If you are stopping by for my monthly Foodie Pen Pals Chopped Challenge, it’s not here.

And not for lack of effort.  I dragged my wiggly toddler to the post office more than a handful of times to check the PO Box, but alas the box never arrived.  My FPP Laurel mailed it on the 15th, but without tracking, so it’s anyone’s guess where the box is right now.  All I know for sure is, it’s not here.

If you are jonesing for a challenge post, feel free to check out my FPP page.  The Husband prettied it up for me a few weeks back, adding pictures for each post and everything.

FPP PageHe’s swell.

Big Balls still remains my favorite post.  I had a big ball yesterday for a snack in fact.  I make a version of the peanut butter cookies every few months as well.

At the risk of being kicked out of the program, I’d like to spend today having a brief but frank discussion about Foodie Pen Pals, a program I really really enjoy and highly recommend you all give a shot at least once.

The haps is this:

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In trying to find a new dishwashin’ show on Netflix, I watched a few episodes of The Riches.  It’s basically a gypsy family who stumbles into the life of a recently deceased (they may have had something to do with that btw) rich lawyer and takes it over for their own.  This, inevitably, led to my desire to one day meet a gypsy.  From a distance, of course, because The Riches portrays gypsies as pickpockets so I’d like to stay a respectable distance away in case this stereotype happens to be true.

So I want to meet a real life gypsy.  I dropped this tidbit of information into my mental Bucket List and moved on to laundry.

But what would happen if I were to, say, simply forget I wanted to meet a gypsy?  The toddler is taking up more and more of my brain space these days so something’s gonna have to give in there eventually, right?

Upon further consideration, I decided the only practical solution to ensure I would actually meet a gypsy someday was to hop on the bandwagon and do the whole Bucket List for real.  Sans bucket that is.  A book is much more practical.

Midwestern Bucket List RW

I rifled around the house till I found this puppy, a travel journal that I carried with me on our motorcycle trips for a few years to record my genius.

Midwest Book 2 RW

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This post is a public service announcement.

Midwestern Bite De-Skunk Recipe RW

I find Pinterest mildly annoying, so you’ll know I am serious when I make this request:

Please pin the above picture. Pin it and pin it good.  Pin it hard.  Pin it so it goes viral.  Pin it so all the world can be saved!  Saved from what you ask?  From a dog.  A skunky dog.

Midwestern Skunk Block RW

Ugh.  You heard me.  A skunky dog.

Midwestern Skunked Dog 1 RW

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Coming off the January Blog a Day Challenge and the Young House Love Thrift Store Challenge last month combined with reading this post by Ashley and this post by Kim, one notable thing has occurred to me as of late.  I’ve been playing it safe.

With design and with my blog.

Let’s start with design.  As you know, we’ve recently moved into a home I’d like to spruce everywhere.  I’ve completed three rooms now in Sweetey Petey’s room, the dining room and the living room.

I haven’t blogged about Sweetey Petey’s room because ultimately I decided that was his space and not my place to share.  Besides, after getting a Land of Nod catalog in the mail it turns out we are just plain miserly.  Every inch of his room is NOT fully coordinated with mismatched but somehow still matched items that all totaled cost more than my car.  And I’m talking the new car people, not the old car.

As far as Sweetey Petey’s room goes, suffice it to say I painted his new room a slightly brighter shade of his old room.  Updated but kinda the same too.  I told myself it was the logical choice.  His sheets, his changing table cover, his chair, all his stuff still matches.  Practical.  Safe.

I am seriously considering painting a whale on his wall so I might share that once it’s done.  Daring, huh?

I did blog about the dining room and shared how I painted half the walls the same color as the old dining room.  The exact same color.  How’s that for safe?  Same pictures on the wall too.  Same table.  Same hutch.  Same wobbly chairs.

Now comes the third room I’ve finished, the living room.

Midwestern LR RW

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DSC_0150 enh RW

Case in Point

DSC_0068 enh RW

Ice Ice Baby

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DSC_0123 enh RW

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14. February 2013 · 6 comments · Categories: Holiday · Tags: , ,

Midwestern Heart

Happy Valentines Day!  Go forth and bake something in the shape of a heart.

– Joanna

Question of the Day:  Do you celebrate V-day or no?

Supermom hosts Kids’ Reads on her blog one Wednesday a month and I gotta say these posts get more challenging every time I go to write one.  It’s not like I don’t have lots I could say.  After all, my 15 month old now LOVES to read books!  He picks one out of his stack of favorites, turns around and slowly backs up till he plops into your lap for a good read.  Unless he has chosen Let’s Dance Little Pookie, then he expects to be picked up and sang and danced with.

The problem here is that my schtick is to find the funny and kids reading books aren’t all that funny.  Unless I were to make beeping noises as he backed up into my lap (I totally do by the way) then it might be kinda funny.

So here is me and my sad camera phone’s attempt to find the funny in one of my kid’s favorite books, Waiting for Cookie.

Cookie Page 7 R crop

It’s just a little foam covered board book that has clearly been well loved.  Let’s begin by reading the book together shall we?  It’s short, but will require a bit of effort on your part as each of the four characters that speak needs a different voice.  Prairie Dawn, for instance, is quite high pitched and honestly, a little trampy sounding.  Here we go.

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12. February 2013 · 19 comments · Categories: Humor · Tags: ,

Toasters.  We’ve all had one or have used one.  If you haven’t, you clearly don’t eat and I’m not sure what you’re doing reading a food blog anyway.

We currently own a crappy old two slicer with a busted handle that’s been hanging out in the detached garage in an open box for the last three months.  I am certain that toaster + open box + detached garage x three months = mouse.  At least that’s the equation I’ve developed to justify finally purchasing a new toaster.

While The Husband has been anti new toaster, he also claims to be very logical.  Since Math is also very logical I feel he can no longer validly argue against a new toaster.  Unless he likes mouse fur burnt into his bread.  Considering he won’t even eat couscous I highly doubt he’d eat mouse fur so I think my equation will stand.

With my justifications for buying a toaster firmly in place, I did what any young American would do and consulted Amazon.

Amazon is like visiting the office supply store, but instead of 200 different kinds of post-it notes you have 2,000,000 different kinds of everything else.  Okay maybe I’m embellishing but there were a freaking lot of toasters to weed through.

And weed through them I did.  Not just toasters, but toaster reviews.  Did you know that people in this country are rather obsessed with their toast?  How fast does bread toast, how high does the toast raise, how many wire prongs hold the toast in place, how big is the toaster itself, do English muffins and *gasp* bagels fit, does artisan style bread fit, how pretty is the toaster, does it show fingerprints, what’s the lowest setting you can get toasted toast on, does it defrost, how do pop tarts factor in, where is the cord located, how convenient is the crumb tray, digital or not, does the outside of the toaster get hot, how hard are the levers to push, how much bread does it toast at one time, does it have settings for the “anxiety-ridden”, how much power does it draw, how many heating elements are there, how heavy is it (ummm…who carries around their toaster??) and lastly but certainly not least how evenly does it toast.


How evenly the bread toasted seemed to be of the highest concern.  “Charles” went as far as to buy loaves of bread after receiving his new Breville and began toasting slice after slice as an experiment.  Don’t worry, the birds didn’t think he was as crazy as I did since “The local sparrows were happy with the experiment and urged a repeat run.”  If Charles can afford a $130 two slice toaster, he can probably swing for a few extra loaves of bread to play with.  Although the fact the birds were apparently talking to him still leaves a question mark next to his sanity.

One review stood out above the rest.  A smart fellow named Scott commented that the toaster he purchased did in fact make toast!  He had spent way too much time worrying about the evenness of his toast and finally realized he didn’t care if his toast was evenly toasted.

SCOTT Review

Bravo.  Truly.  Bravo.

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Under the Weather

The Midwestern Family has been under the weather this week.  This picture I took last year is the best representation of that I could find.  I like to call it I Fought the Crud but The Crud Won.  Fortunately we beat the crud, it just took awhile.

I used to think bloggers who were sick should blog more not less because what else could they do while lying in bed with the crud?  Watch Netflix.  They can watch Netflix.  That’s what this blogger did.  Blogging while sick is an insane prospect.

Anyway, see ya all next week and thanks for sticking around through the start of this slow blogging month!

Oh, and in case you were wondering, the turtle’s name is Crudly.  Crudly Simon James Alexander Ragsdale the Third.

– Joanna

Question of the Day: What would you watch on Neflix if you were sick?


I was all set to write up a blog post entitled Playing It Safe when an incident I witnessed over a month ago that has been nagging at me finally clawed its way to the surface and demanded attention.  An incident involving eggs.

Midwestern Bite Eggs

Before I go further I’d like to ask, no beg, all of my readers to comment on this post with their thoughts.  Google Analytics will tell me how many of you there are so I’ll know if some of you are holding out on me.  I won’t know who you are, but I imagine your guilt will consume you as punishment if you don’t comment.  I must know the truth about the egg incident before not knowing drives me batty.

While I wouldn’t consider myself “naive” there are some things I know zilch about.  Namely the seedier side of life.  I’m happy to report that other than a few crappy apartments, I’ve lived a fairly sheltered life.  If it wasn’t a crime featured on CSI (up until two years ago that is because I’m boycotting the addition of Ted Danson) I probably know nothing about it.

Let’s set the stage, shall we?

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