news & politics, Uncategorized

GOP Debate in Houston

Apparently I like to torture myself because I watched the entire GOP debate tonight. And these tweets basically recap it:

The lack of a Kasich tweet would make me feel bad, but: 1) he did nothing that inspired one, and 2) he defunded Planned Parenthood in Ohio the other day, so nevermind.

What I’ve really learned in the Republican Primary so far is that it’s possible to make me feel bad for and miss Jeb Bush, the guy I instantly wanted to lose when I heard he might run…because of his family connections and the prospect of a Clinton v. Bush race. But, huh… seems like it might be nice to have him around now instead of a few of these other dudes.


my house

Master Bathroom: Choosing Tile & Pinterest Board

picking out bathroom tile

We’re picking tile for the bathroom! It’s looking like it’ll be white beveled subway tile on the walls and marble hex tile on the floor.

This Pinterest board has some ideas and general look we’re going for:

I’m excited/nervous. Plumbers are coming tomorrow to remove some more of the old plumbing, then we can finish demo, and… ahh!

food, recipe

Taco Salad & Tomatillo Ranch Dressing

I tracked my food on MyFitnessPal for several months last year and with minimal effort (and mostly eating the things I love), I saw some solid results. I didn’t really cut things entirely out of my diet, but the portions were carefully considered and smaller, and I combined things differently each day to find a better balance. I’m getting back in the swing of things again now and remembered this salad is pretty great for something that involves lettuce.

The Texan in me loves all things Tex-Mex, so this Taco Salad is just my kind of thing, in spite of still being a salad. To make one yourself, combine some lettuce, tomatoes, canned black beans, roasted corn, avocado, cilantro, cheese, tortilla chips, and grilled chicken (with taco seasoning, if you’d like). Top it with your dressing of choice, like Blendtec’s Tomatillo Ranch. (This one’s a great option because it’s delicious & is only 20 calories for 2 tablespoons.)


Tomatillo Ranch Dressing

  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


1 cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt
1⁄2 cup low-fat milk
1 medium tomatillo, husked and halved
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded
1⁄3 cup fresh cilantro leaves
2 cloves garlic
1⁄2 avocado
1⁄4 tsp ground black pepper
2 tsp dried parsley
1⁄2 tsp sea salt
1⁄2 tsp dried dill
1⁄8 tsp paprika
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1⁄2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

  • Add ingredients to blender.
  • Select “Dressings” if using a Blendtec, or blend on Medium Low to Medium speed for 30 seconds.
  • Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Source: Blendtec via

feminism & equality, television

Abortion & Last Week Tonight

Did you watch John Oliver talk about abortion last night on HBO? It’s must-see (and he’s the best).

And it’s an important topic, especially if you’d hoped the abortion access matter was settled by the Supreme Court long ago and haven’t been paying attention to what’s going on in states across the country.

Because things like this are happening:

Abortion regulated like a sex offender?! Requiring birth when fetal anomalies exist?! Forced Ultrasound?! (And if you’re picturing the cute ultrasound with the little wand on the belly, think again. Have you heard of transvaginal ultrasounds? They’re not as simple or fun, especially not if you’re required to get one during an already traumatizing situation, like seeking an abortion after rape.)

And on March 2 the Supreme Court will be hearing Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, a case out of Texas (remember the one Wendy Davis filibustered a few years back?), and the outcome will impact Americans for a very long time.

my house

Master Bathroom: Before

Since we’ve officially started ripping apart the master bathroom and gotten the permit from the city to keep things legal, it’s time to share some before photos so you’ll be sufficiently awed once it’s done. So, here it is:

It’s about 5’3″ by x about 8′ and used to have doors to both the master bathroom and our office, which almost collided when both were open. (Basically: yikes!) We’ve already closed off the door into the office, which was an instant improvement, and we’re adding in the square footage of a hallway closet to make it bigger. It’ll be closer to 5’3″ x 11′ when we’re done. All of the extra space will go to the shower, which leaves the whole current bathroom for the vanity and the toilet, making everything much less squished.

We haven’t used this bathroom at all since we moved in because the hallway bathroom is larger and in better shape (although it’s also still mostly original too). The shower in this one is very tiny. (See that little white stall to the right of the toilet? That’s the entire shower and that picture was taken with me backing up against the vanity as far as I could.) Also the sink pipes dripped and it didn’t have a vent for any circulation at all so it just sort of smelled like a 56-year-old bathroom in there. We’ve kept the door firmly closed and mostly ignored it for the past year and a half… until now!

Plans, details, and progress coming soon. 😀

food, recipe

An Evening with Comfort Food

Listen, sometimes you’re popping Midol and craving comfort food so you look up the recipe for Luby’s Mac & Cheese. And then your husband wants Cracker Barrel’s Hashbrown Casserole so you look up a copycat recipe for that. And then The Pioneer Woman’s Salisbury Steak happens too. Oops?


Last year Houstonia Magazine did a comfort foods issue and Luby’s shared their Macaroni and Cheese recipe. I’m including it here so I won’t lose it, because it was spot on and I’ve got to eat it again.

Luby’s Macaroni and Cheese

  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


2 cups dry elbow macaroni
4 tablespoons nonfat dry milk
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 ¼ cups boiling water
3 cups shredded cheese (I used Cheddar & Monterey Jack.)
¼ teaspoon salt


  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • Cook macaroni 1 to 2 minutes longer than package directions so pasta is soft but not mushy. Drain.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine dry milk, flour, and butter. Whisking constantly, gradually add in boiling water.
  • Add 1 cup of cheese and continue whisking until smooth and creamy, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Fold in macaroni, 1 more cup of cheese and salt.
  • Transfer to a lightly greased 11×7 inch casserole dish and cover with foil.
  • Bake 25-30 minutes or until sauce in center of casserole is thick and creamy.
  • Remove foil and sprinkle remaining 1 cup of shredded cheese evenly over top. Return to oven until cheese melts.
  • Devour!

Sometimes you just have to starch out, y’all. And gooey cheese is delicious. But why stop there when you could follow it up with a yellow cake with chocolate frosting?

I made a “Perfect Size” cake from Duncan Hines in my toaster oven. It’s 6″ so big enough to serve its purpose, but small enough to not have me eating cake every day for a week. It was super easy, comes with its own tiny pan, and turned out really light and fluffy. (If you’re more in a chocolate chip cookie mood, I’ve got my two cookie recipe right here. Toaster oven optional, but welcome!)

about sarah

Happy Baby Sarah

Happy Baby Sarah Blackstock

I’m working on sorting through lots of old photos and making them digital so they’ll last longer. So, hey #TBT!

Related: That is one cute tiny kid. (It’s me. 1983 or 84-ish. And that old camera effect is legit old camera, not a filter. Ha!)