A gripe about recipe commenters

If, by chance, you are perusing a blog that is dedicated to Instant Pot recipes, it is really really pretentiously shitty of you to say something like “I don’t ever intend to buy an Instant Pot. Please convert this recipe for a Slow Cooker.”

DOES GOOGLE NOT WORK FOR YOU?! Do you not know how many slow cooker blogs are out there? I PERSONALLY know of at least four recipes for red beans and rice that you can get for a slow cooker. Google probably can get you seventeen more. This blogger is dedicated to perfecting recipes in an Instant Pot. WHY ARE YOU EVEN ON THIS BLOG.

Ugh.

Product Review: Shapermint Shaper Shorts

Okay – so the ads are ALL OVER THE GODS DAMNED INTERNET. And I had a fancy party for New Years. So I bought a pair of the Shapermint High-Waisted Shaper Shorts to see how I liked them.

For reference, I am a fat woman. I am 5’6″ tall, and weigh about 210lbs. I wear a size 18 in most clothing, or a 2X, but of course we know sizes are bullshit so sometimes that’s wrong.

I took my measurements, and ordered a size XL-XXL, which is the first thing you should always do when you’re ordering shapewear. Do not be a dingus and order a smaller size, thinking it will make you slimmer. It will just cut off circulation to your legs and you’ll get deep vein thrombosis. Also swollen ankles aren’t stylish.

Anyway, I helpfully ordered my correct size in “tan” (which is darker than my skin color, I am so very very white), and waited for them to arrive. Reader, I was VERY dubious about this. Because shapewear the last time I wore it was at my wedding (in 2007), and it was SHITTY and rolled down and didn’t fit and I was a skinny-minnie anyway and only weighed about 145 pounds so I really didn’t need it.

ANYWAY.

It arrived, and I put it on, and I was pleasantly surprised! It came all the way up to my bra-band, and the legs were around mid-thigh. It stretched comfortably, and felt snug. It did not appear to be cutting off circulation to my legs. It was – dare I say it – comfortable.

So I put on a dress, admired my shapelier figure in the mirror and set about wearing it for the rest of the day. I was comfortable. I worked at my desk. It improved my posture because it was slightly constricting, but it did not roll down, the legs did not roll up, and altogether I was feeling very happy about my purchase.

And then I burped.

I burped FIRE and DEATH.

You see, dear readers, I have acid reflux. I take Pepcid for it, twice a day, and on your average day I have zero problems with it. I can even eat hot peppers on my pizza and so long as I take my little pill twice a day I am fine.

Except, apparently, if my guts are all squished in, making my silhouette much more svelte but my stomach considerably constricted.

I took it off – pleasantly surprised to see only the lightest of elastic marks on my skin – and ate half a box of Pepto Bismol. The reflux did not calm down until after I’d taken three doses of Pepto, my evening dose of Pepcid, and drank a bunch of water.

So this is my review:

If you want well-made, well-constructed, comfortable shapewear that does exactly what it says it does in the advertisements, I cannot recommend the Shaper Shorts highly enough. Unless your stomach is made of FIERY DEATH. In which case, they’re pretty good still, but I wouldn’t wear them for more than an evening out.

**Note: I did wear them to the New Years party, for about 3 hours total. At that party I delicately sipped seltzer with lime, sat precariously on a bar stool, did not slouch, and was fine. But I think I would have had a better time if I’d been jigglier but able to have a couple of mojitos.

Style Grumbles and Thoughts

So I mentioned in an earlier post that I was doing this Dressing Your Truth thing, and that I was a Type 4 – Bold Striking Woman in that system.

Which – okay. I definitely have a lot of Type 4 tendencies, and there’s lots of expressions of type 4 energy that seem very familiar.

Thing is, I’m getting to where I struggle with how I look again, this time just with better clothes and makeup. Type 4’s are “stunning” and “striking” and “classic” and “refined” and those types of keywords. And I’m a dumpy looking fat woman 95% of the time. I’m learning to wear makeup differently, which has been … sometimes a little scary (but every experiment will have failures), and that does help. And I’m learning to appreciate contrast in my face with bold lip colors to match the bold hues in my clothes.

But I don’t feel “stunning” most of the time. I just feel… like me, just maybe with better clothes.

Car buying selfie. This lip is fantastic.
Pearls are the wrong color, but everything else is good. Well, maybe not the eyeshadow.
Substantial necklace. Hot pink lip gloss. Fuzzy, unkempt hair.
Ready for Yule. This lip is hot pink, but looks neutral on me.
Okay, here I look stunning. The neon orange and black, and the orange lip? Yeah.

So I guess when you come down to it, I can see it sometimes, but most days I’m the “nothing” side of “all or nothing”. I work from home, so it’s not really a thing for me to get dressed to makeup every day – I live alone, and it doesn’t make enough of a difference for it to feel worth it when the only people who will see it are the cats and my reflection in the mirror.

Thankfully, “classic” and “simple” and “reflective” are all Type 4 style words. The words I’m mostly trying on for myself are “competent” and “simple” and “refined” and maybe “deliberate”. As I look through my old Pinterest board (which is not DYT compatible at ALL), I see that I like comfortable outfits that go easily to many levels of dress, but which are not too fussy and yet still pulled together – they look like outfits, not like just a shirt and jeans.

And I think that’s what I need to perfect. I’ve often just worn a dress and a coordinating head scarf and called it good. I often wear the same jewelry for years on end. But that doesn’t lend itself to “outfits” that feel like I’m put together in any meaningful way.

What I like about all of the pictures I featured in this post is that they feel like they’re pulled together – even if it’s just by a neon orange scarf. So I think that’s what I’m going to shoot for more of the time. Not every day (some days I barely manage to get out of my pyjamas), but I’d like to start feeling like I have on clothes that look competent and pulled together.

Maybe that’s my expression of Type 4, rather than “striking” or “stunning”.

Tackling Projects Family Style

So my lovely parents came to visit me this weekend, largely to help me buy a car, because the last time I bought a car it was a really weaselly high pressure sale situation and I didn’t want to do that alone. Turns out the folks where I bought my car don’t play that game, and I had Janice squared away in a few hours on Friday night. (Signing all the paperwork took longer than anything else.)

So on Saturday we all got up around 7, had breakfast burritos, and then swung by HomeThing, picked up some boxes, and started packing and purging. Dad took care of all of my good china, the tea sets, and my serving dishes – destined for storage at their house for the time being. Mom and I purged the refrigerator, made lunch, went through all my decorations and purged them down to one large and one small bin. We went through the Steamer Trunk as well (though most of the stuff in there is staying in there), and added some things to it for long term storage.

We also took two trips to Goodwill with donations (including a set of dishes), a trip to AutoThing for a sun shade for Janice, a trip to Armand Bayou to walk around and enjoy the weather (which was brisk but pleasant) and the fully-in-bloom Oasis Garden, and a trip to Specs, followed by Birthday Dinner, showers for everyone, and into bed.

This morning, Dad built the cat-stairs for the bedroom, Mom and I finished up some stuff in the kitchen, and I got them on the road around 10:30.

After which I flat crashed for about five hours.

Right now I’m in the process of purging and organizing the pantry (which is narrow, deep, and kind of a black hole).

I’m looking forward to going back to work tomorrow, just so I can get some downtime, lol.

Introducing Janice

In 2004, my dad and I went car shopping, and I drove off the lot with a 5-speed manual Toyota Corolla that I promptly named Luna.

Luna the Corolla was my companion on about 160,000 miles of adventures, but last year after she valiantly got me home and I had to give her a new clutch, I started to realize the end was near. Recently she’s had a number of systems fail, and her inspection/registration was due at the end of February, so I started looking for new cars.

Now obviously, in 2004 I was a college student. I had very different needs for a car than I do now, as a single adult, moving into a house, with two cats and a full-time life. So I settled on purchasing a small SUV – when I’m relocated back to Denton, I won’t be driving as many long road trips, and I just needed something larger, safer, and more suited to the kind of things I need in a vehicle.

I settled on a 2018 Mazda CX-5 or a 2018 Honda CR-V as my top choices, based on a lot of reviews, anecdotes, and reading and looking. Buying Luna was an ORDEAL (and not the good kind) so I asked my parents to come down to help me buy my new car, mostly for moral support. They arrived at 5 on Friday, and by 5:30 we were at the dealer to look at cars.

My top choice – a tricked out CX-5 – had sold out from under me the day before. So I ended up there, test driving a “diamond pearl” CR-V with only 25K miles and a practically pristine interior. I fell in love, and three hours of signing paperwork later, I drove off the lot, leaving Luna with a hug and a goodbye and a thank you for years of safety and good adventures.

The new car was going to be called Pearl until a friend on Facebook suggested Janice, for Janice Joplin’s album Pearl, and I immediately knew that would be her name.

So welcome Janice. I hope we have many thousands of miles of adventures to go on together.

I made a bread

Using Jim Lahey’s “foolproof” overnight method

3 cups bread flour
1/4 tsp fast-acting yeast
1 tsp salt
1 3/4 cups lukewarm water

Mix all ingredients until shaggy dough forms. Cover with plastic wrap and leave in a warm-room-temp location for 12-18 hours (this loaf got an 18 hour ferment, and it might be slightly over fermented, but my apartment runs 75+ degrees in the afternoons even in winter).

Turn onto a floured surface and let rest 15 minutes. Shape into a ball, place on a piece of floured parchment. Flour top of loaf and cover for 60-90 minutes.

Preheat oven to SCREAMING HOT (my dutch oven lid will only take up to 450, so 450 is what I used) with the dutch oven in the oven. Once bread is approximately double in size, remove pot from oven, place bread (parchment and all) in the pot, add the lid, put back in the oven for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake another 20-40 minutes or until deep brown and hollow sounding.

Cool on a wire rack.

Once it’s done cooling, I’ll eat half the loaf and we’ll see if I get sick. The dough smelled and tasted just like the sourdough I made with my friend in San Francisco last fall, so I’m hopeful.