The Best Five Therapies To Cure ‘One Of Those Days!’

You know, the real bitch kind of day that I seem to have a lot of, when the proverbial shit hits the fan so hard and fast you haven’t even had time to rub the fairy shit out of your eyes, let alone imbibe your first coffee before your phone rings. At 6.30am, no less, and after a horrible night of zero sleep due to the selfishness of one of our entitled teenagers who still believes he has the right to wake his parents up in the middle of a work night because he has the brain capabilities of a fly and missed the last bus home.

 

And yes, I did answer my phone, because no matter how much I hated him at that moment, I am his mum. But do you know how hard it is to speak at 1.30am when you have to ignore the condemnatory ‘you’re a pushover’ accusations from your husband at the same time as trying to persuade a very nice cab driver to bring the drunken, prodigal son home and that yes, you promise again and again, you will pay for it?

 

A conversation that is followed quickly by a heated argument in bed of the bitterest parental proportions about what your partner calls a ‘sickness’ ie. a ‘mother’s love’ for over-enabling our son, because he thought I should make him spend the night in George St with the homeless as a lesson in taking responsibility – Did you know that we were still living in the Victorian era? Me neither – and so disgusted was I by his attitude, it was impossible to sleep with such a heartless, callous pig afterwards and I ended up on the sofa.

 

Why do I always end up on the sofa?

 

Then I faced further withering looks of accusation hurtled expertly my way via NC somewhere around 7.30am for all the noise I’d made through the night after I’d already spent an hour loudly appeasing my client on the phone about an issue that I hadn’t been able to warn him about the previous night because he was on a night flight, with, (it turns out), a child who chucked up for most of the journey

 

The acoustics are pretty spectacular in our little semi, in fact almost on a par with the Opera House. The boards echo and vibrate in unison as we’ve discovered many a time via Kurt’s music, which even at the heavily fought for/agreed volume is unbearable most of the time, added to which my voice tends to go up at least an octave when I’m stressed.

 

And breathe…

 

And I’d sent the old man to Coventry at around 2am, somewhere between him refusing to pay the taxi on some archaic parenting principle – or because he is perfect – and then because he proceeded to toss and turn in the bed for the next hour when he couldn’t get back to sleep, which meant I was forced to retreat the sofa.

 

We really must find a location for another bed in this house because what with my snoring and the old man’s tics when he can’t sleep, we obviously have no future in the same bed, and the leather sofa really does become rather sticky when you’re a stressed, menopausal very sweaty female.

Which is how I was reminded of the best five therapies for a really shite day:

1. This enormous brownie at Harvey Norman helped.

fudge-brownies-1235430_1280

2. And then this little someone who genuinely loves me unconditionally was waiting excitedly to pounce on me and smother me in dog saliva when I came home.

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3. Then I pounded the local pavements to this  – the main reason I have to answer client calls at 6.30am to help pay for such an inflated rent for the noisiest, coldest house in Australia.

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4. Had one of these somewhere in between, and even remembered this time that the floor is a health and safety hazard when wet.

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5. And finally this, my trusty companion that never lets me down in a crisis or when everyone else is out to get me.

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Healthy, Snacking Energy Balls For Tired, Middle-Aged Women

Healthy Snacking Energy Balls For Tired Women

 

Okay, so I know they look like something the dog deposited in retribution for not getting a walk, but energy balls taste infinitely better than they look.

 

I decided to go all Jamie Oliver yesterday and made some energy balls in an attempt to steer Kurt clear of energy drinks and plastic cereal and to give me that 11am lift, which is usually when I’m ready for my first nap of the day.

 

In case you haven’t heard of them, energy balls are little balls of mashed up, healthy goodness you eat as an alternative to Snickers bars and all the other comfort crap that tastes really good (but is really bad for you), provide you with very little real energy, make you listless and in need of lots of naps. Healthy Snacking Energy Balls For Tired Women

 

One of my bosses is this healthy-eating, veggie freak and although she never rams her dietary smugness down my throat, some of her wisdom is starting to rub off on me; especially as the kilos continue to mount for no fucking reason with the sly approach of menopause.

 

Would you believe I actually ordered a veggie Subway the other day when I was out with her?

 

Anyway, where I would normally shove a couple of Snickers, a few bags of chilli chips and several cans of Coke into the snack bag when we set off on a trip to back-of- beyondsville, she brings these neat little energy balls to keep her and the delivery guys going (that is until the boys head off to Maccas for lunch).

 

Healthy Snacking Energy Balls For Tired Women

 

The balls contain all these super-weird-sounding, fancy-schmancy, healthy ingredients that I’m sure are just as fattening as unrefined ones at the rate I consume them – because let’s face it, healthy eating is not known to be filling – but if you want to give off that warm glow of superiority at morning tea, eating energy balls looks a lot better than stuffing a whole muffin into your gob in one go.

 

Apparently they only have 90 calories per ball, which in my world is about an apple and a half, but obviously the food orgasm is vastly superior.

 

They’re slippery little suckers to make and not that attractive, but you can pretty them up with some shredded coconut or Cacao (like I used – looks like hot chocolate powder but is a refined version, apparently).

Healthy Snacking Energy Balls For Tired Women

 

I picked this particular recipe because these balls have chocolate chips and peanut butter as ingredients – I was worried my body might go into shock if I took this healthy eating thing too fast. And the other great thing about using Peanut Butter in just about any sweet recipe is watching the Princess eat it.

Healthy Snacking Energy Balls For Tired Women

 

It goes without saying that the balls are super-easy to make or I wouldn’t have contemplated them, and they would make it into the ‘Dummy’s Guide To Energy Balls’, if such a thing existed.

 

Ingredients:

1 cup of Quick Oats

1/2 cup peanut butter

1 tbs melted coconut oil

1 tbs chia seeds

2 tbs flax seed meal (sounds exotic but I found it in IGA)

3 tbs mini chocolate chips

pinch of salt

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

Raisins – small handful

 

Cacao or coconut to coat

 

Directions:

In a large bowl mix together all ingredients until combined. Cover and refrigerate for about 30 mins. Then roll into balls. Place in an airtight container in the fridge for about a week.

 

Recipe provided by Stephanie on Eat-Drink-Love.com.

 

Be warned, as healthy as they sound, it’s impossible to stop at one.

 

Happy weekend no-baking!

 

Mrs Smug

 

 

Home Alone After You’re Married And Eating Chocolate In Bed

Obviously I adore my husband, but…

http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/120398635

After thirty years crammed together in the marital womb, I quite like it when he goes away for a few days, leaving me to play.

Even with the teens bouncing off the walls, the sudden appearance of their teenage mates who take up permanent residence on the couch and eat their way through all my food stocks, the deafening music and the demands of looking after the dog single-handedly, (who seems to need to release her bladder every hour on the hour when he’s away), I feel a wonderful sense of freedom that I haven’t felt since those few short years of independence between leaving home and shacking up with my future husband.

Truthfully, the old man is a pretty easy bloke to live with.

You wouldn’t call him demanding as a husband or a father; if anything I’d like him to interact with us a little more, rather than sit there concealed by his invisibility cloak. He doesn’t snore, he’s not fussy about food, doesn’t drink my wine, doesn’t nag, doesn’t really parent unless the shit hits the fan and he generally cleans up after himself. Yet he does have a pervading presence in the house that we are all conscious of and sensitive to, and so we want to please him.

Is that the definition of ‘love?’

So when he’s not there, a surge of uncontainable excitement travels through the house like a current. I feel as excited as a naughty mouse that can do naughty mouse stuff when the cat’s away, without fear of getting caught.

And in my world, ‘naughty mouse stuff’ usually means doing nothing at all.

I wallowed in bed until 11am this morning, reading and flicking through crap Sunday morning tv. I started with Facebook, moved onto Twitter and then the online Sunday newspapers. It felt like the height of decadence to stretch my legs across the width of the marital bed, munch on my granola, dribble milk on his pillows and flick on the remote carelessly – although I was careful not to drop any granola on the sheets because the old man does have a thing about crumbs in bed.

Home Alone After You're Married And Eating Chocolate In Bed
The true meaning of decadence.

The irony is that the old man wouldn’t care if I did that every weekend.

But for some reason that the psychologists would probably put down to some psychobabble related to my needing to please as a result of my childhood, I would. When he’s there, some fucked up sense of duty (which has nothing to do with being a woman, I assure you) makes me feel as though I have to project this fake, proactive persona all the time. I don’t judge him when he vegetates in front of the sport on television for hours on end *lying*, because he works hard and we all need downtime – likewise, I know he doesn’t really judge me, but for some reason I feel as though I have to prove something to him.

My problem, I know.

It’s been liberating to stay in my pyjamas until midday, to cough irritatingly as much as I need to during the night, drink wine in bed and scoff more than those few cubes of chocolate I allow him to see me scoff when he’s around. I’ve loved making a mess in the kitchen and not clearing up immediately, leaving all the left-overs in the fridge that, (yes I know), we’ll never eat, until they walk out by themselves.

The rubbish has remained in the kitchen for far longer than is hygienically acceptable.

It turns out I’m a bit of a sloth without the old man’s passive order in the house, where one concerned look from him can give me an inferior wife complex of the worst kind. I’ve realised that if we didn’t have the old man’s slightly greater maturity and appreciation for order, the family might actually veer towards living in complete chaos.

Anyone know how to get chocolate stains off a white doona cover without putting it in the machine?

If you laughed out loud reading this post, leaked wee or even vaguely managed to identify with any of the middle-aged waffle contained therein, don’t be scared and follow my blog by clicking the ‘Follow My Blog’ button (derr!) at the top of this page, on the left hand side so that I feel loved. You can even follow my Facebook page at www.facebook.com/mymidlifemayhem, and if you want to become the ultimate stalker, you can find me on Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram too, where I lurk, (far more often than is healthy for my family and work), in the clever disguise of Louisa Simmonds.

So, The Chocolate Diet’s Going Well

weigh in
weigh in (Photo credit: jamelah)

Thought I’d give myself a bit of a laugh this morning by stepping on the scales for the first time in a few weeks.

 

Probably not the best choice of day for a weigh-in, admittedly.

 

I heard the old man in the bathroom first, as he tiptoed on and off the scales several times, discarding every stitch of clothing in between, and then shouting in disbelief, ‘FUCK!’

 

At which point I knew it was going to be bad.

 

We have this kind of competition about weight between us. We get this sick sense of satisfaction when the other gains weight; a bit like the reverse of ‘when one of your friends succeeds, a part of you dies’ (Gore Vidal).

Cadbury's Mini Eggs
Cadbury’s Mini Eggs (Photo credit: Wikipedi

 

But even I had underestimated the nature of the calorie beast in a Ferraro Rocher bunny, twenty-five mini eggs, one crème egg and two chocolate brownies.

 

Although the Ferraro Rocher bunny might actually have been worth it. (It was made from that outer shell that the balls are made from that you normally bite off gently to reserve the cocoon of melted chocolate and nut inside).

 

It’s not like I hadn’t done the mathematical calculation before Easter. I’m sure I read about a new chocolate law somewhere that stated that if you only eat chocolate, drink lots of wine fluid and go for a jog each day, you will maintain your weight.

 

Although that might have been a dream.

 

And then there’s the increasing evidence that a lot of that food that we’ve been brainwashed into believing is ‘healthy’, is in fact made up of armies of vengeful, camouflaged calories.

 

Did you know that avocados, nuts and fruit are major culprits in calorie espionage, on one mission, which is to reach your muffin top or the top of your thighs?

 

But it has been proven that chocolate has many health benefits, too. It can reduce cholesterol, blood pressure, memory decline, abject misery and even the risk of a stroke.

 

One day it may even be able TO HELP MEN THINK.

 

I have to give Cadburys the award for the best foul play by adding a spoon with their chocolate eggs this year, just for novelty value, but I fell for it, hook, line and sinker.

 

But my middle-aged conundrum remains unchanged.

 

To diet or not to diet, that is the question?

 

English: a pic of a talking muffin eating a bunny
English: a pic of a talking muffin eating a bunny (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Do I succumb to a lifetime of denial and dullness in an attempt to maintain my recently reduced muffin top, even though there is absolutely no guarantee that I will live longer or be happy EVER again?

Or do I do the WTF ‘chocolate diet’, mix it up with some fermented grapes and enjoy whatever fabulous number of years I have left?

 

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Do I Really Need The Blood Of The Easter Bunny On My Hands Too?

Can I Really Kill Of The Easter Bunny As Well?
Can I Really Kill Of The Easter Bunny As Well?

It came as a surprise when Kurt asked me casually the other day if the Easter Bunny was still coming on Sunday.

 

I knew it was a test.

 

You see, I thought that his childhood had been jettisoned out of the window some time ago; at about the same time as he was caught running through Darling Harbour in a rabbit onesie and off his face.

 

Maybe there was more to that rabbit onesie than I realized?

 

I assumed that when he made it clear that he was too old to walk WITH me in public, join us at the dinner table or abide by any of our house rules, he would understand that the Easter Bunny would stop coming.

 

It’s not like he even likes chocolate. The old man eats all his eggs when he thinks that no-one is watching.

 

But Kurt has never forgiven me destroying his childhood when I told him about Father Christmas. Which is why, I can only assume, he never dared ask me to confirm or deny the existence of EB.

 

The traditional Easter Egg Hunt will be a bit tricky this year, anyway, what with the courtyard and the Princess Spoodle’s knack for sniffing out chocolate like her mother a truffle pig. We still haven’t had the heart to tell her that it could kill her.

 

Obviously God isn’t a dog.

 

And I thought that kids hated double standards, and relied on their parents for the truth. Our kids hated it when we told them the definition of little white lies and haven’t believed a word we’ve said ever since. I suppose that the one about ‘biscuit cancer’ was taking it a bit far but I was worried about Kurt’s weight.

 

Although they still don’t categorise the story of Father Christmas as a little white lie. In their eyes, it was an injustice that they have never forgiven me for.

 

Especially Kurt.

 

He still gives me that knowing look of crippling disappointment as he hangs his Christmas stocking up.

 

But I haven’t stopped the stockings or Rudolph’s carrot and my wine so there’s no real reason to stop the boiled eggs with smiley faces and the chocolate overkill, is there? We may not be religious, but it’s still a tradition passed down from our parents, isn’t it?

 

If he wants to hold onto those last sacred vestiges of his childhood, who am I to take them away?

 

More importantly, do I really need the blood of the Easter Bunny on my hands as well as The Tooth Fairy and Father Christmas?

 

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Two Orgasmic Chocolate Cake Recipes For Easter

I’m letting you in on a couple of culinary secrets of mine this Easter.

These two recipes are better than sex, and almost as good as shopping. So if you’re married and not getting any, or single and still not getting any, whip up either (or both) of these cakes and you’ll be sated.

These cakes are death by chocolate  –  close your eyes and imagine Brad Pitt in Legends of the Fall, Daniel day Lewis in The Last Of The Mohicans, Bradley Cooper in Silver Linings Playbook, George Clooney in ER and you’ll be halfway towards the ecstasy created by these two truly orgasmic cake experiences.

With less than five ingredients per cake, these cakes are quick and easier to create than Vegemite on toast. Even I can make them, and I usually need an Idiot’s Guide to cook. (Remember my Lasagne Soup, and the inedible Asian Salad).

First up, I bring you my Flourless Chocolate Cake

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Ingredients:

200g dark chocolate

6 eggs (separated)

1 cup Caster sugar

200g butter

What to do:

Preheat oven to 180C.

Line the base of a large 26cm springform pan (no idea what this is, so I just use a ceramic dish). Melt the broken pieces of chocolate and butter in a glass bowl and melt over boiling water. Stir gently. Beat the egg yolks in a separate bowl with the sugar and then add to the melted chocolate. Beat the egg whites to stiff peak stage and fold into the chocolate mixture. Pour mixture into lined dish and bake for approximately 45mins. This cake will fall dramatically back down when cooling and crack as above (something to do with no flour I guess). Ok, so it might be one of the ugliest cakes you’ve ever seen but it is f*cking good. Dust with cocoa powder. Stuff your face.

Secondly I bring you Chocolate Refrigerator Cake.

Chocolate Refrigerator Cake

Ingredients:

450g Chocolate (plain, milk or combo)

100g butter or margarine

225g chocolate digestive biscuits (broken into small pieces)

What to do:

Line and grease a square cake tin (18cm). Break chocolate into small pieces and place in basin with butter over a saucepan of hot water. Heat gently until melted. Break up biscuits. Mix chocolate and biscuits together and leave to cool. When cool, mark out twelve equal squares, (trust me, it’s a bugger to cut once refrigerated), and put in the fridge for an hour. Cut into squares and gorge and gorge and gorge…..

Admittedly, my presentation my photos don’t do justice to these cakes, but it’s what’s on the inside, ladies, isn’t it?

Below are some of the health reasons why you should all be stuffing your face on chocolate over the Easter holiday:

Apparently, a brain-active chemical called phenylethylamine in cocoa stimulates the same reaction that we experience when we’re falling in love.

One analysis of 850 mainly healthy participants found that flavanol-rich chocolate and cocoa products had a small but statistically significant effect in lowering blood pressure in the short term.

Research at Cambridge University found that people consuming the most chocolate had a 37% lower risk of heart disease and a 29% lower risk of stroke than those who consumed less chocolate.

The sweeter, less cocoa-rich bars, as a dairy-rich food help us keep our bones strong.

Spanish researchers studying rodents that were fed a diet containing 12% cocoa, found that it protected against the development of colon cancer.

(Mirror Online – Angela Dowden)

According to Louisa Simmonds, Chief Taster of Chocolate at The Lindt Virtual Chocolate Factory, ‘chocolate is the only addictive drug with the power to make the world seem f*cking fantastic without any detrimental mental side-effects.’

So celebrate chocolate this Easter, but don’t forget the true message of Easter….which is obviously beating last year’s record of how many cream eggs you can get down you in 24 hours.

Eat your heart out, Nigella.

“I never met a chocolate I didn’t like.” – Deanna Troi, Star Trek: The Next Generation