Tag Archives: sleep

Thursday Thirst: Chicken Stock (15 min prep, 4 hrs cook time)

 

Ok, I know this recipe sounds really boring but hear me out! Chicken stock is the liquid that makes everything taste better and cheaper! I make my own every time I roast a chicken and end up using it for the next few weeks.

Before I give you the VERY EASY recipe, here are some ways you can use chicken stock:

1.When cooking rice, replace the water with chicken stock or do a 50/50 combo.

2. Stick it in your crockpot instead of water or cream or whatever.

3. Replace the water with it when steaming veggies.

4. Use it to make soup.

Basically just use it instead of water to make any savory dish SO much tastier.

Ingredients:

chicken carcass (Everything including the skin, bones, and stuffing. Gross I know)

chopped celery

chopped carrots

diced onion

any other veggies that are on their last legs

salt and pepper

garlic (optional)

Instructions:

Pile everything into a big pot and fill with water up to the top of the carcass (the more water the more stock).

Bring to a boil then cover and simmer for 4 hours. I left the house for errands then did a bunch of chores, you don’t really need to watch it. Every hour or so use a small cup to skim the foam off the top (I didn’t have any foam at all).

Turn off the heat, let it cool then freeze it! I use jars that I recycled to freeze mine but you can really use anything, including Ziploc-type baggies.

 

Now I have a freezer full of stock that I can use whenever. I just thaw a few a week and use them whenever the recipe calls for water (BOOOOORRRING).

 

Ashley Life Update:

On another note, I have been sleeping terribly lately because I’ve been trying to train myself off a bad pre-bedtime habit. I’ve been trying to drink a glass of wine before bed the last two nights but quickly realized that it’s a stimulant (whoops!). I used the bad habit yet again last night because I just plain needed sleep. Once I’m caught up, experimentation starts again.

I can’t tell you how guilty I feel about this habit because I just don’t want to rely on something besides my own body for something as simple as sleep! But Katie and I were talking this weekend and I think I just need to forgive myself for being imperfect and keep on pushing for my goals, it may just take a while.

Also, a new phone/camera is high on my Christmas list this year so the photos WILL get better! I swear. I hope you’re all having great days. Your challenge today: smile at everyone until you get at least 3 smiles back.

🙂

 

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Tips to End the Tossing and Turning

I was talking to a friend of mine this morning and she said that like me and so so so many other people, she has a lot of trouble falling asleep at night. She often works the late shift and ends up falling asleep on the couch. I can commiserate with her on this because, with the stress of life comes an inability to relax. So, when my friend comes home, it takes her so long to relax that by the time she slows down, she’s already asleep!

I’ll tell you guys exactly what I told her: the key to falling asleep and staying asleep is a bedtime routine. It works just as well as when we were 5 years old.

My routine starts about an hour before I want to fall asleep:

9pm – Sip some chamomile tea (with an ice-cube because I’m too impatient to let it cool down) while I write a short entry in my personal diary.

9.15pm – Draw a warm bath. Throw in some epsom salts if you had a hard workout that day, it aids in muscle recovery.

9.30pm – Settle into bed with my fan on (wind helps me sleep) and earplugs in my ears (see below). I find some trivial summer romance novel or something similar to calm my brain and take it away from work.

10pm – Hopefully I’ve drifted off to sleep and can wake up at 6am ready for a workout!

^These earplugs changed my life. They were originally made to keep the water out of swimmer’s ears but are incredible at keeping out noise. I was uncomfortable at first because you basically seal off your ear cavity and I was scared I wouldn’t get them out. But I did! And 5 years later, I still use them every day. The best part: you can get them at any drug store for very cheap!

Helpful Hints:

– Keep a notebook next to your bed to write any thoughts that may be spinning around your head. I often have my best creative ideas right before bed and they’re always there waiting for when I wake up!

– Sleep with a heating pad near your body, the warmth continues the relaxation from the bath.

– Sprinkle a few drops of lavender on your pillow, the smell and its effects are amazing.

– Never fall asleep and stay asleep on the couch or with the TV on. It’s important to separate the sleep zone from the unwinding zone.

– Also, never do anything but sleep and baby making in your bed; including eating and watching TV. Don’t mix zones!

^My bedside table complete with a “night-time notebook.”

Weird Dreaming: Time Travel, Trucks, and Tunnels

Alright here’s another update for the HappyLass Weird Dream Journal:

I find myself standing at a large intersection yelling across the street to my mom who is yelling into a sewer grate to my aunt who is apparently waiting down there for a train. This must be a very high-speed, walk-on-water, need-no-fuel kind of train because it will, I assume, take her home to Australia.Then, because she can’t hear me, she pops her head out of the manhole cover and yells that she loves me, and she’s off!

I guess my family had been traveling together but now, I’m transported a few days ahead and everyone is gone. I’m in a different city than anywhere I’ve ever been and I’m standing in the middle of about five people frantically planning in the last hour before a big party. I have a big crisis about what I’m going to wear. I don’t have anything nice in my tiny suitcase!

While I’m getting dressed in a semi-suitable but really cute dress (I actually own it in real life) I watch the party setter-uppers construct this really long, really awesome pedestrian bridge/tunnel across the yard. It goes from nowhere to nowhere. All of a sudden I hear a bunch of honking and, for some reason, one lane of traffic has been diverted through the party yard. Every car manages to dodge the various obstacles but a huge semi appears on the lawn and screeches to a halt. It fishtails straight into the tunnel! NO! Its ruined! How will we make everything look good before the party starts in the hour? I have a flash of happiness that I don’t have to worry about it because it’s not my party.

Then I hear music. Its our radio alarm clock.