Big Mama Blog

I’m resisting the urge to use the word “aboot”, eh?

Today I’d like to give a huge shout out to my DVR. There was a dark time in the not so distant past that it would have been practically impossible for me to watch four hours of television shows in one evening, but the DVR makes it all possible. Especially considering that a two hour “Bachelorette” only lasts about twenty minutes when you fast forward through all the commercials and Chris Harrison saying, “Coming up next on The Bachelorette…”.

Dude, the show has been on for thirty-two years. We all know what’s coming up next.

However, in all fairness, nothing prepared me for the dance-off. The last time I saw moves like that was at a YMCA dance in 8th grade when a couple of boys wearing parachute pants and Vans broke it down. They even carried their own cardboard to better facilitate their spinning efforts.

It’s just hard to believe that anyone can actually make a living as a break dance instructor. I mean, is it the fulfillment of a lifelong dream or do you just wake up one day and say “I can’t work for the man anymore. I’ve got to start poppin’ for a living.”?

Of course in this economy it’s probably a better career path than becoming a stockbroker or even a monkey trainer because who can afford the upkeep on a monkey these days?

As I watched all those guys get out of the limo last night, I had two thoughts:

1. Jillian looked lovely in her white dress (tricky, tricky undergarments that I never could figure out) but it was unfortunate that ABC hosed down the driveway for effect because the hem of her dress was filthy by the time it was over. It’s going to take some serious OxyClean to get that out.

2. The large majority of the guys were a walking public service announcement for what can go wrong when twenty-five single straight men are allowed to dress themselves. I’ve never seen so many unfortunate ties in one place.

After last season’s “Bachelor”, I halfheartedly vowed that I would never watch again, but I knew it would lure me back in because I don’t watch with the hopes of two people finding long-lasting love in the course of six weeks. I watch because where else can you watch one man kick a water bottle off another man’s head other than at my next family reunion?

The bottom line is that even if Jillian finds the perfect guy for her (please don’t let it be weird foot fetish guy with the elfin ears), there will come a day that she will hypothetically spend the afternoon at her best friend’s house only to come home and discover that her soul mate has done this to her beloved home.


Then when she goes inside, she’ll discover this.


Perhaps, finally, she’ll notice that he was nice enough to clean up his mess.


Only to leave it in a pile in the middle of the hallway where it’s apparently awaiting pickup by the fairies that magically clean the house.

But she’ll love him anyway because there will come a moment later in the evening where he’ll walk in the room while she’s watching “The Bachelorette” and pretend like he’s doing a break dance move as he accepts his imaginary rose.

That moment beats jumping off a cliff in Hawaii every single time.

And it definitely beats the ending of the “24” season finale which I won’t discuss in case you haven’t watched yet.

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Herman and the hermits

**Apparently there was some kind of glitch with my blog and I couldn’t access my dashboard for the last twenty-four hours. It was probably God’s way of trying to save me from posting the most boring post in the history of blogging, but since it’s already written, I’m going to post it anyway because it’s either that or I can tell you what I had for breakfast.**

(Yogurt with granola and berries)

I’ve been sitting here for an hour trying to think of a clever way to start this post which is basically a recap of our uneventful weekend, but it’s hard for me to concentrate because P is sitting next to me in bed eating a huge bowl of ice cream and watching “CSI: Miami”. To be honest, I don’t know what makes me angrier, the fact that he’s eating a huge bowl of ice cream without a care in the world about how he’ll look in a swimsuit or Horatio and his overly dramatic line delivery.

Actually, it’s the ice cream that makes me angry. Although those three blueberries I had for dessert were delicious and totally satisfying.

So I won’t keep you in suspense any longer, here’s what we did this weekend.

On Friday night, Caroline spent the night with Mimi and Bops. They picked her up about 4:30 and I decided to celebrate my freedom by going to get a pedicure. We had a wedding to attend on Saturday night (more on that in a minute) so I wanted my toes to look nice since all of a sudden my face thinks it’s going through puberty and is breaking out. My hope was that a lovely shade of Cha-Ching Cherry on my toes would serve as a distraction from my walking ad for the tragic consequences of late 30’s hormonal shifts.

The pedicure would have been completely divine except they had the channel tuned to some show on Animal Planet about a dog with mange. I tried not to look but the pedicurist (I think I just made that word up) kept giving me graphic descriptions of the dog’s condition and maybe it’s just me but I don’t want to hear the word “scab” while I’m trying to relax.

After the pedicure, I picked up Mexican food for P and me. Sadly, the restaurant was out of queso which I don’t really understand since cheese is the building block of Mexican cuisine.

P’s back has really been bothering him lately and since I can’t convince him to go back to the acupuncturist, he spent a lot of the weekend in bed with his feet propped up trying to relieve the pressure. I keep telling him he should try acupuncture again, but he knows me well enough to know I may just be looking for new blog material.

Anyway, he spent Friday night in the bedroom watching various shows about weaponry and “The Bourne Supremacy” while I sat on the couch, admired my toes, and watched Season 1 of “Mad Men”.

Dear Mad Men Wardrobe Department:

I love you with all my heart and would like to run my fingers through your closets. My world is a happier, brighter place just knowing you exist in all your fabulousness. You complete me.


On Saturday night we were supposed to attend a friend’s wedding, but P’s back was really bothering him and we decided it was going to be too much. I thought about doping him up on painkillers but decided to save them for the new season of “The Bachelorette” because you know I’m going to need them.

(Side note to Jules who is on her honeymoon and probably not reading this: We love you and I know you were a beautiful bride.)

Anyway, I fixed my hair before we decided we shouldn’t go, so I told P I needed to run to HEB to pick up dog food because I hated to waste good hair and decided it should at least get out of the house for a few minutes. The cashiers didn’t seem to notice at all which is disappointing considering I used over sixteen bobby pins to achieve the perfect messy twist. I came back home so my hair and I could spend the rest of the evening eating pizza and watching Nascar with P.

Sometimes I think marriage is just all glitz and glamour.

On Sunday morning, I skipped church because the rain blew in pollen from every corner of the western United States and it was waging war on my sinuses. I don’t like to be overly dramatic but I think the only thing that kept me from death was a Zyrtec-D and three Diet Cokes.

Caroline spent most of the afternoon begging to go swim at the neighborhood pool while I kept telling her it was way too cold after all the rain. I finally gave in and told her we could go but she needed to know that I was not getting in the water for any reason barring global thermonuclear attack. It took us thirty minutes to get ready to go to the pool and three minutes for her to decide I was right. She tried to deny it but the blue lips gave her away.

In retrospect, if this weekend had a theme it would be getting ready for various events only to sit at home and do absolutely nothing.

Who knew it took this much work to be a hermit?

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A list of ten things minus two

I know I said I was taking a break from Fashion Friday for the summer and I am, I really am. The question portion of Fashion Friday is officially on summer vacation. However, I had some free time this week and spent some of that time venturing into various stores, which led me to find some cute things that I feel compelled to share with the group.

In fact, I believe I was in Banana Republic (where all my best ideas have always been born) when I decided it would be fun to compile a list of my top ten finds of the week. Unfortunately, there are two flaws with this plan. First, some of the things I found aren’t online, including a darling cotton navy and white striped dress that has captured my heart and is still calling to me from the store where I left it. Second, I’m not sure I actually have a list of ten things, it may be more like seven or five.

We’ll just see where it goes and how long I can make myself wait to watch the season finale of “Grey’s Anatomy” and part two of the “Real Housewives of New York” reunion special. It’s not like the DVR is going to watch that stuff for me.

Here’s what I found this week. (Note to P, I didn’t actually BUY anything. I just looked. Because I am exercising self-control)

(Speaking of exercising, I’m on Level 2 of The Shred. I can no longer remember what day I’m on because I skipped various days due to a raging case of PMS. As far as results, my arms are definitely more toned which is such a relief because I’m always so insecure about how my arms look in a bathing suit.)

1. Summer floral skirt

Y’all know I’m a fan of the summer skirt and I think this one is really cute, especially now that it’s on sale because Gap is high if they think that skirt was worth the original $44.50 price.

2. Linen cargo bermuda shorts

I tried these on and couldn’t commit, but I keep thinking about them because they were very lightweight and would probably be a welcome addition to my wardrobe come July when I’m wishing I lived in North Dakota.

3. Halter maxi dress

I hope the link works because Banana won’t let me link to the specific dress because it’s already sold out and I’m not surprised. When I saw it in the window of the store, I immediately parked and went in to get a better look because I thought I could wear it to a wedding this weekend and my twenty-year reunion later this summer.

However, what the picture doesn’t show is that the back of the dress does some tricky kind of thing that basically allows for no sort of undergarment to be worn. But apparently someone has figured out a way to make it work because the dress is SOLD OUT. Are these people gluing some sort of support device directly to their bodies? If you think I’m attending my twenty-year high school reunion with only on a super-glued cup standing between me and public humiliation, then you’re crazy.

4. Embroidered tunic

I really liked this even before I knew they called that color “Wasabi Green”, which just makes me like it that much more.

5. ABK Couture bags

A friend from elementary school makes these gorgeous tote bags and I discovered them last week. I am totally eyeing one of them to be my new laptop bag.

6. Double Mocha Jacket

I didn’t actually see this in person, but found it online when I did my weekly search through all of Anthropologie’s sale items. I am a fan.

7. Good jeans

I have no link for this, but Steinmart had 7 jeans and Lucky jeans in stock this week for substantially less than what you’d pay at the fancy department store.

8. Yellow Box Zebra flip-flops

There are no words for the cuteness.

It turns out I only had eight things, but like the old saying goes better eight than nothing.

(By “old saying” I mean three minutes old because I just made it up)

Y’all have a great Friday.

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Swim of the penguins

It’s official.

The penguin goggles are out and we’re ready for summer.


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Pizza, it’s what’s for dinner

I’ll just go ahead and confess that after Caroline left for school yesterday, I crawled back in bed with the remote control and stayed there for the next three hours. It was my belated Mother’s Day present to myself. I would have preferred to give myself a gift certificate for a one-hour massage, but apparently I’m cheap.

Eventually I realized it was almost lunchtime and I was in dire need of a caffeinated beverage, so I made my way to the kitchen only to discover we were down to our last Diet Coke which meant a trip to HEB was imperative even though I was hoping to put it off for one more day. Of course, P had started a list but his lists never really count because I always feel like we can go one more day without another box of Nilla Wafers or Q-tips, whereas a home without Diet Coke is a tragedy waiting to happen.

I waited for Caroline to get home from school because on her Mother’s Day questionnaire she said that one of her favorite things to do with me is go to the grocery store. Personally, I think she’s in it for the guarantee of a donut.

After a sweet forever, we finally made it home from HEB. Ever since they remodeled our store, I just roam the aisles endlessly because I can’t find anything. The layout makes no sense at all, starting with the fact that all the baking supplies are on two different aisles causing me much sorrow and anger at whoever the genius was that came up with that design.

Anyway, I don’t know why I’m telling you all this because the whole point of this post is to tell you about the delicious Blackened Chicken Pizza I made for dinner last night when I realized the cooking elves weren’t going to show up and prepare a fabulous, home-cooked meal for my family and the burden for nourishment lay squarely on my shoulders.

So I’ll quit rambling and share the recipe, complete with intermittent photos that really don’t do a very thorough job of showing all the steps.

Blackened Chicken Pizza (Paula Deen)

3 teaspoons blackening seasoning, divided (found on the spices aisle)
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, pounded to 1/4 in. thickness
4 tbs. butter, divided
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 shallot, minced
2 tbs. all purpose flour
1/4 cup white wine
3/4 cup milk
2 tbs. chopped fresh basil
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1/2 cup fresh spinach leaves
8 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese.
Pizza crust

Sprinkle 2 teaspoons blackening seasoning evenly over chicken breast. In a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat. Add chicken, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes per side or until done.


You will notice that I used chicken tenders instead of a whole chicken breast because I like to minimize my contact with raw poultry and didn’t want to have to pound it to 1/4 inch thickness.

Remove from heat, cool and cut chicken into bite-size pieces.

In large skillet, melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add garlic and shallot, and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in flour, cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Gradually whisk in wine and milk.

It’s totally optional but you may want to take a swig of the wine for yourself if you spent over an hour at HEB because you couldn’t find the powdered sugar.

Continue to whisk the mixture constantly for 4-5 minutes or until thickened. Stir in basil and remaining 1 teaspoon blackening seasoning. Remove from heat.


Preheat oven to 450.

Spread cream mixture evenly over prepared, unbaked crust. (I didn’t make a homemade crust, but bought a pre-made one at HEB because you know that old saying about how Rome wasn’t built in a day? That’s because they were too busy making homemade pizza crusts.)


Sprinkle with 1 cup mozzarella cheese.


Top evenly with spinach, chicken pieces, and bacon.


Sprinkle another 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese and 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese over the top.


Bake for 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned.


Caroline declared this “the BEST PIZZA I’ve ever had!”

Of course, she said that same thing last week about a frozen DiGiorno pepperoni pizza so you may want to take her culinary recommendations with a grain or six of salt.

But it actually was really good which is fortunate because I made two of them and we’re eating it again tonight.

Look P! It’s not even daylight yet and you already know what’s for dinner.

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