July 2021 South Dakota trip

July 2nd we left IN at 5:30am EST. We arrived in Willow Lake, SD after 14+ hrs of driving. We met my parents, my brothers, and Lizzy at ‘the farm.’ (Pam & Denny’s farm in Willow Lake, SD)

July 3rd was the family fish fry. It was good to see some people I haven’t seen in 10+ years. We also drove to Watertown, SD for a fireworks show. Didn’t get to bed until late but it was fun!

July 4th included ATVs, side by sides, smoked sausage & smoked chicken, plus some kid friendly fire works.

July 5th Josh and I went to Sioux falls for a day of friends. I had breakfast with some female pastors– we chat weekly on zoom. Then we met for lunch with our South Dakota friends: Zach, Andrew, Alex, Mike, Deandra (And her corgie puppy), Sam, Jesse, & little Ellie.

July 6th we slept in then did some shopping before having Chislic for lunch. We picked up my parents for more shopping and then a delicious dinner at Minerva’s.

July 7th left SD at 5:30am CST and arrived home 8pm EST. Oof! Long drive but great time with family and friends.

Tv survey thing

I saw this little TV survey while wandering the interwebs. I thought I would check it out and reflect on it.

How LOW can you go? Lower than me???

My score is : ___ out of 100🤦🏼‍♀️

You never realize how much/little TV you watch until you fill out a list. Put a 💜 by the shows of which you have watched MORE than ⭐10⭐ episodes.

**I’m adding a ⏱️by the ones I plan to watch some day.

1A. Gen Hospital:
1. Grey’s Anatomy: 💜
2. Stranger Things: 💜 (ALL OF IT!)
3. The Vampire Diaries:
4. The Walking Dead:
5. Fear The Walking Dead:
6. Dexter:
7. American Horror Story:
8. Orange is the New Black:
9. A Million Little Things: :
10. This is Us:
11. The Simpsons:
12. New Amsterdam:
13. Manifest:
14. How To Get Away With Murder:
15. Breaking Bad:
16. SOA:
17. Scandal:
18. Riverdale:
19. The Good Doctor:
20. House of Cards:
21. Once Upon a Time: 💜 I got distracted, may rewatch
22. House: 💜💜💜💜
23. True Detective:
24. Dr. Pimple Popper:
25. Power:
26. Empire:
27. One Tree Hill:
28. Supernatural:
29. Family Guy:
30. Santa Clarita Diet:
31. Shameless:
32. Pretty Little Liars:
33. Secret Life/AmericanTeenager:
34. Bones:
35. Criminal Minds:
36. The 100:
37. Chicago Fire:
38. Chicago Med:
39. The Resident: :
40. Game of Thrones: 💜 (let’s ignore season 8, shall we?)
41. The Big Bang Theory: 💜 I used to love this show, not so sure now
42. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia:
43. Lost:
44. The Sopranos:
45. NCIS:
46. NCIS Los Angeles:
47. NCIS New Orleans:
48. Law & Order SVU:
49. Gossip Girl:
50. How I Met Your Mother:
51. Blue Bloods: ⏱️I’ve seen a few, it’s on my list to watch
52. Two Broke Girls: ⏱️
53. The Office: 💜 (I’m just meh about the US office)
54. Blacklist:
55. Full House: 💜
56. Fuller House: meh
57. Downton Abbey:💜💜💜
58. Hawaii Five O:
59. Big Mouth:
60. Last Man Standing:
61. Six Feet Under:
62. Wentworth:
63. Friends: 💜meh
64. That 70s Show
65. Girlfriends Guide to Divorce:
66. Heartland:
67. All-American:
68. Greek:
69. Yellowstone:
70. Better Call Saul:
71. You:
72. Rescue Me:
73. Scrubs:
74. Community:
75. Letterkenny: I’ve seen 5 episodes, not for me
76. Kitchen Nightmares:
77. The Masked Singer:
78. Robot Chicken:
79. Vikings: ⏱️I’ve seen a few episodes and want to watch more.
80. Mind Hunter:
81. New Girl: 💜I used to love this, I don’t know if I would anymore if I revisited it.
82. The Good Place:
83. Black Mirror:⏱️ only 3episodes.
83. Lucifer: ⏱️
84. Peaky Blinders:⏱️
85. iZombie:
86. Parks and Rec:⏱️
87. Brooklyn 99:
88. Handmaid’s Tale: ⏱️
89. Modern Family:
90. Smallville:
91. Seinfeld:
92. Gilmore Girls: 💜 loved it but also can’t think too hard about it or I’ll hate it.
93. Charmed:
94. Private Practice:
95. Lost Girl:
96. True Blood:
97. Roswell:
98. Haven:
99. Mad Men:
100. Arrow:

Tv shows not listed that I love:

  1. BBC Sherlock 💜💜
  2. BBC Doctor Who💜💜
  3. BBC Victoria💜💜
  4. West Wing💜💜
  5. Madam Secretary💜
  6. Ms. Koizumi loves ramen noodles (anime)💜
  7. Avatar The Last Airbender💜💜
  8. Wandavision💜
  9. The Great British Bake off💜
  10. The Crown💜
  11. The Umbrella Academy💜
  12. Queer eye💜
  13. Salt fat acid heat💜
  14. Star Trek (original)💜
  15. Dr Quinn Medicine woman💜
  16. The Mandalorian 💜💜💜💜💜💜
  17. The falcon and the winter soldier ⏱️
  18. Good eats 💜
  19. Once upon a time 💜
  20. What we do in shadows 💜

Tv shows not listed with mixed opinions indicated by emoji

  1. Bridgerton 😏🤭😶‍🌫️
  2. Cobra kai 😱
  3. Arrested development 😴😴😴
  4. Anne with an E 🤔🧐😤

Honestly, I don’t watch much tv any more. I spend most of time watching YouTube videos while working.

I catch myself quite particular about my entertainment. I don’t like violence or excessive gore. I don’t like horror, suspense, or jump scares. I naturally gravitate towards rewatching my favorites rather than trying new things.

This silly adventure in a survey may show how much of a predictable creature of habit I am.

Back to blonde step 1: Overtone review

We all did something weird to our hair in 2020. Some skipped haircuts. Some grew out their body hair. Others did home haircuts or funny facial hair.

I tried Overtone.

I bought the Ginger overtone last spring and was excited to try a washout color depositing conditioner.

I am SUPER blonde. I have only once before done an all over color on my hair. That was a washout in 2006 and… I looked like little mermaid!

Don’t judge my 19 year old self. 😂🤣😂

This “washout” faded to a rose pink colored and stuck with me for 6+ months.

Mom and I going to a Gala thing to her work.

The only thing that helped was old school “Sun In”

I had experimented with my hairstylist and permanent dies on the under part of my hair but never did a full on color.

We got married January of 2020 and I wanted my hair ‘normal’ for our big day.

Photo credit: Franklin Focus

2020 was starting out to be an awesome year. We stared it with our commitment to each other and were planning an awesome honeymoon to England…. and then COVID hit.

But this is about hair. Not our lack of honeymoon. Just before COVID really rocked our world my husband and I got haircuts.

I am not sure what convinced me to finally try Overtone but I had been snooping on their website and reading reviews and getting ads for a while.

I bit the bullet and bought their Ginger kit. My paternal grandmother was a red head and I thought I would channel her with this color adventure.

Most of the reviews I read said to keep the color mask on for a long time. The box says 10-15 minutes. Other people were saying 1-2 hrs.

So naturally I listened to the internet & not the box. 2 hrs & 1 movie later, I was GINGER.

I LOVED it! It was beautiful, looked like what I was hoping for and it was way cheaper than going to a salon.

I maintained this color through Overtone products from May 2020- October 2020.

The last three times I refreshed my hair I used the golden brown with an attempt to darken my hair a little for a friends wedding.

The ‘golden brown’ didn’t really change the GINGER at all.

If I’m honest, I’m a lazy person when it comes to hair and general appearance efforts. I love sleep way too much to get up early. Also night showers are the bomb.

I maintained Overtone from May 2020 to October 2020. And then I stopped.

But the color didn’t go away.

I finally accepted my fate. This color wasn’t coming out on its own. So I sheepishly contacted my hairstylist and confessed my hair transgressions.

We set up a 2 – 3 step plan of bringing my hair back to blonde… Mostly so I can be lazy again.

Yesterday was step 1.

After 3.5 hrs and trial and error about what method would remove the Overtone color, we had to bleach it and tone it. The orange-y look is gone. It’s now somewhere between a light brown and strawberry blonde.

This is only step 1. We will repeat the bleach & tone steps over a span of time.

Reflection: while I LOVED my ginger look at the height of my maintenance, I hated maintaining it. When I wanted to move on, my hair was stained with color that wouldn’t fade out. Perhaps this would be different on a brunette? But I’m going to be more gunshy with washout hair color in the future.

Recommendation: Blondes, if you plan on making a permanent change to your hair Overtone is cost effective and easy to do at home. However don’t expect a quick change to be available.

Use with caution.

Adventures in Japanese donuts

1. mochi donuts — they have tofu?!?

Recipe: https://eatwithjean.com/mochi-donut/?amp=1

Reflections:

  • The dough was too sticky to roll into balls. I added more flour but they were still too sticky. So I coated my hands in cornstarch. That worked but it was hard to regulate ball size.
  • Cooking time varied.
  • If they sit overnight they become quite chewy.
  • I would increase the jelly in the frosting to increase flavor.

Rating: 7/10 would try again with modifications. Would eat again. Very pretty to look at.

2. Mochi donut holes – milk, butter, & vanilla

Recipe: https://keepingitrelle.com/mochi-donuts-recipe/

Reflection:

  • Flavor is quite bland.
  • Texture was tough outside and doughy inside
  • I made the individual balls too big and the temperature of the oil was 350f but cooked the outside too fast and the inside didn’t get finished.
  • I would make the balls smaller & turn down the oil temp to evenly cook the dough.
  • I would also consider adding additional flavoring to the dough. The only flavor that stood out was the sugar (to which I added ginger and cinnamon)

Rating: 5/10 am skeptical but would still try again for curiosity’s sake.

3. Ube donuts – buttermilk & ube flavoring

Recipe: https://thesweetandsourbaker.com/home/2018/2/9/ube-donuts-with-coconut-glaze

Refections:

  • Easiest recipe
  • Josh’s favorite
  • He says it NEEDS some kind of texture. Besides the frosting (thus all the coconut, nuts, etc we tried)
  • Frosting carries a lot of coconut flavor
  • I would consider adding shredded ube into the batter
  • Most cake like of the three
  • Easiest to mass produce
  • Perhaps go super extra by adding a mochi in the middle?
  • Could sweet soy sauce work with this?

Rating: 8/10 planning to experiment more with decorations but best texture and flavor.

UPDATE: additional recipe attempt

I attempted a modification to recipe 1.

Modifications:

  • Added matcha & green food coloring to batter
  • Added more all purpose flour and glutinous rice flour and sugar.
  • Rolled the dough into ‘snakes’ and shaped like a donut
  • Fried at lower temp for same period of time
  • Coated the donut in matcha sugar

Results: not pretty but tasty. ‘snake’ method didn’t work for a donut shape. Still really chewy (think fried donut from a fair)

Silly food survey

“CAN I TAKE YOUR ORDER?”

• STARBUCKS- venti iced caramel latte decalf w/ almond milk

• SUBWAY – 6″ italian herb & cheese, chicken, bacon, pepper jack cheese, ranch, spinach, green pepper, black olive, & tomato (but only if they look good)

• McDonald’s – either a 2 cheese burger ketchup only w/ diet coke or a chicken nugget meal w/ ranch & diet coke

• CHICK FIL A – no need for hate chicken

• CHINESE – honestly, just egg rolls & crab rangoons. My fave used to be cashew chicken or moo goo gai pan but I can’t find a place that makes it like my fave back home and that place closed down.

• MEXICAN – typically shrimp/chicken fajitas, occasionally aroz con pollo, rarely a chicken quesadilla

• SUSHI- tiger roll, spicy tuna, and rainbow roll, edamame, miso soup, and hot tea (maybe some gyoza too)

• Pizza- buffalo chicken w/ ranch (no onion) or if I’m building one- sausage, green pepper, mushroom, black olive

• WINGS -teriyaki, parmesan garlic, honey bbq, or buffalo (Filling station!)

• SONIC – chili cheese coney or popcorn chicken w/ tater tots and ranch, diet cherry limeaid

•WENDY’S – 4 for $4 jr bacon cheese burger, ranch, & orange fanta

• DAIRY QUEEN – mini butterfinger or oreo or cookie dough blizzard (local dq don’t do food well, just ice cream)- ‘Scoups’ & ‘Cone Palace’ are better

• CANDY – chocolate of most forms (no coconut), rarely do I want fruity stuff, never sour

• ICECREAM – depends, it’s usually in the form of a milkshake. ‘Boom chocolatta’ by ben & jerries is delicious

• CHIPS – depends doritos, cheetos, sour cream & cheddar, 🤔🤔🤔

*CAKE – #1 no nuts or chopped fruit, spice cake, coffee cake, jello poke cake, or “better than sex cake”

*Schlotzsky’s- dont remember

*Texas Roadhouse: sirloin steak med rare, mashed potatoes, steamed broccoli (Josh’s steaks are better)

*Olive Garden: depends, sometimes I do soup/salad bc zoupa tuscana is delicious but also ❣️❣️ravioli or tortellini. Love stuffed pasta. (Ps Martino’s is better)

*Outback Steakhouse: don’t remember, similar to Texas Roadhouse (Josh’s steaks are better)

*Applebees: they used to have a thai shrimp salad that was delicious! Otherwise I stick to their appetizers

Can’t wait to see what different things everyone orders 😅

Silly cooking survey

Who can really cook? No boxed Mac N Cheese or Stouffer’s lasagna. I know there are several of you that can really cook.
I look forward to seeing your surveys.
Who can cook real food, not stuff prepackaged or in a box?

HAVE YOU EVER?
1. Made biscuits from scratch? 🤔🤔I do t think so
2. Fried fresh okra? No
3. Made sourdough bread? I’ve made Amish friendship bread, which is a fermented bread.
4. Fried chicken? No, but I’ve fried tofu
5. Made spaghetti sauce from scratch? No
6. Made any kind of yeast bread? Yes
7. Baked a cake from scratch? Yes
8. Made icing from scratch? Yes
9. Cooked a pot roast with all the veggies? No
10. Made chili from scratch? Yes
11. Made a meatloaf? No
12. Made scalloped potatoes? No
13. Made mac/cheese from scratch? Yes
14. Made a jello salad? Yes
15. Made peanut brittle? No but I’ve made toffee
16. Made fudge? Bo
17. Made cookies from scratch? Yes
18. Cooked a pot of beans from dried beans? No
19. Cooked a pot of greens? No
20. Made cornbread from scratch? Yes
21. Make a pie dough from scratch? Yes
22. Cooked a whole turkey? Yes
23. Snapped green beans and cooked them? Yes
24. Made mashed potatoes from scratch? Yes
25. What’s the most people you have prepared a whole meal for? I’ve helped prep a meal for 60+
26. Poached an egg? No
27. Made pancakes from scratch? Yes
28. Roasted vegetables in the oven instead of boiling them? Yes
29. Made fresh pasta? Yes
30. Made croissants from scratch? No
31. Made tuna salad? Yes
32. Fried fish? No
33. Made baked beans? No
34. Made ice cream from scratch? Yes
35. Made jam or jelly? No
36. Zested an orange or lemon? Yes (and have scars to prove it)
37. Made grits from scratch? No
38. Made an omelet? Yes
39. Lived in a house without a dishwasher? Yes, now
40. Eaten a bowl of cereal for supper? Yes

I would love to see your answers.

Reflection: honestly, a lot of my “no’s” are because I don’t prefer that thing, so I’ve never tried. We also eat more ethnic food than classic American soul food.

I can cook a lot of items that are not on this list. Mexican, japanese, chinese, italian, or french are my go to flavors. Very rarely do I leave the recipe as is, typically I take a recipe and modify it for our preferences.

This list is also quite skimpy on other things that are my skills. A baking list would be much better for me. Donuts, japanese taiyaki, japanese mochi, truffles (including keto fat bombs), shortbread cookies, sugar cookies, molasses cookies, oatmeal cookies, brownie cookies, cake mix cookies, brownies from scratch (and terrible diet brownies), hard candies, home made caramels, caramel sauce, and more.

Also I’ve tried making recipes for special diets. I’ve adapted tons recipes for keto, weight watchers, and vegetarian. I’ve used instapots, air fryers, crock pots, deep friers, george foreman grills, cast iron and more.

Thanks, now I’m hungry. 🥩🥦🍕🍤🍠🍩🍪🍳

One Year Anniversary

I’m grateful for today because it marks the day I married the most amazing person in the world. Joshua King is the best partner a girl could ask for. He’s kind and loving. He’s tough and strong. He’s smart and creative. He’s a dreamer. He’s funny and vulnerable. He’s the balance to my crazy and I’m the balance to his. He’s the justice to my mercy. He keeps me balanced and nurtured.I genuinely love this man. Alexanda Fitterer, I finally understand why you always want to be around Mike. Happy anniversary to my husband, my best friend, my partner. 1 year went by in the blink of an eye…. Course it could have been a few other things distracting us (like a pandemic and holidays and murder hornets).I love you, Joshua Lee.