Monday, March 31, 2014

The Power of Words.

The Headlines:

Start writing.

If you're 7 or 77.

Here's why.



I started my first blog when I was 8 years old. At least,  the old fashioned version of one.  A diary.  You know pen & paper.  I still have it today.


Isn't it cute?  If you can't tell… it's a Norman Rockwell print of a pre-teen girl, looking at a picture of Greta Garbo and then painfully viewing herself.  The perfect cover for a diary wouldn't you say?  Oh the angst of those years…

But that book and the many others that followed (I'm seriously up to 30 something I'd say) helped me tremendously maneuver through the turmoil of being a teen a beyond.

Why did I embark upon such a serious writing journey at such a young age?  It came from a television show.  Don't most great ideas when you're 7?   Little House on the Prairie.  Remember that one?  With Michael Landon?  And of course the always tough and ever cute Laura Ingalls (played by Melissa Gilbert).   The family and what they went through, affected me greatly.  Every week I would sit on the couch and watch their trials and tribulations.  Most weeks I cried.  But oh the lessons I learned.  And Laura Ingalls was a writer.  Therefore, so would I!  At that age, writing for me was sporadic and random.  I was more looking for things to say than actually saying them…


but what it did was get me in the mind set of writing.  As I grew, when I had a bad day I would come home, tell my mom and then write about it in my diary.  Sometimes I wrote about my mom.  In BIG LETTERS!  It was almost as if I was my own "counselor."  Writing in a diary helped me sort stuff out.  I could talk about the boy I liked, the girl I hated or the subject I was questioning.  And more than that, I was also able to look back and remember.  I have a terrible memory so writing became my memory.  Actually, I'm pretty sure I block out bad stuff, unconsciously, as a self preservation.  It works.  I'm a very happy person!  ha.  But writing enabled me to refer back and learn from myself.  Screw me once, shame on you, screw me twice….

Essentially writing became something I could rely on.  Not daily. I had no strict regimen.  I would just do it when the mood struck me.  Which, it struck often over the years.  I now have diaries coming out of my eyeballs!


I'm not sure I wrote anything poetic.  But that didn't matter.  The writing helped me discover something very valuable.  Myself.  I got to know who I was and what I stood for, very well and at a young age.  I learned what I wanted out of of my life and how I would go about getting it.  It focused me, humbled me, made me empathetic yet strong.  All of that from writing?  Yes.  Because I spent time understanding and evaluating me and my actions.  Maybe that's what more of us could use these days.  Rather than looking at each other so much… looking in the mirror.  Just like the girl in the Norman Rockwell picture above.  She doesn't like what she sees…  maybe she should start writing.

I am not saying I was a perfect child.  But I am saying I was better because of writing.  So, for those of you who think writing isn't for everyone - for those who think they have nothing to say - I challenge you.  Your voice is louder than you know.  Your words matter more on paper than in your head.  If not to you, than to your children who may not even be born yet or to your mom who's not dead yet.

Writing, also clearly led me in other directions.  It became my paid profession for many years.  It helped me compose important letters.  How many times do we forget to tell our parents that we love them - on paper?  What's left unsaid, is just unsaid.  Now, it's led me to this blog.  Words not just for me but the 10 others who choose to read them.  I have not given up my private, paper diary.  But the entires are fewer and farther between.  Perhaps as a grown woman I have less to hide.  More to share.

In closing, I make you a promise.  Write words down and things will happen.  Your load will become lighter, your heart will become fuller and your head will thank you.



Friday, March 28, 2014

Best. bURGEr. Ever.

The Headlines:

This is, hands down, the best burger ever made in my kitchen.

I would challenge anyone to a burger-off with it.

I urge you to make this and tell me otherwise!




About 12 years ago when I moved to Arizona my, then boyfriend - now husband, BP decided to try something new with burgers.  He added some onions and seasoning and maybe a few peppers or something then slapped those babies on the grill and cooked them up.  He's a good cook so I was excited to see what he came up with.  It was not bueno.  Really, not good.  If that's harsh please remember, the title of this blog….?  Anyways, it reminded me of a meatloaf on buns.  I HATE meatloaf.  He never made them again.  I tell you that story to re-emphasize my pickiness of food. Meatloaf burger = bad.  Burger below = awesome!  I would not lead you astray.

Not to mention, as it's been stated here many times.  I don't really like to cook nor am I particularly genius at it.  But this burger makes me feel like I am a Chef extraordinaire.  And you will be too after you make this, I promise.  Not only is it easy (prepared in like 3 minutes - with cook time it can go to 10) but it can bring the house down.  I'll bet your family (or guests) have never tasted anything like it!

Presenting.. wow this better be good… cue the "Rocky" music… the Asian Burger...


As my son would say - tah daaaah!  Alright, ready for how easy this is.  Here goes:

Ingredients:
1 lb (or more, count on 1/4 lb for each burger)
2 scallions chopped
1 tbs minced fresh ginger (if you have that jarred kind from sushi night, I've used that too)
2 garlic cloves minced
2 tbspns reduced sodium soy sauce
** SS is probably the secret ingredient that makes this burger sing like Celine
1 tsp sesame oil
cucumber thinly sliced - soaked in rice vinegar
Mayo
Wasabi
English muffins

Grab a large bowl and put the beef, scallions, ginger, garlic, soy sauce and sesame oil in the bowl and mix with your hands (I find this the easiest way vs. a spoon of some kind)…


then form the patties and stick on the frying pan.  Or the grill… if you want to head outside.  For some reason I just always do these inside.  Cook for about 4 minutes on medium heat on each side.  I love steak medium rare but not my burgers!


While that's happening toast your English muffins and prepare your condiment.  To do that, grab a small bowl, spoon some mayo out, add some Wasabi and mix.  However much you can handle.  Mmmmmmmm good!


Once finished, grab your burger and slap it on your toasted, wasbi mayo-ed English muffins and top with the cucumbers.  You're basically using the cucumbers instead of lettuce for this baby.


Add some Asian "fries" - edamame - maybe some Sake or Kirin Light Beer and your meal is served!   Seriously, it is crazy good!  You will not be disappointed.  Do it this weekend!

Tah- daaaaaahhh!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Kids (love these) Food Ideas!

The Headlines:

I am super bad at "kid food!"

But here are 2 easy ideas I just discovered.

Thanks to the Girl Scouts!



I am going to be very honest.  I do not like to cook.  I do it for these reasons:
  1. I can not afford to hire a live in cook.
  2. I like to throw parties which I don't (usually) like to cater.
  3. I'm super picky about eating really good food.
  4. I have children who would die if I didn't feed them.  
For all of those reasons, I cook.  Not a lot… but I do it.  And when I do… I have to say, most of it turns out pretty good.  So says my stunned husband.  Sometimes he just looks at me and shakes his head… "never thought I'd be seeing this," he says (it's like me pouring cereal at the time)!  Add a major yum meal to the mix and, I swear, I see him having breathing problems.  However, one thing I do not do well is "kid friendly" food.  I'm not super good about letting them get their hands dirty and making "ants on a log…" know what I mean?

So when I went on a camping weekend with my daughter and her Girl Scout Troop I was not necessarily looking for any food tips… but these 2 just leapt up and hit me on the head!  Let's get one thing out of the way first, I am not a camper.  Like, super not a camper.  (Geez what do I do?)  Now, don't get me wrong, I was happy to go on the trip to be with my daughter and, really, observe the goings on of 2nd grade girls.

***Side note, that's important.  Girls get crazy fast and I need to make sure things in the life of my 7 year old are happy and healthy.  So far so good.  I'm sure this will be another blog post later.

Back to topic: for dinner, the Girl Scouts who were hosting this event did something our girls LOVED… and for that mater so did the moms attending.

Me indulging in camp food
Okay, now for the point.  Look at what I'm eating out of… can you tell?  It's this…
Ziploc Bag
Yep, that's a plastic Ziploc bag.  Here's what the leaders did that had our girls howling for more SALAD… they laid out all the fixings so they could choose what they wanted to put in their bags.  My daughter liked it so much, we re-created the idea for dinner last night.


It was a taco salad so there was lettuce, tomatoes, chips, olives, black beans, corn, kidney beans, salsa, onions, shredded cheese, ground beef, (I added avocado), sour cream, ranch dressing, everything and anything you could imagine in a taco salad.  They had a ball putting it together.


Then, they told us to close the bag and scrunch it all up.  They loved that part too.  After it's mixed, you open the bag, fold it down and enjoy!


Ingenious.  Even my 3 year old ate it!


Super good idea to do for a party, a camp out in your backyard… or maybe even a great way to pack a lunch during a work week.  No dishes!

Okay, the next idea I was super impressed with was also simple.  The girls also loved it!  I haven't re-created it yet but I will and when I do, I may put it on here again with the proper pictures.  But it was so good  I am foaming at the mouth to tell you about it!  They called them Banana Boats and, again, the girls loved making them.


Ingredients:

banana
chocolate chips
mini marshmallows
tin foil

On top of the tin foil (pictured above) take a whole banana and a not very sharp knife and slice along the front two natural lines that go down the length of the banana peel.  Then, from the bottom detach it so it's kind of like a flap.  Next, slice one long slice in the middle of the banana meat so that you can push those chocolate chips and marshmallows in. Once that's done, cover it up with the banana peel so it almost looks like a complete banana again.  Then wrap it in the tin foil and put on the grill.  After a few minutes, pull it off but you want to make sure the banana looks a little gooey.  When it does, grab a spoon, open it up, and eat it right in the peel.  Delicious!

Sorry no pictures.  It didn't dawn on me to blog on this until I got home and my daughter wouldn't stop talking about this stuff!  Once again, a great idea for camping or a birthday party or grilling in the backyard!  Whatever.  Fun and yum kid food!

Now, when can we go camping again?  Wait...




Monday, March 24, 2014

Moms W"h"ine Tasting!

The Headlines:


I love to do parties!

But instead, this time, I did a tasting.

So could you.



I have started this thing, which I have already blogged about, called Mom's W"h"ine Night.  It's a pretty big hit with the gals and clearly it's fun for me!  But this time, I decided to switch it up a bit and add a little wine knowledge to the group.  Most of them love wine but they don't know why!  So we decided to give a little education mixed with a LOT of fun!

First I started with the invites.  I like making invitations, it may be weird, but I find it sets the tone.  When people actually get one they know you mean serious business!  Here's what I did for this…

Inside

Front
If you can't read it, it says:  Put a Cork in it Mom… let's relax and w"h"ine together!  Then it has some wine industry terns like "bottled by" and "appelation"… which is giving the who, what and where's with a little zing!  

When people arrived, we started with bubbles.  Half had a Prosecco and the other half had a Champagne.  After they finished it…we gave them the other and we asked which was which.  Good, fun, gamey start to the night!  

Now, for this wine tasting, we brought in some "experts" and decided to compare/contrast wines from France and wines from California.  Typically, people on the West Coast prefer wines from California because it's what they're used to, due to accessibility.  People from the East Coast usually prefer European wines.  Same reason.  We had girls taste both, somewhat comparable wines, and tell us what they liked better.  Wouldn't you know it… it rang true.  The gals from the "East side" typically liked the French wines.  Which, I like to describe as "thin" or "light"… no less good but California tends to produce more bold and bigger wines.  Take for instance, Chardonnay, they usually are more "oakey" than the wines from France.  We also gave some "nuggets," like if you order a glass of wine from a restaurant and pay $8 for it…that's probably what the cost of the entire bottle (to the restaurant)!  It was interesting and everyone mixed with fun.  

A formal wine tasting can't have too many people.  Unless you have a gigantic dining room table.  



Plus, when people drink wine they tend to get loud!  I think there were 14 moms there.  I had to improvise with the seating a bit.   I also only had 2 glasses for each person, a white and a red.  When you go to Napa, they have like 8 glasses sitting in a line up.  I ain't Napa!  Someone's gotta clean those glasses!

I will say, the gals tasted a lot of wine.


Because of that, we had multiple dump buckets available.  They were plenty used!  Much wine was wasted that night but… a mom has to drive!

One of 4 dump buckets!
Now, as for food... wine tastings are easy to do a menu for because of what typically goes with wine:  cheese, bread, olives, meats, salads, fruit and pizza!  Simple.  


We ate before and after… plus, I put some food on the table.



Whatever you do, just make sure there's plenty of it!  Wine needs food!  

Once the night was over… they got cork key chains we made on the way out the door.  


Those were super easy to make - click HERE to see how we did it.   

As you can see, the night was a blast! 


But here's the best part… you could easily do this too.  Typically, home wine tastings are simply people bringing a bottle of wine and everyone trying it.  I've also heard of hiding the label and seeing what you like best.  There are tons of different tasting variations.  

But I challenge you to go one step further…  find an "expert."  Go to your favorite restaurant and ask the sommelier what he would charge for 1 hour of wine knowledge at your home.  Or what about where you buy your wine?  Perhaps you have a friend in the biz?  Everyone knows someone!  It ups the wine tasting ante and your moms will remember it for a long time!  We all know moms need some serious time to relax, w"h"ine and un-WINE-d!   

Friday, March 21, 2014

Bidet or Urinal?

The Headlines:

We have a bidet.

No one uses it.

We're putting in a urinal.

What do you think?


I know, decisions, decisions.

When we bought this house it had one "feature"  that always made me shake my head a bit.  A bidet.  No I do not live in Europe.  I live in Scottsdale, Arizona.  I have not seen many houses here with a bidet.  But whatever.  You can see it there below.
Now sitting in the garage

Before
It started me thinking… does anyone use bidet's anymore?  I looked.  There's plenty available on Lowes.com and Homedepot.com… really.  But in the 2 years I've lived here I have used ours a total of 0 times.

It was last year some time that I went to a friend's house and took the home "tour" for the first time.  One of its "features" was a urinal.  A detail her husband loved, particularly, because he's a urologist.  But it dawned on me… that is what could replace our bidet.  Right?  Kind of like a "his " and "hers"… so cute!?

Not to mention, the urinal would get use.  Lots of use between the 2 men in the house!

Last week when we did the floors one of the guys in the group brought up the urinal thing, I guess I had mentioned it.  Shocking.  Me talking to random people about my life!?  He said, if you're going to do it, the time is now.  Thinking, they could put the planks over the plumbing, re-plumb it and get it ready for the install.  Okay… urinal project kicked into high gear.  They did that.  Here's what the space looks like now.

After
As you can see… there's a giant hole in my wall.

We have ordered the urinal and will get it installed… soon.  But now I'm wondering … did I do the right thing?  There's no going back, BP (my husband) would kill me.  But what would you do?  Seriously, as a woman… would you rather have a bidet or a urinal?  I know the man's answer… given.  BP's kinda stoked over it.  But, tell me what do you think?  Am I crazy for WANTING a urinal in my home!?

I guess, for now, I'll sit on it.  Hee heeee.  

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Wish Upon a Bracelet

The Headlines:

Do you believe in wishing?

If you do… you're going to love this idea!



Once upon a time there was a princess who made a wish and… it came true!  Blaaaaahhhhhhhkkkkkk!!!!!  I am not a big wish person.  I actually feel that hard work, skills and prayers go a lot farther.

I do believe there is something special about the wonderment of a child's wish however.  I encourage my kids to throw, blow and go… just because it's a part of dreaming, learning and growing.  It's just not really MY thing.  Hey, I made a wish when I was at the Trevi Fountain in Rome years ago and pregnant I no got!

But every once in a while, no matter what you believe… it's fun to blow a dandelion, see a shooting star or throw a penny in a fountain, make a wish and see if it really does come true.  Problem is, who follows up with their wishes?  I rarely ever do.  You throw, you wish, you move on.  My guess is a day goes by (for me it's an hour) and you might even forget you ever made the wish - let alone what it WAS!!!

Recently, however, I was given a gift that made me remember.  I'm not sure why… perhaps because it was a lovely and thoughtful hostess gift which I was given at a dinner.  And it was different.  Not a candle or flowers but this…


With this attached to the center if it… it's a bracelet.


Are you lost?  Let me explain.  It's a small turquoise stone attached to a simple piece of string which is attached to some card stock that reads "Wishing Bracelet.  Tie around wrist and make a wish (or 2 or 3), when it falls off your wish comes true!"  **For the record, there was not any red balls of lint on the bracelet at the time it was given to me.  That accumulated over the weeks I wore it.

Then there was a little insert included which explains the type of stone it is and what it "does"…


I just thought it was delightful.  I tied it on right away and made a couple general wishes, like I always do.  Then I made a very specific wish.  I did not forget this one.  Possibly because it was so detailed but also because I had something that I looked at everyday that reminded me of it.

Weeks later I was talking to a friend about this gift and telling her how easy it would be to replicate (she actually encouraged me to put it on this blog so she could do it).  A great idea would be to make a bunch at once and then use them for party favors or hostess gifts or birthday prizes!  Just find the stones, research their "meaning," make the cards and the bracelets - done!  

Now, back to that wish of mine.  The bracelet stayed on, surprisingly, for about 4 weeks.  When it fell off - I kid you not - my wish did come true.  For some reason, I was not surprised.  Maybe more of my wishes are coming true… I just never remember that I made them!  Or perhaps there's more to this kid-wonderment-wishing-thing than I first thought.

And they lived happily ever after…

Monday, March 17, 2014

Spring Clean your Life!

The Headlines:


Time to Spring Clean.

It can cleanse in more ways than one.



If you're one of the 10 people reading this blog you know I've been in the middle of remodeling madness.  During which time, I was a hoarder.  Huh, you say?  Oh, maybe you're the 11th person. Okay, a quick re-cap… all of our things had to come out of our 2 master closets (as well as office and bedroom) so it could be painted and re-floored.  But because of delays… it was about a 5 week process.  

Yes, a 5 week process.  

Living like that went against everything in my core being.  Same with BP's (my husband)  but it's true… just like many of you said… it was worth it.  It looks great.  More on that later… as it's not detailed done yet so no pictures.  But let me get to my point:  during our time putting things back - we truly did the "Spring Clean."  Something, I have actually never tried.  Old clothes went to the Goodwill, re-organization took place and dust was picked up like it never was before.  Wow.  It felt good in more ways than one.  

So I started to think… maybe there really is something to "Spring Cleaning."  It's debatable how the term originated - some say it has to do with the Jewish Passover, others say it's in anticipation of the Chinese New Year… here's what I say:  the sun starts to shine, the cold wears away and people want to climb out of their winter "hole," smell the flowers, like the little girl below (who happens to be my daughter) and start fresh again.  SPRING CLEAN.  


So why not take it further?  All that stuff you were supposed to do at the start of 2014… re-evaluate.  Did you accomplish those goals or resolutions?  If not, why?  

BP's "goal" was to shed a few pounds this year.  Not sure how he's doing there.  Part of mine was doing this blog and remodeling stuff.  How about you?  Where are you in all of that?  Maybe think about it when you physically Spring Clean… it's a time to start fresh in more ways than one.  Like a snake shedding the skin that he doesn't need anymore.  Good riddance.  So while you shed your "stuff" it may just roll over into the rest of your life.  For some reason, this morning I feel like a new woman.    One that's lighter, happier and healthier than before.  I didn't do a food cleanse, I didn't work out extra hard… I just picked up a mop, got some trash bags and went - to -  town!  
   
Now, this is just the beginning.  I still have more to do… but it feels like the start of something wonderful.  Isn't that what it's all about?  So Merry Spring, Happy St. Patty's Day - now go out and get started on the rest of your life! 


Thursday, March 13, 2014

Remodeling Madness

Thea Headlines:

I have nothing to say.

I am in the middle of remodeling madness.

The "hoarding" in my house has been taken to a whole new level!




I am stuck in a weird position.  A very small one, in between all my furniture, and real life.  We are like ships sailing at sea - totally lost but floating.  Thank God  BP is home this week (on "vacation" - poor guy - what a week to do it) … it may not be the most fun for him but it's sure a big help to me!

That is why I didn't get anything posted yesterday and I won't have anything for tomorrow either.  It's because I'm not doing anything except entertaining the kids who are off on Spring Break and trying to manage the madness!  I, literally have no room, for anything else.  See!


 Yep that's a bed in my hallway (below).


We have things stuffed everywhere.  I laugh out loud when BP says "hey Nicole, where's my _____ !" I simply reply, "really?"  Yes, we're about at our wits end.  I think it will end on Friday.  Then, we can put everything back until round 2 which will be tiling the kids bathrooms and possibly doing our shower/bath.

Everyone keeps telling me, it will be great when it's done and I agree.  It will be.  I can already vision the beauty it will bring!

Office

Main Bedroom

Bedroom "Hallway"
 But, until then, God give me the strength to keep it together!  Wait, is he lost too?  He should be able to find me through all the "stuff"… right?!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Grilled Salad

The Headlines:

BBQ = Party

Grilled salad is easy to do and good to eat!



My family and I love to BBQ!  We can pretty much do it in Arizona all year long… in the Summer we're just required to do it before or after a dip in the pool.  One of my favorite sides to go with ______ fill in the blank is a grilled caesar.  It means that dinner is completely done on the grill.  That way you never have to leave the party to go into the kitchen!

Now, while it's clearly been established that I love salads - this one is truly different.  It's funny, when I speak of it - I get mixed reactions.  Lots of people wrinkle their nose in disapproval.  Others love the idea and some are just confused.  However, when I actually make it for guests - the reaction is never mixed - instead the rave reviews come pouring in.


Now here's the deal:  the main part is the grilling.  It really can be any salad.  I just happen to pick caesar usually.  You also need to use romaine hearts.  The "tighter" the better.  Because as the grilling happens, the lettuce wilts and separates.  It just gets sloppy.

Sometimes I make the Caesar dressing, but when I'm in a hurry, like last night, I just use my awesome Cardini's, which I've already raved about on this blog!   Otherwise, making the dressing below is quick and easy.

3 canned anchovy's drained and chopped
3 tablspns extra virgin olive oil
1 tblspn fresh lemon juice

Mash the anchovies into a paste.  Then mix it with the EVOO, lemon juice and add salt and pepper to taste. It's enough for about 4 hearts.

Basically, rinse hearts, spray olive oil on them and put on a nice, hot grill.  Keep them there about


8-10 minutes.  Until they are softened and streaked with brown "char".  We also grilled an onion and used it.  That's a longer process so it needs a head start.  Same thing, spray olive oil on it but set it indirectly over the heat for about 30 minutes.  For the record, this is all my husband.  He's the griller.  Completely and whole-heartedly.  And he's good!

Anyways, once he's done he likes to cut it up and serve it like below.


I, on the other hand, much prefer to serve it all in tact.  As seen at the top of this post.  I think it's prettier that way.  Makes more of a statement.


Bottom line, it's good.  Grilled salad is different and yummy.  It will be a change in your typical BBQ menu you won't regret!!!  So don't wait for the weekend, take a time out mid-week.  I'm telling you, grilled salad is a party on a plate!

 


Friday, March 7, 2014

I am a Hoarder

The Headlines:

I am One Picky Chick

Who happens, at this moment, to be One Big Hoarder



This is my dining room.  What?  Can't see the table? It's next to the globe, under the flowers.


No, not a glimpse?  Sorry.  We are hoarders. This - a perfect representation as to what we have been living in lately.

But fortunately, there's a reason I look like an episode out of the hit television show on A&E… it's because we started a remodeling project.  If you're one of the 10 people who read this blog, you may know that.

Unfortunately, we started the project… almost 4 weeks ago.

Uh-huh.  Because my painter was sick for a week and the scheduling with the floor people, what should have been 3 weeks is becoming much, much more.   So what started as a random clear the closets… put it anywhere, it's no big deal, cause it's only a few weeks… ended like this.

Hoarder Playroom   

Hoarder Living Room

Hoarder entry bench
Now, if you know me - for the most part, I am a person who likes to have everything in order.  I'm very picky about the way things look.  Hence, the name of my blog.  I strive for perfection, at least, perfection as I see it.  Especially in my house.  But, for the moment, Perfection is sitting at my front door while Hoarder is making himself right at home.

Not to mention, since we were getting a new floor, I let my painter just have at it without protecting the carpet.  Sooooooo….


the carpet's pretty much all one big drop cloth!

My poor daughter's room has even gotten in on the act… that's some of my office junk and my go-to clothes for the last few weeks.  All piled up.  So sad.


What's worse… I have no end in sight.  We are/were supposed to be starting our wood floors this Monday but one thing led to another and during his walk-thru the wood floor installer basically now says if we put in "new" wood floors… our "old" shower will ruin them.


He says the step (not visible here) out will leak profusely on the floors and they will rot.  After he tells me this awesome news - the floor sales guy has an idea - let's just re-do your shower (and bath)!  Great idea… one I too have had but  -- you're the floor sales guy!!!  Are you qualified to do my shower?  That all remains to be seen and I'm having nightmares about the whole thing.  Because at this point I'm sure producers from that TV show are getting word about our situation.  Is that the phone?

NO.

Okay, then on a very serious note, I can see how hoarding happens.  Really.  I have thoughts now about "why put this magazine in the trash… there's no order here anyways!"  Or, "there's a pile… put it there."  The best one yet was when my little boy threw up all over me and my bed this morning, he has strep throat, and for a second I thought, "man I wish he would have aimed at the carpet instead!"  Which begs the question, if he did, what would a hoarder do?  Clean it or leave it…?  Hmmmm...  
Point is, when organization gets away from you, it snowballs fast!  For the people who truly live this lifestyle… I see how the "stuff" quickly takes over.  Then all that madness makes you care a little less (self preservation) and induces laziness!  It's a sad behavior … it's isolating and embarrassing and it takes a toll on the whole family.  Especially the children.  I do believe that, for moments in time, we all have a little "hoarder" in us… it's the ones who eventually pick up that survive.  The others… we sadly watch on television.  I'm not sure why it seems to be more common today - maybe it's just more visible.

Here's what I am sure of… and yes I am now back to being a little playful here… this One Picky Chick  will survive.  My family and I will carry on and get through this, no matter how long it takes.  Well, as long as it gets done but the time I have a wine tasting AT MY HOUSE IN 2 WEEKS!

If it's not, you may see me on a different TV show… SNAPPED!