Orange Chicken and a Mom Haircut


A few weeks ago I started meal planning again, and it's actually been really nice to be able to look on the fridge and see what we have coming up that week. I'm going to be honest with you: leftovers make up at least 3 days of any week's meal plan. I'm not so much sad about my kids getting older because that means time is going quickly as I am sad because it means they are going to have larger appetites and there won't be leftovers. Leftover gives me life, and I feel suspicious about anyone who claims they "don't eat leftovers." Don't be that guy.

Over the weekend, I perused Pioneer Woman's dinnertime cookbook (the red one) and found a recipe for orange chicken under her section of 16-minute meals. I'll spare you the long story and just tell you this: LIES.

Apparently Pioneer Woman is a wizard and can make homemade orange sauce (I grated fresh ginger and everything!) and deep-fry chicken pieces in sixteen minutes. It took ten minutes just to get the oil to heat to 350 degrees, but apparently her oven heats faster than mine. Whatever.

Is it annoying to anyone else that almost all recipes ever take twice as long as they claim? Because if you pay attention, most recipes have ingredients listed that are already prepped like chopped vegetables and cooked chicken. UNHELPFUL. Sorry for yelling.

The bad news is it took an hour to make the orange chicken. An hour. I also cooked Brussels sprouts (like this if you're wondering), which were delicious and actually finished on time so they were cold by the time the chicken was done yay. Meanwhile, R was trying to "help" by threatening to hand me pieces of raw chicken while I demanded she not touch anything, but thankfully Jordan came home from work and helped me out before anyone got salmonella. The good news is that dinner was super yummy and there were leftovers! But the second bad news is, I'm never making it again. Because ain't nobody got time to cook chicken for an hour goodbye.

In other food news, I'm sure you noticed that I did a sponsored post earlier this week, and I'll have you know that Jordan stole all the beef jerky I bought for the post and brought it to work and ate it and said it was delicious. You can see why I need to do sponsored food posts to support his eating habits. I'm not planning on becoming overrun with sponsored content, but I do have another one coming up next week, because sometimes it's fun to make money blogging. And also I'm planning our 2018 family vacation and we need to beef up our travel fund (pun intended).

Other things of note: I cut 11 inches off my hair, which has been amazing and I love it. I keep getting compliments, which I'm not used to since I never got any about my eternal messy bun. Of course, because my hair was always up in the aforementioned messy bun, no one knew how long my hair actually was and of course I forgot to take a "before" picture, but trust me: it was long.
A coworker retired a few weeks ago, and although it may seem strange to say I was friends with someone old enough to retire, she was my friend, and I'm really sad about her leaving. All the ladies of the office (it's a small office, so there were only six of us) went out for lunch on her last day, and I brought R and J with me. They both did great, and everyone loved seeing them. I'm trying to not be sad about the dark office down the hall and instead think positive that maybe a young working mom will get hired and be my friend!
I keep trying to tell myself that I didn't get a "mom cut," but this picture proves otherwise.

I've been keeping up with J's baby book, writing down milestones and day-in-the-life-type of things, but I do kind of miss writing a long monthly recap on the blog, and I've been stalking other blogger's recaps of their babies who are J's age to see what's going on. Spoiler alert: he's not sleeping through the night at all and I'm not bitter about it or anything. He's also not even trying to roll over in any capacity, and I'm not totally worried about it, but I'm also a little worried about it. Should I be worried about it? R set too high a bar by rolling over when she was four days old, so I just don't have any comprehension of a normal rolling timeline.

It's hard to keep track of the things he's doing when I have R running around like a crazy person. But one thing I will do is take a monthly photo and chair video for J every single month. A few weeks ago when I took J's 3-month picture, R pulled her chair over, plopped down, and smiled the biggest smile. That girl. Would never sit still for her own photo but can't miss out on the action if brother is doing it. Clearly J is super enthused about the whole thing.
She is such hard work and getting into every.thing. But she makes up for it by being so amazingly hilarious. Her latest thing is to stand up in her highchair and then sit back down sideways and say, "I'm stuck, guys." I don't want to condone standing up her highchair, but how can you even keep a straight face at that? Answer: you cannot. At any rate, I really need to get her a booster seat so she can start sitting at the table instead of the highchair.

SO. That's a rundown of the highlights around here. I have one of my best friends coming to visit from Illinois this weekend with her toddler, and I'm so excited! I've already planned out our food for the weekend, which will include Jordan grilling some burgers and us collaborating on homemade pizza, and we'll also make tacos! 

Orange chicken, however, is definitely not on the menu.
Maureen @ Maureen Gets Real said...

I hate when recipes take longer than it says it will take! Who just has cut up chicken at the ready all the time?! I try to have certain things prepped ahead of time but cut up chicken seems a little ridiculous.
I love the haircut, so cute!

Angi said...

Love the new hair!!

Most recipes lie. My biggest pet peeve are ones that say to caramelize onions and it should take 5-10 minutes. In NO UNIVERSE is it possible to caramelize onions in 10 minutes.

I know J is a smidge older than Imogen, but she isn't rolling over yet either. She's doing this new back arching thing where she pushes off with her feet like she's trying to roll from back to stomach, but she definitely isn't there yet. And she mostly still hates tummy time even though she is getting a lot better (finally) at lifting her head and not just eating the blanket.

jaime said...

Babies are crazy. My daughter is almost 18 months old, and just this past week started taking more than one or two steps at a time. And sleep? Whatever. She slept great as a newborn, and now she sucks at sleeping. (Not that I was awake from 3:45-5 this morning or anything.)

Kristen @ See You In A Porridge said...

I love leftovers! but... only when I make them (or KC). I don't do leftovers when I go out to eat. normally because a) I eat my entire meal and there is no such thing as leftovers and b) it doesn't taste the same the next day. But I always eat my own leftovers and always plan to have leftovers.
I agree about the quick meals being lies. The only thing that is really that quick for me is take out or leftovers. ha.
mom cut or not, it looks FABULOUS on you. seriously. super flattering!
hilarious that R pulled up her chair and sat down. so freaking cute!

Maria said...

Mom cut or not, it's so cute and you wear it well! I'll be rocking this messy bun until who knows when.

We buy the orange chicken from Costco and pop it in the oven with some frozen broccoli and make microwave brown rice from TJ's. It's cheating, but it's delicious and I'm not attempting anything complicated for a while and end up in your situation. I do hear good things though about Mel's Kitchen Cafe orange chicken and I don't think it takes forever.

Amie said...

Another thing not to condone but is funny is when Bowen stands up on the little table of his picnic table, starts pointing and 'talking' ninety to nothing and he thinks he is really telling someone something. His does this at daycare too which drives them crazy but they also think is funny because the other kids just stand there and watch him like they are listening! haha I LOVE you hair cut!! I chopped mine off too and as always I hate it because it's more work :( I may need to cut it shorter like yours? Is it a lot of work?

Nadine said...

I hate when a recipe ends up taking a lot longer than it says it will. I don't blame you for not wanting to make it again, even if it was good. Your hair looks cute!!! I cut my hair after I had Zoe, but then regretted it because I couldn't get it to stay in a ponytail anymore lol. I think Zoe rolled over between 3-4 months, so J is fine. There is a kiddo in her class at daycare that just started rolling over last month and he is 8 months old.

a m b e r said...

I am allllll about leftovers! When we visited my parents last weekend, my mom made a huge batch of stew. I am still eating on it, and I basically run to the kitchen when I get home so I can stuff my face. Haha! I am on the search for some easy meals to start making on the weekends to have as leftovers for the week. I will not add orange chicken to that list. 

Your hair is SO cute! I think I might go a little shorter next time. (I cannot believe I’m saying that! But motherhood, y’all.)

I have been horrible at keeping up with Jackson’s baby book. Ugh. (I was going to type #badmom, but that doesn’t make me a bad mom- it just means I’m a mom. Doing all the things- except for writing in his baby book. Lol!)

Grace said...

My LO is the same age as yours and he rolled a ton early, but now he’s become stronger and better able to stop himself from rolling so he doesn’t do it anymore. I’m starting to think that those early rolls were more lack of balance than anything else. My daughter rolled at 5 months. There’s time! Don’t worry. Also, “I’m stuck, guys” is awesome!!

Torrie said...

Ha ha, I can't believe how far off the predicted timeline the chicken was! Crazy stuff. There's a recipe for an orange chicken (very subtle orange) on Mel's Kitchen Cafe that is MUCH faster than that one, or if you like Asian, her recipe for Asian chicken wraps is one of my absolute favorites and actually DOES take less than 30 minutes!

My friend's baby that I watched a few days a week for several months while she was working didn't roll over until he was six months old and then still didn't really roll around---he just started pulling up to sitting and crawling around and never had much interest in rolling, even though he would have two or three bouts of tummy time at my house AND at his own every day. So I wouldn't worry about it! Every baby's different, and I'm sure he's doing just great developmentally!

Rach said...

I made a recipe last night that I thankfully happened to look at earlier in the afternoon and saw that one of the ingredients in my "10 minute meal" was COOKED quinoa. Yeaaah... what is that about? Ten minutes my foot. Glad you guys all avoided salmonella. ;) And I am so with you on leftovers. I purposefully cook large portions just so I can eat leftovers for lunches throughout the week. :)

I am loving your new haircut! I used to cut 10 inches off my hair every year because it grows crazy fast and I liked being able to donate it. I did that every year until about five years ago and I've just had it long since then. I've meant to cut it and meant to cut it, but I just haven't. I keep thinking that maybe I'll cut it now before the PP hair loss kicks in, but then I think maybe I'll wait until after we do Christmas card photos. We'll see. It has been so long since my hair was short, but I loved how easy it was to care for. I'm thinking I may need that ease back in my life soon!

Don't be worried about him not rolling over. R definitely set the bar way too high! The little girl I nannied was born a week before my best friend's daughter so the two of them grew up as buddies so I got to see them grow up side by side. Her daughter hit every mile stone super early and M hit every single one so LATE, haha! But they are both totally normal, social, physically capable kindergartners now. :) Of course this is easy for me to say now, we'll see how I feel about it if my own kiddo lags behind in a milestone at some point. ;)

Finally, can I just say how adorable it is that R says "guys"? It's such a casual slang term and totally adorable.

Michelle said...

I know exactly which recipe you’re referring to! I’ve wanted to make it, but frying chicken intimidates me. Don’t judge. I have noticed her recipes can take years. I pretty much have to double the amount of time any recipe calls for because I take forever.

Gracie rolled over a few times at 3-4 months and then not again until almost 6 months. And didn’t walk until 21 months. What I’m saying is, J is fine 😂

Carolann Chambers said...

Your hair looks awesome! I seriously love it. I love that you are doing more sponsored posts! I have never done one and I have been trying to research how to do them, but it seems overwhelming to me and I'm not sure my blog is "big enough" yet. But I am planning a trip for Nick and me in December to another island in Hawaii and it would be nice to have some extra money for that, so I applied to a few campaigns I found.

Sarah @ Sometimes Photojenik said...

Seriously anything pioneer woman says I won't even attempt no matter how long it says because I know it's all lies. Most recipes are all lies unless I'm just a super slow cook. I've been watching guys grocery games recently and they shop cook and plate in 30 minutes and I'm just amazed. Anyway I love a good orange chicken so I was hopeful for your post but as soon as I saw PW I was like no way. I love love love your hair and I'm currently staying in the eternal messy bun phase.

Rachel said...

My ideal dinner is both delicious and does not take forever to least there's a couple of those meals that actually exist. Although, probably my all-time favorite comfort food meal at home is mashed potatoes with my spicy fried popcorn chicken and that kind of takes forever to make, and involves standing over a pan of hot oil for so long that it's a rare treat in this house. Plus, Angel and I both eat way too much when I make it so it's probably a good thing I don't make it often.
Leftovers are the best! I always try to cook once and eat at least twice. My family tends to have a lot of leftovers in their fridge (because they can't get out of the habit of cooking for a huge family even though there's only four people left at home) and it's now basically a family tradition that Angel is always randomly eating their leftovers because the four of them typically don't actually get around to eating their leftovers. They will purposely leave the last piece of something in a container, knowing that Angel will eventually come, eat it, and wash up the container so no one else has to. It's their way of avoiding doing dishes.

Beka @ Sunshine to the Square Inch said...

The chair pictures are really cute! Also, I don't know why I think it's funny that Jordan stole your snacks. At least they were free.

Do you have a flat top stove, gas or coils? If you have a flattop, oil definitely does take a long time to heat. A gas stove will heat things up really fast. However, I still don't know how one could could orange fried chicken in 16 minutes. And why did she say 16 instead of a normal number like 15 or 20? Cooking just takes time. But you really should do one pot pastas. They take longer than 16 minutes but it's all in one pot and so easy!

Your haircut is cute. It's nice to get it chopped after it's been long. Although I will say I miss my long hair but it's finally growing back to a longer length. I blame Asia and that year for ruining my hair but I'd still do it all over again.

The Lady Okie said...

I actually don't feel like for me right now, shorter hair is more work. My long hair took SO long to dry and straighten that I did nothing with it, and my short hair feels like it barely takes any time at all!

Laura Darling said...

I love your hair! And I hope you get a great new coworker!! That's such a bummer about the chicken taking so long. I got a cookbook once about 30 minute meals and same thing, all lies.

Audrey Louise said...

Prep time is always and forever doubled with me- especially with veggies. The only time it takes me "5 minutes to prep" is when I cut the veggies the night before and threw them in the fridge. *eyeroll* lies lies lies...
I love your hair cut!! I was thinking that a few days ago while watching your IG stories!

Unknown said...

i hope the sleep has gotten better by now! if it makes you feel better, my kids love to just stop sleeping for random weeks here and there, so it never really resolves itself completely haha. your hair is amazing and if i had straight-ish hair i would cut mine in a second.

StephTheBookworm said...

I'm late to the party but I love your hair. Also, this post made me laugh. The whole thing about the hour long chicken and R in her picture chair. HA!

Anna said...

Mom hair for life.

And Molly rolled a week before she turned 8 months. J's good.