The Big FIVE!

Yesterday we celebrated my daughter’s 5th birthday, (Her name is Grace for those who don’t know.)  and I got to say, I feel proud and sad at the same time.

Overall, I’m proud of what Louie and I have accomplished as parents so far.  From the sleepless nights of feeding a peanut-sized baby girl to chasing around a little kid around the house, until WE tire out.  All of this being done, while she and I worked opposite work schedules and STILL managed to live comfortably.  (Granted, we continue to live paycheck to paycheck.  Let’s face it, the economy is going no where still.)

She’s made me so proud, with how far she has come in school and how she’s become so creative.  Sometimes, I stop and wonder, where did our creativity go as we grew older. Did maturity and circumstance douse our many of the creative fires we had as children?!  Or did it just hid away until our children could find it and point it out to us once again.  Truly, it’s a perplexing dilemma, trying to find that spark of inspiration or the drive to create something SHINY and NEW.  But maybe I’m thinking or searching to hard to realize that my own creations aren’t solely from the mind or the heart, but from EVERYWHERE AROUND US.

Experiences, our senses, the passage of time; the seed of creation is all right there!  For children, it isn’t that deep, they look to us, school, their friends and what they see and learn.  But as they age, the picture of their creativity becomes a jigsaw puzzle, that only continues to add more pieces as the time goes by.

Perhaps, that is why I should be striking while the iron is hot, while there are less pieces to the puzzle.

Away from my rambling now, let me get back to my girl’s big day.  It was filled tons of laughter as she led her friends around the park and they eventually got to beat on a My Little Pony pinata.  Mike Tyson in his prime couldn’t beat the ring time these kids had with poor lil’ “Pinky Pie”.  In 8 seconds flat, Grace and ten other children decapitated and spit the poor pinata in half.  They were happy as clams; WE…WERE…HORRIFIED!!

REST………..IN….PIECES!!

Needless to say, they had a blast; especially when Grace got her brand new FART GUN.  OH YEAH!  Nothing makes laugh uncontrollably like when people fart.  The smell is negligible…all she cares about the rip.

7…6…2 Millimeter Full FLATULENT Jacket  

 

As of tomorrow, summer vacation will start for both Louie and Grace.  (Louie is a teacher.)  So I’ll be picking up the pace at work and pulling the weight for a couple months.  It’s gonna suck, but I sort of feel re-energized where I left my writing behind.

 

Hopefully, you’ll be reading more from me and I’ll sharing more of my writing.

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Soup Rockets!!

Hey everyone!  Been a bit, but everything is going well.  Over the last month or so, I’ve spent some serious quality time with the lady and Grace!  Things have been pretty chill, so I can’t complain.  Louie has gotten most of her gardening out of the way and the little one is almost done school.  (Can’t believe she’s almost into Kindergarten!)

During the break, I noticed that Grace (the lil one) has been more and more interested in gaming.  First, it started with me and her playing Super Mario 64, Pokemon Snap! and Mario Kart.  Now she’s been asking for more time on my PS4, with Louie helping her out with Nom Nom Galaxy.  Which is an indie game, where you explore a planet in order to make soup!  Currently, that is her favorite and I can’t blame her.

Just so you know, Grace.  This is the only place daddy will allow you to hold a circular saw!  Oh, that and launching rockets in the house.

I mean, how many kids get the chance to make soup in outer space and ship it off in a rocket to other aliens?!

Now, for a long time, I was a bit apprehensive about her playing, despite me being a serious gamer.  But I soon realized over this month, that was an inevitability or I had to quit gaming altogether.  After all, our children always want to be just like us and are our direct reflection of ourselves.

Funny enough, though!  I think she’s been playing for little too much in recent days and needs to take a break.  Perhaps it’s about time, Louie and I have a talk about rationing that time out, vice asking for it RIGHT away, after coming home.

BTW, how’s everyone doing?  ANYBODY HOOOOME????

 

Recipe Share : Chris’ Hot Chicken Salad

With a post drought well in effect here on my blog.  I figured I’d share a pretty good recipe I came up with.  (Not like it’s an earth shattering recipe in cooking)  

As a parent whose got the opposite work schedule as my wife and daughter, it’s pretty hard to balance chores family time and responsibilities.  (Which is ultimately where my lack of time for here comes in.)

So most of my work at home is done in the kitchen.  (Usually, she doesn’t get home until 6ish, so dinner has to be done!)  This has been like this for about 8 months.

Since then, I’ve gone from making boxed Hamburger Helper meals and Stuffed Peppers to entries featured at your local mom and pop diners.  Honestly, I’m kind of shocked on how I’ve grown as a cook since then!  

Anyhoo, I’ll stop rambling and get down to what may be my own creation!  Or at least my own take on a nice bowl of chicken salad!

CHRIS’ HOT CHICKEN SALAD (Serves 4)

(FYI, yeah this is my first name…so yeah SPOILER!)

Ingredients

1 Green Pepper

1  Zuccini

1-2 Dozen Cherry Tomatoes 

1 Yellow Onion

Extra Virgin Olive Oil (enough to generously coat 2 large skillets)

Dry Dill Weed (4 tsp)                          

Italian Seasoning (2 tsp)       

Poultry Seasoning (4 Tbl spoons)   

1.25 lbs Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast

2 Tbl spoons Lemon Juice

4 tsp Kosher Salt

6 tsp Black Pepper

1/2 Bottle Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing (or any ranch dressing)

1 box Stove Top stuffing (Chicken, Turkey or Savory Herb flavors)

4 Tbl spoons butter or margarine (for stuffing)


INSTRUCTIONS 

Dice all vegetables leaving them semi-thick, for the exception of the cherry tomatoes.  

Cut the chicken into quarters, lightly salt and pepper, generously coat with poultry seasoning.

Cook stuffing a medium sauce pan (Which can be done anytime really.) Just follow the directions on the box.

Begin heating two large skillets with Olive oil, making sure to coat the pans well.  Sprinkle in Italian Seasoning into the coated pans.  Heat them on medium heat to warm the oil.  

Add in chicken into one pan, then use the other for the veggies.

Cook chicken 2 mins on medium, turn and repeat until turned 5 times.  (Obviously until there is NO PINK)

Cook veggies until they soften, but DO NOT sautee and make them mushy. Lower heat for veggies and turn off heat for the chicken.  

ADD 2 tsp of black pepper and 2 Tbl spoons of lemon juice to VEGGIES.

Drizzle ranch dressing onto the vegetables the same way you would a normal salad.  

Plate the cooked ingredients veggies, chicken and a 3/4-1 cup of stuffing on top.

Rest assured, this is a delicious and health conscious dish even a 4yr old would like.  And here the proof!!

See!!!!

Anyways, hope you enjoy this as much as we did!!  

Be sure to LIKE, REBLOG, COMMENT AND SHARE if you did!!

Before I go, I’d like to thank you guys for all of the comments, follow, shares, etc throughout the year and a half I’ve been writing.  YOU GUYS ARE THE BEST!!

On the Burner…

Apologies for the dark period yet again. Let’s just say I write when it comes to me. In terms of personal daily routine, I’m losing more personal time, as I’ve mostly taken the reigns on the Monday-Friday dinners. That’s right, not only am I an avid and knowledgeable gamer; I’m a pretty good cook!

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Even though, I’m good at cooking most things, rice was just never one of those!  Thank God for rice steamers! – SOURCE

Honestly, I’m still learning how to prep more difficult dishes like cooking seafood and frying things. Mind you, that takes practice and a few throw away long sleeve shirts. Over the course of 3-4 months, I’m kinda pround of myself. I get plenty of compliments from the my two biggest critics, Grace and Louie. (Sans a few blunders, like last nights fries were terrible, as they were fairly frostbitten and had no flavor left in them.)

Still, I miss Louie’s cooking, I gotta be honest she just has a better flavor profile with her dishes. (Shrugs)
But know I’m way better at grilling than her! (Face it babe, it’s a fact!)

The second thing that has been eating my time up has been Grace’s behavior. For those who don’t know, she’s 4 and clearly speaks her mind when something challenges her desire for something. Recently, I’ve felt that our progress is tetter-totering between progress and retrogressive behavior. Yet, in terms of how she behaved 6 months ago, she’s been better. But listening to instructions and following us is a hit or miss honestly, despite than my wife and I communicate on an even plane about her behavior. If anyone’s got a few pointers, please let me know, it would be REALLY HELPFUL!

Last is simply because I wanted to spend more time playing Resident Evil 7 (Which I just finished Madhouse difficulty and a No Box/Health item run) and finishing Final Fantasy XV. Which I did and will have some more to talk about both in a couple days.

 

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Yep…I get it!  –SOURCE

 

FFXV – Quite the surprise! Moogle Chocobo Carnival

Booted up the PS4 this afternoon with Grace and Louie, to play a little FFXV and got the newest update downloaded.  To my surprise, SquareEnix put out a nice little present in this update!  “The Moogle Chocobo Festival!”

Unlocked once you reach Altissia, the festival transforms the already amazing city into a full-on carnival…which brought a smile to my face and got Grace all excited to see all of the Chocobos.  Which is kinda cool when your 4-year old daughter says, “Look at all the Chocobos, SOO CUTE, AWWW!”  FYI, she likes “playing” FFXV, even though I help her out. (Usually, she’s just moving the player around, riding on chocobos and sitting through the car rides.  Any battles she gets into, the AI usually handles, but hey she doesn’t know that.)

As for the carnival, it’s a nice little distraction and gives you an excuse to run around ever inch of Altissia.  There are plenty of minigames like Whack-a-Cactuar and turret minigame to keep you distracted.  They have a slight challenge but you should be able to complete the side quest in an hour or two.

 

Honestly, the fun part is just seeing how the city has transformed from the base game.  It kind of reminds me of Chrono Trigger’s Millennial Fair.  Which was simple, short and sweet.  It’s worth checking out if you’re still trailblazing through FFXV’s world.  As for the special item (the Dream Egg) you get at the end of the side-quest, I’ve got no clue what it does.  It’s probably a fair assumption to think it may be usable, in later DLC.

You see, this is what DLC should be, bite size morsels given to the players as “thanks for playing!”.  NOT an, “Oh yeah, you gotta get the new DLC pack!!  Only $24.99 and you’ll get 10 hours of re-hashed gameplay!”

Have fun ladies and gents!

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Grace’s 1st Gaming Experience!

​This was taken about a week ago and she stayed home for a sick day.  Around lunch time she was a 100% better so, I figured we’d play something different than My Little Pony or Shopkins.

I can answer ANY question except THIS one!

What are we having for dinner?!  Oddly enough, this seems to be the most difficult question for Louie and me.  Which also seems to be a common issue in families and couples.

This is how I feel about it some times…

Typically, I’m home from work by 9am-ish fall asleep by 1030 and wake up around 5pm.  She’ll get home by 530pm and we’re always asking that same question.  What are we having for dinner?!

Being the gentleman, I ask her what she’d like?  (which us odd because even after being married for 5 years, we still finish each other’s sentences)  Yet we can never come to solution before it ends up being a late dinner!

Now, we’re both accomplished cooks in the kitchen.  She still beats me by a mile, I’ll admit she can bake and do thing’s I have no idea how do.

But it does frustrate the shit out of me, that even with all that, we can’t come to a solid conclusion.  It usually ends up in my court to be the decisive one and dinner is made by 730pm at the earliest.

So this goes out to everyone.  Do any of you go through this phenomenon most nights?  If not, some solid suggestions would be nice!!

For now, I’ll let Sam Elliot decide.. 

https://youtu.be/nZoyE1B7HHA

Happy Halloween!!!

(BTW, not my pic, but an AWESOME share none the less!)

Out with Grace and Louie for some trick or treating!  (Grace is Pikachu and she’s loving every moment just to be in costume!)  She’s a huge fan of the cartoon.  (The first two seasons only, “because Brock and Misty are in it!”  Her words, not mine.)

Tonight will be our usual stomping grounds in the local historic district.  Last night, we didn’t see many houses decorated, so we’re hoping for a nice lil’ bundle of goodies for us to share together.

On another note, Grace, whose 4-years old knows what a zombie is…it’s as household as the Pillsbury dough-boy now.  Ugh…

Anyways!  Have a safe and Happy Halloween!!

Here’s a nice lil throwback treat from me!

Share – Toddlerography 

A great laugh for everyone!

Louie and I were sitting and watching a few vids on Youtube and we saw this and I HAD to share it!  Moms and dads totally get this and will have a great trip down memory lane watching our kids dancing at those tender toddler ages.  Those memories are pretty irreplacable!

Daddy’s lil’ mountain climber!

Over the last week, my 4-yr old daughter Grace got invited to 4 birthday parties!

 

 

Yep, so you can imagine where how we’re gonna figure out doing gifts…

The first one was this Saturday and my lucky ass, just fresh from work, came home to my lady being sick.  (Thankfully, it was a sinus infection or everybody was gonna get the bug eventually)

Obviously, it ended up with me and Grace going to the party.  Which was nice, because the weather finally decided to let up and not be f*ckin’ 108 degrees in Realfeel.  (Temp/Humidity/Everything else)  She was pretty cute; she wanted to carry her friends present all the way to the picnic area.  (She’s 4, so yeah, friggin’ CUTE)

Once we were there, she b-lined to all of her friends and nearly threw the present to the girl’s mom, hugging all of her friends.  After a quick bite to eat, we headed over to the horseshoe pit, where the girls played in the sand.  For 4yr olds, sand will keep them busy for a WHILE!

Just when I thought they were gonna spend all day in the sand, Grace bolted with her friends to the playground.  She then scaled the rock climbing wall like that damn alien from Men in Black!

I was like, DAAAAAMNN!!

Three minutes later, she ran over to the seven-foot tall rock climbing wall and went up it like g’damn ninja!  She was soo proud, that she started dancing at the top!  You know damn well, I wanted her down at that point!

Regardless, my eyes are ON HER ALL THE TIMES, cuz she’ll be doing this before you know it!

Nope!!!!