)
What, those days are past? Fear not! You can still make this yummy dish, just get the larger family sized package of Buitoni three cheese tortellini, instead of the smaller package. They also have several varieties, including herbed chicken tortellini. You know what else would be good? Sauteing some portobello mushrooms and adding them to the sauce. OOOH, or sauteing some black olives and portobello mushrooms and throwing them in. I'm in HEAVEN.
So what Free Delights have I been relishing lately?
Well, for starters, Pioneer Woman's new recipe networking site, Tasty Kitchen. Wow. There are a lot of cool recipes on there that you can store in your website recipe box. You can search recipes or search members. Like for instance, I found other members from central Kentucky that I'm now Tasty Kitchen friends with. I also found other members who like to listen to Over the Rhine. I'm friends with them too.
I feel so loved.
Another free delight? Don't laugh: cool weather. It's so delighfully, unseasonally cool today I have my windows open (saving on energy bill) and my hands are chilly! This makes my heart sing. It makes me think of school supplies and sweaters and apple cider. My toes are wriggling and my face, I'm sure, looks serene. My Sweet Husband relishes hot, sweaty weather. I endure it - in the air conditioning. I think it's his Cuban blood and my Highland blood coming into conflict. But he would move to The North and I would move to The South for the other. It's sweet, really, the depth of our sacrificial, beyond-state-line love. If I wrote it in the Civil War days, I would probably have a Mason-Dixon line romantic bestseller on my hands.
Another free option: this didn't work well for me, but only because of my....shall we say, my forgetfulness. www.swaptree.com is a great site where, well, you swap. Books, CDs, movies, you list on your profile what you have that you'd be willing to part with, and the site automatically matches what you have with what other people want - and vice versa.
So you have two lists: have list and want list. The site alerts you saying HEY! You have a book so and so wants, and so and so has a movie you want, do you want to trade? And then you say yes, and you're sent the person's address and they get yours and then they send you your part of the bargain, and then you forget to send them theirs because it's crazy in your life and you just found out you're unemployed AND knocked up, and then the website starts sending you threatening emails about how you promised them this book and now they're actually wanting to receive it. So then you finally send it, after they threaten to hang you by your toes.
And then you realize maybe Swaptree isn't for you.
But it could be great for people whose lives aren't turned upside down and chaotic.
Right now, you're asking, "good grief, you're not even working, how could you fail to mail a stupid book?" I'll TELL you. First of all, it just wasn't a big priority. Second of all, have YOU puked your guts up lately in a first trimester haze of nausea? I didn't think so.
Anyway, it's a great program for trading books and movies and whatnot and works really well when everybody does what they say they're going to do.
Anyway, off to cross my fingers and hope I win the Kitchen Aid mixer Pioneer Woman is giving away. I never do, but I live in hope. Yes, I already have a Kitchen Aid mixer. But think of what I could do with an extra! I could keep it, give it away as a present, sell it on eBay, throw it out my car window at people who do stupid things on the road, present it to Someone In Need in a high-profile ribbon cutting ceremony. The possibilities are ENDLESS.