A Very Mery Un-Christmas to You!

It happens to me every January.  “I’ll leave it up for just another week,” turns into the ever-embarrassing, “Can we just put some hearts on it?”

Taking down the Christmas tree is – I believe – one of the most depressing chores that exists.  I have yet to figure out a way to make it fun, or at least not horrible.  Having an artificial tree like we do only exacerbates the problem because it doesn’t die and sprinkle needles everywhere.  This year I’m bribing myself with Cadbury Creme Eggs if I get it done.  Because… you know… the EASTER candy is out already.

When I was in school, my poor mother would take down the tree often on the first day we went back to school after Christmas break.  I thought she was the meanest mom of all moms, crushing our Christmas dreams and thrusting us head-first into the bleak and dreary black hole that is January.  I would come home to find the presents that hadn’t been put away were left in the bare corner of the living room in a sad little pile.

Now, I sit here on the 21st day of January, almost a full month after Christmas, staring at my unlit but fully decorated tree.  Funny how festive so quickly transforms into… lame.  It’s yet another chapter in the textbook I’m writing called: “My Parents Weren’t as Mean/Dumb/Unreasonable as I Thought They Were.”

Yes, taking down Christmas sucks.  It probably always will, because even though I’m 30, Christmas is still pretty magical.  But I also know that spring can’t come until winter is gone.  (I also now realize that taking down Christmas without two whining kids around is probably much more peaceful than listening to them begging and pleading.)

And so today, having an unexpected “snow day” off from work, I will pop in a movie, make some hot chocolate, and take down the tree.  Not because I’m ready to say goodbye to Christmas… but because I’m ready to welcome spring with open arms!

COTW: Veggies!

It’s Thursday, which means it’s time for my Craving of the Week, as promised!

(Thursday has no real significance to the whole craving thing.  I just came up with the idea last week on Thursday.)

In my first trimester, I didn’t even want to look at a vegetable.  Or a fruit, for that matter.  I actually bit into a perfectly ripe banana and spit it right into the trash can.

I wanted carbs.

And fried carbs.  And sugar-rolled, chocolate-dipped carbs.

(It’s no wonder I got the, “You might want to slow your weight gain…” talk from my OB yesterday.  We’re so not talking right now.)

But somewhere around the 15 week mark, I found myself craving fresh produce again.  I can even eat bananas without gagging.  Yesterday, I made myself the most delicious lunch that I shall call:

Dish’s Summer Chick Pea Salad

One can of chick peas, one cucumber – peeled and chopped, and a chopped ripe tomato.  Add a teaspoon of EVOO, a teaspoon of Balsamic Vinegar, and salt and pepper.  SO DELICIOUS!  You can add whatever you’d like – avocado, olives, maybe some crumbled feta cheese – the possibilities are endless!

Here’s hoping all the fresh fruits and veggies of summer will keep me in the produce aisle… and away from the nearest Dairy Queen!

My Favorite: The Dishwasher Countertop Style

What Is A Dishwasher Countertop Style?

Very straight forward its a dishwasher that sits on the
countertop in your kitchen. It is also called a portable
dishwasher. Considerably smaller than the installed unit
but will usually perform just as well as models of full size.

The portable dishwasher countertop style are a great choice
for singles, couples or a small family of three or four.

Countertop units will use less electricity, detergent and water
than full size models.

They can easily be positioned on the counter and will need
the faucet over the sink and electric power to perform. You
will find quiet a few of these portable dishwashers with six
place settings and a drying rack.

However some will come with the usual setting of four. The
portable dishwasher countertop style also have features that
are comparable to the larger installed units.

These portable dishwashers are perfect when you don’t have
the space or simply put the model that’s built in is not
an option.

It is also a fact that these compact dishwashers can be
purchased to match the cabinets in your kitchen.

The countertop dishwasher will very easily
and quickly roll out of its place of storage. Then simply
connect to any standard 120v electric outlet and the faucet
at your kitchen sink.

Your settings for fine china delicate washes, delayed washes,
quick rinses and hightemp wash cycle.

A question was asked could a countertop unit be mounted
permanently? The answer is some countertop dishwasher models
could be installed permanently, but no countertop unit are
designed specifically to to be permanently installed.

And if for some reason you decide to do this type of installation
you may be voiding the warranty.

When purchasing a dishwasher countertop style, be sure to measure
from countertop to the bottom of your cabinet. Keep the measurement
in mind and buy your dishwasher accordingly.

This way you will avoid buying your dishwasher the wrong high and
having to return it or alter your cabinets.

Brightsiding

As I was shoveling the freshly-fallen two inches of snow this morning, I thought to myself, “At least I’m getting an arm workout in.”

It’s come to that.

This winter it’s gotten to the point where it’s almost comical when we hear about yet another round of snow.  I’ve never been a winter fan, but this winter – Philadelphia’s third snowiest – it’s not the icebergs that line our streets, but the grumbling I hate.

Winter’s doldrums have kept me away from the blog, but today I feel compelled to acknowledge the good in this never-ending winter.  To convince myself that I’ll survive until spring.

A few days ago, a woman I’ve seen in my neighborhood many times turned to me as we passed each other and spoke to me for the first time: “Be careful up there, honey.  The sidewalk is very icy.”  She was right, and maybe it was thanks to her that I didn’t fall.

Most of the clients with whom I’m working are schools, which means I’ve gotten many snow days as well – stuck inside watching the flakes fly.  On one of those snow days, I dug out my brand new, beautiful, Kitchen Aid stand mixer I was given almost a year ago and made my first batch of homemade buttercream frosting.

Some of the frosting ended up on the cupcakes, I swear.

To further my domesticity, knitting has been known to pop up on my snow day agenda.  This month I delved into my first colorwork project: argyle mittens for Mr. Dish’s birthday.

My tension needs work, but I was happy with them all the same.

Toe-up socks were also on my “to-learn” list.  Behold, they are turning out to be the most perfect fitting socks I have created yet!

You have not lived until you have slipped on a custom-made pair of socks. Trust me.

The Olympics have kept me entertained, both at home and at work.  Staying up late to watch ice dancing may not seem all that exciting, but it gives me something to look forward to all the same.  When I have ventured out between blizzards, I got to meet the family of Olympic speed skater Chris Creveling from Bucks County.  While it looks like he’s coming home without a medal, he’s made his family and his hometown very proud!  (2/22 UPDATE:  I stand corrected!  Last night Chris helped Team USA win a silver medal in the 5,000 m relay – the first U.S. medal for speedskating in the Sochi games!  WOOHOO!)

Congrats, Chris!

Valentine’s Day sometimes means venturing out for a fancy dinner… but this winter it meant Mr. Dish coming home with roses and some excessively indulgent ice cream to accompany our two-star movie selection.  Best Valentine’s Day ever.

You can keep your box of chocolates. (No wait actually I’ll eat those, too.)

And finally – this morning as I was brushing off my car, a woman walking to the bus stop gave me a jovial, “Good morning!”  I returned her greeting and watched her crunch along the sidewalk amidst the big fat flakes for a moment.  She put a spring in my step as I finished cleaning my car and went about my day.  It made me think I’m not alone in the need for a little “brightsiding” to get us through this last long stretch of winter.

My Review of the Bosch Integra 800 Dishwasher

 

Are you looking for the best Bosch dishwasher? There are many Bosch Dishwashers out there ranging from the Bosch Ascenta Dishwasher series to the Bosch Integra Dishwashers series and so on. I think that the Bosch Integra 800 24in stainless steel dishwasher to be one of the best Bosch Dishwasher models available. Doing a lot of research on what it is for a good dishwasher we will measure this one up and see if it stakes up.

This particular Bosch Dishwasher model seems to run the quietest out of all the models as well as great ratings for energy efficiency. The noise has been compared to the noise level of a freight train! Just kidding, it is actually comparable of a refrigerator which is extremely quiet in my book. Noise is not going to be a reason for you not to run this dishwasher. It is not as quiet as a countertop dishwasher, but not a lot louder either.

The racks have all kinds of adjustments with most of the tines being able to be set at several angles ranging from 90 degrees to flat. Ever have a lot of bowls to wash? Adjust some tines and fit them in here. The top rack can even be adjusted for height which will allow you to fit massive pots on the lower rack. The silverware basket keeps the silverware separated so each item gets cleaned!

The Bosch Integra 800 Dishwasher has a fantastic gentle cycle that’s good for delicate china and stemware. With this dishwasher you do not need to worry about pre-soaking your dishes and scrubbing them out this dishwasher is a top rated dishwasher that delivers the goods when it comes to blasting all your food right off the dishes.

Need to get some quick dishes washed because you are entertaining for a party? Go with the party wash for those lightly used glasses and dishes. The only knock on this dishwasher is the drying cycle which tends to leave some people on edge with some wet dishes. From all the research I have done it seems that is on a more case by case basis and not the status quo with this dishwasher.

Overall the Bosch Integra 800 Series Dishwasher is one of the best dishwashers especially if you are looking for a quiet dishwasher and a great stainless steel dishwasher.