Random Reality Check – 1/26/15

A Random Reality Check at ASlobComesClean.com

Welcome to today’s Random Reality Check.

I love sharing tips and recipes and such, but the main thing that matters around here is reality.

There’s Theory of Keeping a House Under Control, and then there’s Reality of Keeping a House Under Control for Someone Who Really Wishes It Would Just Stay Under Control On Its Own So She Could Do Fun Things Like Plan Parties and Direct Plays and Write Books and Maybe Learn to Knit.

This blog is the second kind.

Anyway, I thought I’d give a reality check report on this beautiful Monday morning.

I decided to write this post last night, at a time when I felt my reality was pretty admirable (considering the slob-thing). I felt pretty under control when I was in bed before 10:00. I even woke up gently just before my alarm went off at 4:45 so I could get to my 5 a.m. workout.

And then, I could NOT find a certain piece of, ahem . . . equipment that is rather essential for a workout of any kind.

Like, couldn’t find either of my two equipment options.

So I didn’t work out.

I was so irritated with myself as I crawled back under my warm covers.

Anyway, that kind of sums up how things are right now. My dining area, living room, and kitchen are clean. Clean enough that we had people over last night for our church home group. The gameroom (that people have to enter to get to the guest bathroom) is mostly clean. The floor is clear. The sides of the room are more cluttered than a Normal Person’s home, but pretty good for me.

And just to be clear, I’m proud of that picture (explanations and all) of my living room on a random Monday morning.

Oh. There is a corner of clutter in the Dining Room. It’s made up of we’re-in-the-middle-of-something-but-people-are-coming-over-so-I-need-to-clear-the-table projects. They’re balanced on top of a box of books that I meant to take to Half-Price Books at least a year ago when I was going somewhere in Hubby’s car. Then, six months ago (or so), he needed the trunk space and hauled them back inside.

Leaving them out in plain sight will help me remember to take them, right? (<–one of my favorite delusions)

Last night I felt pretty good. Monday mornings are pretty nice when I spend an hour or so cleaning on Sunday afternoon. And as long as I keep up with doing MOST of my daily tasks through the week, it will only take an hour or so the next Sunday afternoon and I’ll avoid Disaster Status. (Usually.)

It’s a routine that works well for me right now.

But then, I get those rude reminders that all is nowhere near perfect when things happen like happened this morning.

Bedrooms (with their lovely closable doors) are my nemesis.

Especially my own bedroom.

I worked in there last week (post coming up soon) and made HUGE progress. Lovely progress. In just two little ol’ hours.

But those two little ol’ hours revealed how many clothes had escaped my wash-everything-in-the-house Laundry Days. And the resulting laundry pile was somewhat ridiculous, even more so since we’ve been on Bare Minimum Clothes Washing Status for over a week since my washing machine died and I’ve been using a friend’s while we wait for my new one to be delivered this week.

I know my pink “equipment” is in the pile. It has to be.

But it’s mixed in with all sorts of random things that probably weren’t technically dirty but fell to the floor from their precarious perch atop my Pile of Good Intentions. (Y’know. The end of my bed where I “neatly” place the things I only wore for a short time that I could wear again. But then don’t. And then they fall to the floor.)

AND, I have another piece of “equipment” that I haven’t seen in weeks.

So that’s my reality check. I’ve come a long way. I dread spending an hour or so each Sunday afternoon getting the house ready to let people in the front door, but it’s a thousand-times better than my pre-blog way of making creative excuses for why I could never (ever) host gatherings unless I knew I had two weeks to clean.

But I will always struggle.

I sometimes wonder if I’ll EVER get our master bedroom under control in a sustainable way. In a way where I’m not overly proud of it having a mostly clear floor even though a laundry pile as tall as my oldest kid waits to be spread back out over the floor in an insanely-early-in-the-morning moment of panic.

Blergh. Laundry Mountain Fell and Formed Laundry Ocean. ASlobComesClean.com

What’s your reality right now?

 

Don’t forget that my e-books (28 Days to Hope for Your Home and Drowning in Clutter?) are on sale as a set through the end of this month!

 

 

--Nony

How to Cook and Shred Chicken in Bulk (Fast!)

How to Cook Chicken for the Freezer at ASlobComesClean.com

I can’t declare loudly enough how much I love pre-cooking chicken and ground beef. If you really want to cook regularly, but feel overwhelmed at the thought, cooking some basic meats ahead of time will change your life.

That’s kind of dramatic-sounding, but true.

Think about it. The biggest time-factor in preparing most meals (even the easiest ones) is the meat. Thawing it, trimming it, cooking it, draining it, cleaning up the mess.

There are definitely some meals that need the meat to NOT be pre-cooked, but so many recipes work great! And as life gets busier as the kids get older (ummm, out of town basketball games??), I pre-cook more and more of my 40 lbs. of Zaycon chicken because that’s what I turn to again and again for super-fast home-cooked meals.

I made a video. If you can’t see it, watch it on youtube here.

How I Cook a Who’ Lotta Chicken at Once to Freeze (And Shred It Super-Fast Without Carpal Tunnel Pain)

Cooking boneless, skinless chicken breasts in the crockpot in bulk at ASlobComesClean.com

After I trim all the nastiness off of the boneless skinless chicken breasts, I place them straight into my CrockPot(s). I salt and pepper each layer.

I cook the chicken on low for 5-6 hours or until cooked through and falling apart easily.

Then, I shred them. All twenty-five pounds or so. In, like, less than ten minutes.

For real.

I’ve mentioned this before, but thought it deserved its own post (and video) because it’s just so stinking cool. I saw the trick mentioned on CouponingtoDisney.com. She uses a stand mixer. But my stand mixer is inconveniently placed and I’m not hauling 25 hot chickens across the kitchen to use it.

Oops. I meant 25 pounds of hot chicken.

Anyway, I use my hand mixer.

Remove Chicken From the Hot Liquid for Shredding

Remove the chicken from the hot liquid of the CrockPot. I don’t intentionally add liquid when cooking the chicken. With the water from the just-rinsed chicken and natural juices, it just happens. The liquid is the reason you can’t shred the chicken inside the slow cooker. Hot chicken juice flies everywhere and will burn you.

Trust me. I know this.

While the chicken is still hot, press the handmixer’s beaters onto one of the boneless skinless chicken breasts and turn on the lowest setting. You’ll have to hold on to the bowl so the handmixer doesn’t get away from you (and to keep chicken from flying everywhere), but just keep moving to an unshredded piece until you’re satisfied with the Level of Shred.

Shredding Chicken Pre-Cooked in Bulk at ASlobComesClean

 

Warning: Know that this goes crazy fast. It’s fun, so there’s a real temptation to keep on shreddin’, but you’ll end up with chicken dust if you’re not careful.

Once the chicken is completely cooled (you may need to spread it out on a cookie sheet to help it cool faster), put it in freezer bags. This last time, I had the brilliant idea to fill quart sized bags with shredded chicken and then fill up the remaining space with the broth from the crockpots. While this has kept the chicken moist, it has made breaking apart the frozen chicken more difficult. (MUCH more difficult.) Next time, I’ll either try that again with significantly less chicken in a bag so the frozen chunks are flatter and easier to break, or only put one meal’s worth in a bag so I don’t have to break it apart at all.

So how do I use such a huge amount of pre-cooked, frozen chicken? Lots of ways! I use it in my chicken fried rice, chicken salad, tortilla soup, chicken and bacon sub sandwiches, creamy chicken and spinach enchiladas, chicken and black bean burritos, faux alfredo, white chicken chili and more.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll share three unbelievably easy and quick meals using this shredded chicken. These are meals my family loves and requests regularly. Sign up as an email subscriber (it’s free) to be sure you don’t miss them.

Also see my tutorial and video where I explain where I get 40 pounds of boneless/skinless chicken breast and how I deal with ALL THAT CHICKEN!! Or just go straight to Zaycon chicken through my referral link.

And here’s how I pre-cook ground beef!

 

 

 

--Nony

41(ish) Things – For my 41st Birthday!

I’m 41 today!!!

Who woulda thought that would ever happen?? And why-oh-why does 41 seem significantly older than 40?

I’m having a little fun today for my birthday. I’m sharing 41 things that I think may or may not have something to do with my slob problem. Absolutely nothing scientific here, but they’re just things I wonder as I stumble upon more and more Kindred Spirits on this crazy thing called the Internet. I’m amazed at how many things that don’t seem related to cleaning that so many seem to have in common. If you want to play along, leave a comment sharing the numbers of things that you have in common with me! Or just click away and roll your eyes at how strange I am!

I had this big idea to create a list of 41 things and see which ones others “with my issues” have in common. It was really fun at first and then my mind went blank. But I’m publishing it anyway. (And I’m adding in a few affiliate links.)

1. I have curly hair. (REALLY curly.)

2. I don’t straighten it. I just don’t see the point when I’m perfectly fine with curly hair.

3. I love to travel. LOVE to travel. Like, if I don’t travel for a while my heart starts aching.

4. One of my favorite things about traveling is saying I’ve been there.

5. My love language is Quality Time.

6. I love to read.

7. Even though I write non-fiction, I don’t read it that often.

8. As a child, I firmly believed I’d been born in the wrong time period. I was sure I’d have thrived in the times of hoop skirts and horses.

9. As an adult, I got over that “issue” when I realized I’d have probably been the maid instead of the Lady of the Manor.

10. My immediate thought when I see someone do something “cool” is that I could do it too. I have to consciously remind myself that I am not, in fact, capable of doing backflips. And I never have been.

11. After I finished Kindergarten, I could not understand why it wasn’t possible to immediately begin teaching Kindergarten.

12. My childhood dream was to own a junkyard. (Really . . . )

13. In school, I never completely finished reading an assigned novel. (Until I was the teacher.)

14. I generally allow myself 15 minutes (not including shower) to get ready to leave the house.

15. My husband and I identify couples we’ll get along with by throwing out lines from Seinfeld to see if they know what we’re talking about.

16. I love to read. Oops. I already said that.

17. I find it almost impossible to follow a recipe exactly the way it is written.

18. I see absolutely no point in following a recipe exactly the way it is written.

19. I like peach cobbler, but I don’t eat the peaches. (Much to my husband’s horror.)

20. I get ideas like “I should write a list of 41 things for my 41st birthday,” and then around number 20, I wonder why I thought this was a good idea.

21. I could eat Tex-Mex food for almost every meal. I only don’t because my husband complains when we’ve had it four times in one week.

22. I know how to spell y’all correctly.

23. I can make myself cry.

24. My parents claimed knowing #23 is the reason they never gave into my pleas for a puppy.

25. I think they just didn’t want a dog.

26. I’ve never been diagnosed with ADD or ADHD, but I think I could be if I wanted to be.

27. One of my favorite unexpected things about blogging has been finding out that people other than my family and friends think I’m funny.

28. I often throw this fact into conversation when my husband doesn’t laugh at my jokes.

29. When I was in college, my mother bought me a package of 200 washcloths for washing my face.

30. I choose to consider #29 a beautiful example of a mother understanding and embracing her daughter’s reality rather than enabling her Slob Issues.

31. One of my biggest pre-parenting fears was that my kids would not have any personality.

32. If you know them, you know this was a pretty ridiculous fear.

33. I can’t think of any more things.

34. I worry that I’ve shared too much and now I won’t have any more fun stories to relate to cleaning.

35. I’m okay with ending a list of 41 things at number 35.

36. #35 probably has something to do (psychologically) with my slob problems.

 

THE END

If you want a birthday post with more introspection and pontification, read this one from last year.

Wait. I think I can do this:

37. Words with four or more syllables make me happy.

38. I thought about finding and linking to posts related to these random things, but I didn’t.

39. I did, however, add my affiliate link to a few of them.

40. I really love that things like adding Amazon affiliate links lets me justify spending full-time hours on this crazy blogging/podcasting/youtubing/e-book-writing thing I do.

41. I love hearing about readers, so tell me a random fact about you!

--Nony
--Nony

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