FabFitFun Fall 2017 Subscription Box

First off: no one asked me to review this box. I just decided that I really like some of the items so much that I wanted to share.

Second: I should note that my first and longest-running subscription box is the quarterly Pusheen Box, which is quite a bit different from FabFitFun. the Pusheen box tends to be filled with cute (but cheap) products mostly manufactured in China, featuring Pusheen the Cat. I’ve enjoyed my subscription, but I’m actually getting ready to cancel, as a year and a half of quarterly Pusheen Boxes is probably enough cute kitty cat merch for one household.

The only other subscription box I’ve tried is ButcherBox, which delivers grass-fed beef, chicken, and pork straight to my door every other month (or every month, if we suddenly start eating much more meat than we do right now).

I learned about FabFitFun from dooce (as did, I’m guessing, scores of other middle-aged moms). I figured that, for less than the price of a Pusheen Box, I’d be getting some stuff I know I’d use (as opposed to cute tchotchkes and kitty-themed household items that I may or may not roll my eyes at).

As it turns out, I did get some stuff I could use.  (more…)

The Displaced Chef: Authentic Cuban Sandwich

Cuban from The Displaced Chef

Just like in Ybor City, proclaims the menu. Alas, during the years I lived in the Tampa area as a kid, I only visited Ybor City once, on a field trip, and I’m pretty sure I didn’t have a Cuban for lunch.

My Cuban from The Displaced Chef was delicious, but not as filling as I’d expected, and maybe not delicious enough to justify the wait. Seriously, I wonder what everyone else was ordering, because people who had been two or three spots behind me in line got their food before I did.

I wish the food truck had some more of the Cuban dishes served at the sit-down restaurant in Perrysburg. I’d gladly wait a few extra minutes for an order of piccadillo or ropa vieja.

If I hit up The Displaced Chef again, maybe I’ll order one of the platos. Or just get an order of fried plantains. Om nom nom.

Domo Sushi: I’ve loved Domo ever since it was a little-known sushi joint in a former Pizza Hut, years ago. t.co/FTs69FN3cz

It’s been a Very Long Time since I took a sip of new-to-me coffee and said to myself, “This is really good coffee!” t.co/BxpqpAdVJ9

Our Favorite Vietnamese Joint: Pho Viet Nam

As posted to Yelp on 9/28/2016:

31 check-ins

How have I not reviewed this place yet? My family and I can be found here at least once a month for lunch or dinner; my go-to is #28 (bún thit nuong cha gio – noodles with pork, shrimp, and spring rolls), my husband’s is #25 (a spicy vegetarian/tofu soup), and my son gets an order of mozzarella sticks and shares our noodles (and veggies, and pork, and shrimp).

It looks seriously run-down, to be totally honest. Sometimes the service can be a little slow if the place is packed — which is to say, if there are four tables of people ordering at the same time. There is technically room for seven parties, one of which can be a large party of eight, but a full house really swamps the staff (i.e. the owners).

That said, the food is worth it every single time.

If you haven’t been yet, the pho dac biet (the one with everything) is a good place to start. Don’t miss the summer rolls with peanut sauce or the Vietnamese iced coffee. That coffee is fantastic. If you’re not in the mood for soup, the pan-fried egg noodles are also good, as is the fried rice. Seriously, I haven’t tried anything I haven’t liked on their menu, and I’ve been coming here for years.

Pho Viet Nam is absolutely one of my favorite restaurants in the city of Toledo, hands down.

NINE @ Hensville, the short version: It was good, but not good enough for me to go back and sample more of the menu. yelp.com/biz/nine-at-he…

I bought myself an epilator for my birthday. It’s not as painful as one might expect, plus I can’t gash my ankles and knees open with it. A+

That Time When The Appliance Center Delivery Truck Hit Our House

It was one year and one week ago.

We’d already dealt with a shitstorm of stupid that week: our refrigerator decided to call it quits the same day an ice dam pulled a gutter off the back of our house.

Appliance Center to the rescue (at least for the refrigerator part), right? They’d been our go-to retailer for large appliances for years — decent selection, competitive prices, free delivery.

So, I took a day off of work, and spent the morning transferring the contents of the refrigerator into cardboard boxes in the chilly garage.

Once my night-shift husband was up and about, the whole family schlepped twenty minutes south to the Appliance Center Home Store in Maumee, Ohio. Armed with the measurements of the refrigerator recess area in our kitchen, along with a helpful salesperson and complimentary popcorn to keep our then-three-year-old son occupied, we finally found one that would fit the available space and that had ice and water dispensers. One, as in, we took the floor model.

We wished we’d had more options, but we have an oddly-shaped space for our fridge, and we weren’t willing to take out cabinetry just to have a different fridge. Plus, hey, we’ve got the setup for an ice dispenser, so why not use it? So, the Bosch model it was. We paid for our purchase and scheduled delivery for the next day — a Saturday, in the afternoon.

The delivery guys showed up near the beginning of their 2pm – 5pm delivery window. Our son miraculously napped through the entire delivery process: opening the front double-doors in the dead of winter, removing interior doors, dollies coming in and out, all of it.

With the preparations complete, the Appliance Center guys went back out to the truck to start moving things.

Inside, my husband and I waited… and waited… and waited. Finally, we looked out the kitchen window, out the back, and saw the truck half in the turnaround with the delivery guys staring at it. One of them was on his cell phone.

WTF Is Going On Out There

My husband went out to investigate.