‘SPLORIN’ ROAD TRIP ACROSS THE USA #1 PART 3

After leaving Arkansas we set out for Memphis, Tennessee with the plan of visiting Graceland and hunting down some really good bbq. Graceland will always be a place everyone should visit at least once. In my opinion, Elvis is one of the people every generation should be made aware of. We made sure to expose our sixteen-year-old daughter to his music and movies. She’s now a fan. I do have to add we happen to have an old soul on our hands. A fact that I was made aware of when she had her earbuds in for hours and we asked what she was listening too. Bear made a joke about One Direction, which she ignored. In her perfect teenage monotone voice says, “Billy Joel. I low-key love him.” We stared at each other completely speechless. This happened in the year 2018 by the way, and admittedly was kind of a proud moment. Not that I’ve ever been a fan of Billy Joel, not that I’ve not been a fan either, but the fact that she’s not “basic” is such a relief.

I feel like I should have a warning disclaimer at the beginning of that paragraph in case the word ‘not’ is a trigger for someone.

Okay, so where were we…oh right, so we arrive at the former home of Elvis and Priscilla Presley, and once we’re given headphones and a video player to wear around our necks we then were ushered onto a bus to take us to the beginning of the tour. Once inside I started taking pictures like a madwoman.

I’ve spared you the 100 other pictures. We didn’t take the more extensive tour which includes getting to see Elvis’s cars, clothes, and records. Someday we might go back for that reason. At the end of the tour we headed to the gift shop and picked up a couple of mugs, a wallet, overpriced Elvis chap stick for our kid who was waiting patiently in California for us to return with goodies, and Elvis chocolate bars.

If you haven’t yet and you enjoy things like history, museums, pop culture, or you’re a fan of the King, make it a point to add visit Graceland to your bucket list.

Next, we got on our phones to search for a place to stuff our faces with Memphis bbq. Bear found a place called, Central BBQ, which had good reviews, but as we’ve learned everything is just a matter of opinion. Basically, our experience is going to always be a crapshoot. We always go to a place with an open mind and the hope that it will be enjoyable.

I would like to point out the sign in front of the doors to the restaurant that reads, ‘CBQ IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR LOST ITEMS PLEASE DO NOT LEAVE VALUABLE ITEMS IN YOUR AUTO.’ I don’t think I’ve seen a sign like that directly in front of the doors at any restaurant I’ve been to in California. Something like that might be around the parking lot at Walmart or malls, but unless maybe I haven’t noticed them, this was a first for me seeing that right before you walk into an establishment.

As soon as you walk in they have a wall menu for you to look over. After deciding which meats and sides you feel like indulging in, take yourself over to the row of sauces and fill up plenty of plastic dipping cups, before heading over to your table, and wait patiently for your food to arrive.

God knows I hate to say this, I mean we’re in Memphis! This is Memphis bbq! But…ugh. If our hearts were broken from the Big Texan Steak Ranch, then our souls were shattered over this bbq. Perhaps it’s our own fault for having high expectations. We wanted to be seduced and wowed with this meal. We wanted to not have any choice but to make noises with every bite. I did make one noise if I count the groan of disappointment. The best things about our meal were the sauces and the sweet tea put in cups we got to take with us. Oh, I think the coleslaw was pretty good too, thank sweet baby Jesus for that small miracle.

The ribs were dry and overcooked. The pulled pork was also dry and without any yummy factor, and Oscar Mayer lunch meat is better than that turkey. We mashed the meats, coleslaw, and sauces all up on the rolls and that made it a bit more tasty and edible. Unfortunately, it was still a disappointing orgy in my mouth. It’s like having a selfish lover, you know, you have all the necessary ingredients to have a good time, but you’re left feeling empty and unfulfilled. We, however, made the best of it.

After our soul-sucking bbq, we needed a sweet treat to maintain the will to live. We found a place called La Michoacana, a large ice cream shop with plenty of seating and so many flavor choices. We went with a banana split with three flavors of ice cream, (which escape me) strawberries, walnuts, cherries, and whipped cream. It was such a perfect banana split it almost made up for our meal.

With our bellies experiencing an emotional roller coaster we set off towards Nashville, Tennessee. Something to be aware of when you’re driving in the Memphis area is to pay close attention to the road and other drivers, more so than you normally would. It was a consistent flow of crazy drivers who drove as if they didn’t care about their lives or anyone else’s. It was maddening and terrible for my anxiety. Thank God Bear is an amazing driver, and it was a great excuse for him to release a steady flow of profanities. I may or may not have released a few myself. And we’re from California! I had no idea drivers could get worse than they are here!

Eventually, we safely make it to Nashville and check into our motel. We hadn’t planned on eating again but around 10 pm we started to get snacky. Bear had lived in this area when he was in the Army so he knew what was around. He suggests going to White Castle. I had frozen White Castle burgers from the grocery stores before, and I’d seen the movies, but I’d never been to one. As long as getting to it wasn’t going to be anything like the movies, I was okay with it. Thankfully, it wasn’t. We get to the drive-thru and I swear he must’ve ordered 50 of those things. (Not really, but it seemed like it) I see that they have mozzarella sticks and I make up a little song about how I need mozzarella sticks, so of course, I get mozzarella sticks.

My brother who is a long haul truck driver loathes them, but I found it to be alright. I’d have it again, I think people usually love or hate their burgers. Probably best if you’re suffering from the munchies I would imagine.

The next morning eating breakfast at Cracker Barrel was another first for me. We both ordered chicken fried steaks, hashbrown casseroles, grits, biscuits, and mocha coffees. (Fyi I could make a whole blog on just my love and passion and mission to find the best chicken/country fried steak in America.) I might at least dedicate a post to chicken or country fried steak.

Cracker Barrel is like most chain restaurants in that it’s solid average food, but something you can easily put in their pro column is they’re fairly cheap, especially for the amount of food you get. The chicken fried steak definitely started out frozen and maybe they all do, but some restaurants are better at hiding it. Their biscuits, however, were what biscuits should be, which is soft, with just the right amount of chewiness. The gravy gets a 3 out 5 in my book only because it didn’t have big chunks of sausage, which is the only way any gravy will get a 5 out of 5 from me. When traveling this place will do just fine.

We didn’t do a whole lot in Nashville because we wanted to get to Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Before we left Bear took me to the Opry Mills Mall. I, of course, couldn’t understand why we just had to stop at this mall before getting back on the road. As I soon found out, as far as malls go, this one is pretty neat and has a lot going on inside of it.

Ah yes, “Those Animals” as they’re called, are mechanical animals they rent out so adults and children can ride around the mall bobbing and weaving on their favorite animal. As long as you don’t weigh over 500 pounds. We passed. Maybe next time.

Riding giant stuffed animals in public not for you? Walk on over to their Madame Tussauds and get a picture with the legend Johnny Cash!

Hungry and like aquariums? They have the perfect dining experience to kill two birds with one stone!

So when traveling through Nashville, Tennessee on that family road trip and an announcement is made you’re stopping at the mall, and they groan, complain, and think you’ve lost your mind, just throw your kids and significant other on a moving pink camo bear once you’re inside and everything will be fine.

To be continued…stay tuned for part 4

#roadtrips #travel #travelblog #food #foodreviews #restaurantreviews #roadsideattractions #touristattractions #humor #traveladvice #traveltips #roadtriptips #usatravel #foodpics #life #family #fun

‘Splorin’ Road Trip Across the USA #1 Part 2

Here we are in the everything is bigger state of Texas! After our meal of sadness last night at the Big Texan Steak Ranch, we were on a mission to find breakfast that would heal our broken hearts. In our motel room, we’re both on our phones googling, and reading reviews of restaurants nearby in Amarillo. Eventually, Bear finds Ye Old Pancake Station. After reading all the rave reviews we head on over. It’s a cozy welcoming place with a lot of tables, all of which seemed to be occupied at all times, and we found out why. We ordered pancakes, (of course) biscuits and gravy, and a skillet scramble which consists of eggs, hashbrowns, sausage, onions, and cheese. The menu has quite a few things that I want to try on our next trip. All of the plates that passed us looked scrumptious.

Just look at those sexy pancakes. The syrup and butter mingling together atop the perfectly hinted-at-crispness on the outside of the pancakes and soaking their way through the fluffy and flavorful inside. Lord, these pancakes are delicious! We can’t say anything bad about the gravy, biscuits, or scramble either. The most average thing we had was the standard restaurant coffee, but we’ve had bad restaurant coffee, so even that gets a passing grade in our book. If you find yourself in Amarillo, Texas with a big appetite between the hours of

6 am – 2 pm we highly recommend Ye Old Pancake Station!

With our full happy bellies, we head to Cadillac Ranch, also in Amarillo. If you don’t know much about this tourist or roadside attraction it’s ten Cadillacs half-buried in the ground. It was created in 1974 by Chip Lord, Hudson Marquez and Doug Michels, who were a part of the art group Ant Farm. When you find it, park, try not to get hit by cars also trying to park or cars driving away, and then walk through a gate and walk a little farther through a dirt pasture. Helpful tip: Flip flops are not fun to make this little trek in, especially if it just rained. It’s encouraged that you bring a couple of cans of spray paint so you can leave your mark, as this is considered interactive art. If you choose not to then you’re basically looking at or snapping pictures of other people’s names on these buried caddies. Is Cadillac Ranch worth a stop? In short, yes. Would I ever go a second time? Probably not.

After spray painting our names and initials everywhere we could, we jump back in Bear’s lifted truck…well he jumps in, after boosting me in like a toddler. Lifted trucks are not a 5 foot and 4 inches tall girls friend, lemme tell ya.

We drove through Oklahoma and made it to our home for the next couple of nights in Batesville, Arkansas so we can visit some of Bear’s family. On the way to our motel, we made a pit stop to fill the gas tank and use the restroom. I don’t usually take pictures when I’m in a public restroom, not in the mirror and definitely not in the stall. I prefer to do what I gotta do and get in and out. But, as soon as I was finished placing toilet paper squares on the toilet seat (because most of the south refuses to supply toilet seat covers for some reason) and sat down and took a good look at the door in front of me, I fumbled in my purse for my phone.

I mean, how often do you find such words of profound wisdom in a gas station restroom, or any public restroom for that matter. I especially enjoy that under the word “too” it says “stay classy” written in pen. I wasn’t expecting an inspirational meme staring me in the face while relieving my bladder, but there it was. God bless you Arkansas pit stop.

From there we went to the motel and settled in for the night.

I have to first talk about the room at the Econolodge we stayed at. The first night was uneventful. I don’t have a bad memory of the cleanliness or anything. It was basic but the mattress wasn’t bad, and nothing grossed me out so it would have been somewhere I’d stay again. Emphasis on IT WOULD HAVE been.

On the evening of the second night after coming back from having dinner with Bear’s family, we get in our pajamas and settle in for some motel television. We keep hearing the sound of water dripping, but neither of us thinks much of it since we had taken showers. The dripping sounds like it’s getting more aggressive so I go investigate this obviously very leaky faucet. As soon as I turn on the bathroom light I tell Bear to come take look…

The raining ceiling became worse after taking the video. We informed the front desk and luckily they had another room only a few doors down we could move to. Now we understand that this isn’t necessarily the fault of the motel but the woman we spoke to the next morning in the office A) Had no idea this had happened, and B) Was acting like she could have been the person in the room above ours responsible for the flooding. The motel worker in charge the night before relayed back to us their findings, and they bluntly informed us a person entertaining themselves with some substance had fallen asleep and left the bathtub running. Alright, so not the motel’s fault, however, the morning staff probably should have been made aware of it. I was being a bit dramatic before because we would stay here again if there wasn’t any other option. Once I have a bad taste in my mouth about a place I try to avoid it, regardless of what occurred being directly the fault of the business or not. But, that’s just me.

Okay, let’s get to the food! Before we almost had a ceiling cave in on us we had dinner with Bear’s family at Fred’s Fish House, in Batesville, Arkansas. This was a night of firsts for me. We ordered Hushpuppies, fried green tomatoes, and frog legs. I had hushpuppies before but at a restaurant in California, so it didn’t really count. I had been wanting to try fried green tomatoes, honestly ever since 1991 when I saw the movie, Fried Green Tomatoes and discovered they were an edible thing that existed. Bear was the one that made sure we ordered frog legs. I remember when I was kid my mom who was born in Arkansas would rave about her love of frog legs. Personally, I can’t get over the fact that they are FROG LEGS. My desire to eat a frog leg has been nonexistent. But I was down to be a good sport and take on a new experience that may or may not make me spew vomit.

The hushpuppies on the upper left of the picture were delicious. I’m a cornbread lover and they’re basically fried cornbread balls. Fred’s Fish House served up some super tasty hushpuppy balls and these were miles better than the dry, flavorless balls I had in California. On the right of the above picture are the fried green tomatoes and I loved those as well. Bear guaranteed me this place wouldn’t disappoint with these babies and he was right. They reminded me of fried zucchini, only with more zing! Next, it was time to try the frog legs on the bottom left of the picture. For my first bite, I dunked that bad boy deeply in my cup of ranch dressing, closed my eyes and bit and chewed quickly, as if I was being timed. First off, ranch makes almost everything better, or at the very least masks flavor, and since I was still mentally freaked out about them being FROG LEGS I wasn’t giving my taste buds a chance to make an informed decision. With my second bite, I sucked it up and put it in my mouth without ranch and actually gave it time to touch my tongue. And………………………………………. it wasn’t thaaaaaaaaaaat bad. Buuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuut……………………………………………………. not something I’m super amped to have again. Not because of the restaurants presentation of them in any way, but because they are FROG LEGS.

The next morning after our exciting night at the Econolodge we had breakfast at a spot right next to the motel and ate some average and edible french toast, and then hit the road towards Memphis, Tennessee.

Guess which tourist attraction we’re about to hit next…

To be continued

Stay tuned for part 3…

#travelblog #traveling #roadtrips #foodreviews #roadsideattractions #acrossamerica #usatravel #humor #opinion

‘Splorin’ Road Trip Across the USA #1 (Part 1)

In April of 2018, my now husband and I took a three-week road trip starting from California all the way to the East coast, hitting Virginia, North and South Carolina, Washington D.C., and made our way down to Florida, with many stops along the way. I was a month away from my 40th birthday and had only been to a handful of west coast states up to this point. Bear, on the other hand, had lived in the south when he was in the army and had taken one across the country road trip with his mother and one with his ex-wife. However, there were still plenty of places and states he hadn’t been.

I had expressed to him that driving across the country and eventually visiting every state was on my bucket list. When I was with my ex-husband I knew that was basically just a pipe dream since he didn’t like going anywhere or doing anything. Sure, I could have tried to make this happen with a friend or something but when I pictured this adventure it was with my significant other, my partner in life, my committed cuddle buddy. But, my ex-husband was no partner, and I didn’t even want to go anywhere with him. So, I gave up my dream of traveling.

Until, I left that marriage and moved back to California, which led me to my current and last husband. He loves to travel and luckily loves to drive. He was also hoping to find a partner in life that loved traveling and was as excited about exploring the country as he is. He was also hoping to find someone who was fun to travel with and… … you know someone with, uh, a bit of a personality, which always helps when traveling. I’ll stop there it’s bad karma to speak ill of the dead…personality sufferers.

Moving on…

We’ve talked about all the places we want to go, and when I first mentioned my desire to drive across the country, not for one second did I think it would happen so soon. You see, we had just started our relationship in November of 2017 and by March of 2018, my then-boyfriend says, ‘start packing because in April we are going on a road trip!’

My first reaction was something like, ‘shut the fuck up, haha you’re hilarious.’ But apparently, he was serious. I was shocked, to say the least, but true to his word on April 7, we got in his lifted white truck and hit the road.

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The first state we stopped in and stayed the night was Arizona. Our first get out of the truck and walk around stop was Oatman, Arizona. If you’ve never been and ever find yourself stopping there one day, I hope you like jackasses, otherwise known as donkeys. Also if you’re traveling with someone like Bear prepare yourself for plenty of ass jokes, or, if YOU are like my traveling companion, enjoy being the clever one making all the ass jokes and delighting the person you’re with.

As soon as you step out of your vehicle you are more than likely to be greeted by a very curious ass. Don’t be alarmed they’re friendly, at least the ones we encountered were and I didn’t witness anyone getting kicked in the nuts, or anywhere else. The donkeys seem to hardly care about your presence. They wander throughout the little town nonchalantly without a care in the world. They might even stop and let you take a selfie with them.

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Besides getting to pet a donkey (being an animal petting fiend, this gave me a boost of serotonin and made me very happy) you can take in the Arizona scenery and browse the little shops and pick up some souvenirs. 

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While I was snapping pictures and enjoying what the town had to offer my Bear wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to get the perfect Facebook post picture. It was my own fault really, I should have known better to A. Turn my back on him around signs with the word ass on them. And B. Turn my back on him and stand in front of this particular sign. I take full responsibility for this picture. And I apologize for including it. But I, like him, can not help myself. I admit I found it somewhat amusing. Well, I should add after I was done being mortified, I found amusement in it. 

Soon we were on our way and eventually stopped to eat at Mr. D’z Route 66 Diner, in Kingman, Arizona. It was decent food, but the best part was the real cherries in the cherry coke! I love me some maraschino cherries!

They also had a fun ambiance, with walls decorated with 50’s memorabilia. I, personally love diners like this. Unfortunately, one of two things I did not love about Mr. D’z was the restrooms. I only went in there to wash my hands before eating and when I came out I actually felt dirtier. I didn’t take any pictures of the restroom, which are right behind Marilyn and Elvis. To be honest I would only want to stop here again in a pinch. For the most part, these types of diners have good food, and you can’t NOT love the fun decor, but when I say they had decent food, I mean it was edible, but not entirely enjoyable. The picture I took before biting into the bbq western burger was much better than the actual taste of the burger. Now we come to the second thing I didn’t love, the bun was dry and oddly enough, even with all the bbq sauce, it was bland and tasteless. The saving grace of this sad burger was the onion ring, without it I probably wouldn’t have been able to choke down as much as I did. The bacon didn’t even help, can you believe it! Bear and I agreed the best part of this meal was definitely those cherries.

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That night we stayed in Williams, Arizona (or nearby) so in the morning we could visit Flinstones Bedrock City. If you have little ones (even if they’ve never seen the cartoon) I recommend stopping here on your family road trip. Or, if you’re like us and big kids at heart who grew up watching the Flinstones, I think you’ll also get a kick out of it. (UPDATE: I just learned after the summer of 2019 it will be closing and will be turning into Raptor Ranch, for birds of prey. Bummer. Couldn’t they put those damn birds somewhere else.) Anyways…

After playing around and reliving our childhood we set off towards New Mexico, but first stopping in Holbrook, Arizona at the Wigwam Motel to snap a couple pictures. (Which I do constantly because I’m a picture and documenting addict. I was already this way before social media.)

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When we reached New Mexico we stopped at a couple of large travel stops where Bear admired all their fun big boy toys. He was so sad to leave them behind.

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But life goes on and so did we, all the way to Amarillo, Texas that night. Where we had dinner at The Big Texan Steak Ranch, home of the 72oz steak challenge. Bear had been there once before and really liked it, and this was my first time, also my first time being this far east. I was a Texas state virgin, and I think my anxiety was starting to kick in. But, let’s get back to the restaurant because I need to express our disappointment. I hate to say it, especially since I had such high hopes after seeing this place on the Travel Channel, but I wasn’t super impressed. Bear agreed, he had a better experience before. Now maybe it was because we arrived at 9:30 pm and they close at 10:30 pm but they should still put in as much effort taking care of the customers and without a doubt making sure the food was on point. The wait staff were very busy, however not with patrons, with gossiping, and doing so loud enough for us to hear.

The staff aside I really wanted to love this experience and be able to rave about the food. But, I suck at lying. I know I’m kind of repeating myself saying how much I wanted to like it, but that’s how much this food hurt my feelings. My Ceasar salad, the dinner rolls, and his baked potato were the most decent parts of the meal. We would have liked a bit more edible meat on our steaks, most of it honestly wasn’t chewable, and sadly my favorite comfort food, the mac and cheese wasn’t the worst but extremely far from the best. I needed to add salt and pepper and even after that it barely had any flavor. It was noodles coated with yellow stuff, it doesn’t even deserve to be called mac and cheese. I know it could have been worse because on our last road trip I had worse at Lambert’s Cafe in Missouri. That mess was straight up Kraft (or an off-brand) boxed macaroni and cheese. It was pitiful. Not to mention the fact they have the nerve of charging three extra dollars to get that crap as a side dish. For $3 extra it better be some southern grandma home cooking mac ‘N’ cheese! I’ll get to my full review of the “Home of the throwed rolls” later on.

Now I know many people love and adore The Big Texan, but they were off their game that night.

After this disappointing meal, we found a motel and settled in for the night. The next morning the restaurant we ate breakfast at more than made up for our last meal experience, thank God in Heaven. That and more will be in part 2. This post is probably already too long, and we’re only in Texas!

Stay tuned…

Worlds Okayest Mom and Greatest Step Dad Diaries: When Mom is Sick

A couple weeks ago I wasn’t feeling well. My daughter and husband-to-be were trying to figure out what to have for dinner. Even though I wasn’t feeling my best I was having a craving for some cheap mediocre pizza, so my fiance (Bear) went out and grabbed two Little Caesars pizzas. I wasn’t about to do anything crazy like actually get out of bed, so we put the boxes on our bed and went to town inhaling pizza, while we all watched TV together. Best way to do pizza night I don’t care what anyone says.

It was no surprise to me that two days later the pizza boxes were still in our room with five pieces left in one box. Both of us remained a bit under the weather, with Bear a bit better off than myself. He had taken on most of the cooking, however come the third day of my being out of commission Bear had to be gone all day.

As usual my fifteen year-old was foraging for food. She comes in my room asking, “What’s going on with dinner?”

I lift my head from my pillow and tell her I don’t know yet. She turns her head towards the pizza boxes and says with shock and confusion, “Wow, you still have those?”

“Yep, and there’s still some pizza in one of the boxes.”

She opens the box and her big brown eyes widen in horror. “Why didn’t you put this in the refrigerator?”

“Do I look like I’m in any shape to be that responsible? Besides I thought I was going to snack on it here and there.”

A couple eye rolls later she asks, “Are they still good?”

“Ummmmmm…well it has been fairly cool in here, and I did take a few bites of a piece last night. But, this is day three soooooo…

We just stared at each for a moment. I knew where this was going and so did she. Neither of us sure of the consequences. Both of us aware there would be no turning back. Before I know it she has three pieces of pizza in her hands, and right before she walks out of the room I yell out a disclaimer, “You’re eating those at your own risk!”

You know, verbally releasing any fault and liability on my behalf.

I put my head back down on the pillow and tried to clear my mind of this crime against motherhood.

Some angry offended Mom Mob will be coming with torches and pitchforks any minute now. I’m certain the PMOA (Perfect Moms Of America) just heard everything.

If Facebook hears when I’m talking about DNA kits, and then I see nothing but DNA kit ads for the next 3 days every time I log on, then some Mom spy no doubt just listened in.

I decided to turn on the TV in an attempt to shut out the voices of guilt in my head. Did I really just let my daughter take and consume non refrigerated days old pizza? I’m horrified. My fiance surprisingly did not come home to me rocking back and forth in a corner whispering repeatedly, ‘I’m a good mom, I’m a good mom.’ The only thing I did do was continue to text her…yes from down the hall. C’mon, I wasn’t getting up unless I had to. Admittedly, I was sweating it out for a couple days, but after much prayer I’m happy to report she was just fine. However, to make up for it every night since my Bear and I have made home cooked meals…ok mostly him while I get better. He really has been taking excellent care of us.

We were going to start a new healthyish regiment anyway, with meals full of vegetables, so it worked out. Above is my Bear’s artichoke cream sauce chicken, and roasted veggies, with parmesan. (Damn, I love having a man who can cook.) I’m also happy to report my Mom guilt has officially passed, and I can now forget about it like it never happened…

Me Giving Health Advice?

Today I had the urge to talk about food substitutions.

A Bad Substitution (Yes, in my opinion): Aspartame

Aspartame is an artificial sweetener used as a sugar substitute in some foods and beverages. You’ll find people who believe this is harmful to your health, and then you’ll find others who say it’s fine and dandy. This man-made chemical is found in all your diet sodas, no sugar energy drinks, and some children’s vitamins. In 1980 a board discussed its relationship to brain cancer, later concluding they didn’t believe it was that much of a bastard. However, it still wasn’t approved at that time, because of many unanswered questions. Research showed it gave cancer to rats, and that fact was even written on packets of sweetener.

In 1983 it slowly started to creep into our lives. In 1993 it was in most beverages and baked goods with the claim of no sugar. By 1996 all the restrictions of aspartame were removed allowing it to be put in whatever the hell corporate money-hounds wanted it to be in. These are all just boring facts, and you can choose to believe whatever you want about this ARTIFICIAL crack originally made by a chemist accidentally. Yeah, it was like a mad scientist trying to create Frankenstein, and instead created a sugar substitute by fucking up Frank. Now, Frank is in your diet Coke.

All I really have is my own experience. I consumed diet energy drinks, diet tea, and diet soda 1 year out of my life in my late twenties. I had noticed myself becoming more aggro than usual. Just irritated for no reason. At first I assumed it was natural with how many brain-dead zombies I battled working my graveyard shift. But then I started to feel an all around…not right. I read an article about the rumors of the big A, and decided to quit the diet beverage addiction. Within a few weeks I was feeling better and more like the normal aggro me.

Around the same time I was being a responsible mom, and bought my daughter a bottle of children’s vitamins. I don’t recall how long she had been taking them before she became different. She was hyper and uncontrollable. She was not the same kid. Finally reading the label (something for kids wouldn’t have an iffy ingredient, right?) of the well-known brand of kiddy nutrients I found aspartame. Long story short: Took her off of them, and back to normal. I had my sweet, funny, kind, smart kid back. Five years later I found a non-personality altering vitamin from this AHH-mazing website http://www.swansonvitamins.com/

This is my experience. Draw your own conclusions. Make your own decisions.

A Good Substitution: The Greek Gods All Natural Plain Greek Yogurt

I wanted plain greek yogurt to blend with avocados and use as a healthier salad dressing option. Which I’m sure is tastylicious, but I have yet to try it. What I have done is put it on or in everything that usually involves sour cream.

The first night it accidentally fell into my families mashed potatoes. I waited patiently to see if anyone noticed a difference. Later on my husband says, “I don’t know what you did to those potatoes, but you have to always make them that way.” Yes, sir.

I’m so damn proud of myself when I discover a healthy sub my family will eat, since I tend to be healthy-edible-challenged. It’s great on tacos, burritos, baked potatoes, and anything clogged artery cream had previously been best friends with. The texture is different from most yogurt, it’s actually very close to sour cream. Tossing it in garden rotini pasta with olive oil, diced tomatoes, red onion, and olives, is a scrumptious dish that you might even be able to label healthy. Add cut up chicken breast and it’s even more scrum-dilly-umptious. When I make my daughter a burrito I ask her if she wants sour cream, but there isn’t any sour cream in this house. The eight year old never questions it. That is the true test to how truly great a replacement this is.

Evil Creatures

To be serious about my health/weight loss kick, I may have to consider counting calories and carbohydrates. Now for someone like me who loathes math in all forms, counting anything is mental torture.
If someone had a gun to my head, and started a statement with,
“Billy was at a train station…”
And ended that statement with,
“How many…”
I would yell, “Just pull the trigger!”
I hate math. I’ve always hated math. Guess it’s time to bust out and dust off my calculator.
Actually…

Nope. Who am I kidding? I’m not counting shit. I know what NOT to eat. I just have to not eat it. Done.
(P.S. Counting may work for some. Oh yeah, and this is mainly a humor blog mixed in with my truth. So shush, people who swear by counting calories.)
Yours Truly,
Hater of Numbers Big and Small
Ha ha…I knew it!

10 Confessions Of A Heavy Housewife

1. Once again I’m determined to lose weight and live a healthier life style. I vow to workout at least five days a week, and vacuuming, scrubbing the toilet, and folding laundry totally count. As a matter of fact lets add cooking dinner as legit exercise.

2. I ordered two of Jillian Michaels exercise dvd’s from Amazon. And seeing them sit on top of the dvd player makes me feel good about myself already.

3. I’ve considered becoming an alcoholic to lose weight. My grandmother lived on boxed wine and never gained a pound.

4. Dairy Queen’s menu is not very accommodating to my new life style. But I make it work for me by asking for extra lettuce and an extra tomato on my heavily battered crispy chicken sandwich.

5. I’ve told my husband, who is a slender man, that he better not get too skinny, but if he ever told me I better not get too fat, I would shank him in his sleep.

6. If I’m having a bad day or getting down on myself that’s the perfect time to go channel surfing for mind numbing T.V., because I’d always rather be me than any “Real Housewives of (Insert City)” Or “(Insert Whatever Husband Does So Wife Has Plenty Of Time To Fight With Other Women Over
Shit That Doesn’t Make Any Sense And Could Simply Be Solved With The Slightest Bit Of Basic Communication) Wives.”

7. A year ago I bought a pair of skinny jeans and still haven’t tried them on. I just feel it was a lapse in judgement. You can say as long as it’s in your size, you should be able to wear what everyone else is wearing, but no, this is not always the case. At this time nothing with the word skinny attached to it should be anywhere near my body. Skinny jeans in a size 18 are like a fake friend who says you look thin and lovely. When really you look like your ass is suffocating, and have a camel toe violating the eyes of the general public.

8. In the last few years I’ve gained weight making me the heaviest I’ve ever been. I practically live in sweat pants since I refuse to buy new clothes with the hopes of losing the weight. Right now I have two pairs of jeans I can still wear. And when I do squeeze into a pair, that means I am “dressed up.”

9. Hiking with my husband is annoying as bleep. He doesn’t even break a sweat, breathe heavy, need to take a break, lose the feeling in his legs, or feel like his heart is going to burst into flames. F.y.i. I experience one or more of the above. Bleep hiking. Bleep trails. I like flat land walking, thank you very much.

10. Yes, we (fat women) passionately loathe skinny twats who can eat whatever they want, all day, all night, and never exercise. Especially when they’re shoveling food in their tiny mouths they talk about how they eat so much, never gain weight, and never exercise. We consider causing them bodily harm. A little nudge into traffic here, a little push down some stairs there, and perhaps a little sharpy, stabby, in the corner over yonder.

P.S. Most of this probably shouldn’t be taken too seriously. Let’s eat some red velvet cake! Just kidding, no cake. How about some yogurt that turns your home into a house of lies with its promise on the container to taste like cake. Yum.