The (not-so) elusive barbacoa
The love of all things Chipotle has been made clear by my tumblr friends (especially fortune-n-glory several months ago). There’s just something about their barbacoa shredded beef that inspires hordes of ravenous, slavering fans to drive out of their way several times a week to get that salty, spicy, beefy goodness.
With that in mind, I offer what we’re having for dinner tonight:
Hithertokt’s famous guacamole and barbacoa beef tacos that I made (using this recipe for the beef and this recipe for the sauce) and is so darn close to Chipotle’s that if there is a difference, I can’t tell what it is, nor do I care.
I imagine all the #Education bloggers that don’t show their faces to look like famous people.
I’ve told bethechange she looks like Carly Rae Jepson (I still think she does)
I’ll name a few…
- I think Tomes looks like Tina Majorino
- I think Hithertokt looks like Sarah Chalke
- I tihnk Gjmueller looks like Casey Wilson but more collegiate.
There are more of you…but I’ve been very lucky to meet quite a few. And I’ve seen a lot of you post pics. These 3 stood out in my mind as people I didn’t know what they looked like.
I've been meaning to ask, how do you go about planning your trips? I really want to travel a bit this summer, but I never have (out of the states) and I'm a little intimidated.
Well for a start, the majority of actual planning is generally (read: every trip so far) done by the girl. She’s pretty wonderful, and often unwinds by planning future trips (often even ones that we actually end up taking)!
But as a general process (that can be swapped around depending on specific circumstances):
- Work out when you want to travel (cost is greatly reduced the further in advance you are able to plan).
- Decide on a shortlist of destinations. Don’t cut anything back at this stage - just brainstorm all the places you think you’d like to go at the time you’ll be travelling.
- Look up flights for each destination, at the time you will be travelling. Sites like Expedia.com (best for flights within Europe) and Webjet.com.au (for trips to/from Australia) are your friend! Use them to get the best prices and transfers, and then (and this is important), book the flights through the airlines themselves (to save on booking fees)!
- Decide on your destination/s! (We usually like to visit as many places as we can in a trip, but spend at least a week at each place. This rule has been broken though, and we’ve never yet regretted a trip we’ve made.)
- Book your flights. The sooner you lock them in, the cheaper they’ll be! Also, every other decision will magically become easier and more fun once you’ve committed to your holiday! (Remember to check those fiddly things like baggage limits and meals provided on long-haul flights!)
- Book your accommodation. Look up all the options first, from backpackers’ hostels to five star hotels - you never know what you’ll be able to afford! One site we’ve used a LOT, to incredible success and happiness is AirBnB.com. It allows you to book people’s properties as you would a hotel - people rent out beds, rooms, or entire houses or apartments - and book them through PayPay, making the whole process much more reliable than similar free sites like CouchSurfing.com. It’s awesome - we generally aim for the “book out an apartment” option (which tends to cost a bit less than a low-star hotel room, while allowing us the use of facilities unavailable in hotels), but we’ve also had success with “book a room”.
- Look up shit to do there. This can become a great pastime for the coming months, as you motivate yourself to get through the year with the promise of an awesome holiday that you’ve already mostly paid for! Don’t feel pressured to book it all as early as the flights and accommodation, though. You won’t save much (if anything), and you’ll appreciate the freedom later. But you’ll also appreciate having looked it up, and possessing the information!
- If necessary, book a rental car. I said if necessary, because you probably want to avoid driving in a foreign country unless completely unavoidable. It might be necessary though, and in that case you’ll definitely appreciate having booked it!
- GET TRAVEL INSURANCE. You can even book this earlier. Maybe right after booking your flights. Don’t debate the odds of claiming versus the cost. You can compare companies, but MAKE SURE YOU GET THE INSURANCE FROM ONE. In fact, I’ll make this #10 as well.
- GET TRAVEL INSURANCE.
- Go on your trip! Leave your marking, your work laptop, your personal drama, and pick up and go!
- Be prepared to change your plans. You know all those things you looked up in the past month? The alternate flights, backup activities, and travel insurance you bought (right)? That’s because shit happens, and stuff goes wrong. You’re on holiday, and all that stuff was to make sure you have a damn good holiday whatever happens. Hell, even if a monsoon hits and you spend a week stuck in a motel room in Thailand with no power and grounded flights - you’ll no doubt have brought plenty of books that you meant to read all year, and there’s bound to be a café or pub nearby. You’ll be fine.
- Leave no regrets. Remember, this is what you were saving for. You won’t regret that extra wine, those shoes, that tshirt, that handbag. Work out the minimum from your savings that you’ll need to leave untouched, and go nuts on the rest!
- Come home, and try not to drive all of your friends and family nuts as you talk constantly about your amazing life-changing experience. Or do. Screw ‘em, it was your holiday.
hithertokt replied to your link: Do you really have a question for Cop with a Teacher?
Might have missed the opportunity, but: I remember you posted once about your fiance dropping off your lunch at school and your students’ awed reaction. What does he think about the almost mystical quality in which students view his existence?
“Wow…that’s a heavy question. I would have to say that part of it probably because you talk about me so much and they have so little contact with me, and also police officers seems so inaccessible. But over all, I’m amused by it.”
GWALP adds: While he answers this, he’s sipping a Guinness and taking apart his pistol. I can see the mystique.
The drama kids know him better than most because he’ll show up to a stray rehearsal and always makes it to shows. They have no problem even sidling up to him and start chatting. During improv games, the kids would heckle him from the stage DURING a sketch about not proposing to me.
My (Major) Relationships in Five Acts- For Hithertokt and the rest of your creepos who are interested
Act I: High School Boyfriend Who Broke My Heart
*Cheats on me after 3 years*
*Still wants to be together*
*Threaten to hit him with a truck…. there is no .gif for that so…*
*Watching him with his new fiancé…*
*Obviously, I got over it though*
The heartbeat was so wonderful, lovely. And the hiccups and the dancing events -- while not lovely, sound like interesting experiences in their own rights. Those are really just thoughts, though. Here's my question: do you have any sense of Baby Tomes' personality? Is that possible?
Really, I’ve found the whole process to be completely fascinating. Baby Tomes is six months along, so he’s baking quite nicely.
At the doctor’s appointment Friday, I asked how big he’d be by now: he’s a little more than a pound and about the size of my hand. For reference sake: he weighs as much as a 16 oz bag of shredded cheese and is a fairly compact bundle with sprangly little arms and legs (how’s that for a mental image? A cheese baby. Sorry, everybody).
In terms of personality, I’m sure I’m not the first parent to read into the stretches and flutters and pokes and prods as some kind of telegraphing of preference, though I’m sure it’s really just my own rationalization for the choices I make. He doesn’t seem to be a fan of when I sleep on my left side, and he gets perky and active when I eat something interesting (fudgescicles, for instance, seem to be a fan favorite).
I really hope he’s a baby like Mr. Tomes was: placid, sleepy, snuggly, easy to get along with. His mom quit working to stay home with him and was so bored she’d wake him up just to have something to do. If he’s more like I apparently was: high maintenance, never sleepy, always engaged, and loud (funny how we don’t really change much, huh?) I’m going to have my hands full. My mom says you get the baby you deserve, so he’ll probably be a mini-me sent to give me my karmic desserts for never letting my mom have a moment’s peace.
I was just thinking about you. Do you perchance have a wishlist of items that need replacing post-flood?
Yes and no. Please understand that we are [or at least appear to be] well insured, and almost everything that we’ve lost is replaceable. Our photos are mostly in the cloud, and all the paper photos were on the top of a bookshelf. The one thing lost of sentimental value was a box of high school and college t-shirts that I had been meaning to turn into quilts for years. I wanted them to be our special sick-day blankets, but I’ll need to find something else for that purpose. Tim is really sad about his computer being damaged, because he likes to decompress each day with video games. I’m upset about my organization systems, because they help me keep my brain from being overly obsessed with details.
Someone has already volunteered to replace Sylvia’s doll bed and doll diaper bag. Someone else has volunteered to pay Lilli’s doll hospital bills. An internet friend who works for Staples has replaced most of my school supplies [including my planner, and organization systems]. Many friends have offered to feed us. We lost a lot of furniture, but that is DEFINITELY coming out of the insurance. (Like, Rocketship’s entire bedroom set.)
No gifts are necessary as our insurance company should cover all of our losses. However, I know people want to help. I suppose the list of things that people could give looks like this:
- White noise machine
- Baby monitor
- Alarm clocks
- Hallmark “Jesus Loves Me” lamb
- Daddy Hugs by Karen Katz (Tim’s first fathers day gift)
- Who Loves You, Baby? By Nina Laden (one of Sylvia’s first Christmas presents, from daddy)
- Don’t let the Pigeon Stay Up Late by Mo Willams (just one of our favorite books)
- A sketch book for Sylvia to color in & crayons
- Papermate flair felt tip pens (all of my favorite pens ended up in the water, somehow)
- My running shoes
- Tim’s running shoes (perhaps gift certificate to our local running store, runningfit.com)
- Both of our gym locks
- Our gym bags
- My gym ear buds
- My school bag
- My big “professional” purse
- Suitcase set
- Queen sized down comforter
- all of our pillows
- My iclicker (school polling device)
- Tim’s D&D manual
- My fashion boots
- My basic black heels
- Diaper bag
- Rocketship’s car seat (we probably need to upgrade to a rear facing convertible carseat, she’s almost out grown the bucket)
- New Ring Sling? (It got wet, but we think it can be laundered)
Things that might help our peace of mind in the future, not covered my insurance per se, but planned purchases:
- Water alarms ( http://www.homesecuritystore.com/c-22-water-flood-sensors.aspx)
- An extra Betsy doll, to be kept safe in our fireproof and water proof safe