Wifey

Nobody's Little Mrs.

Category: At Home

Ask Wifey: Part-Time Housemates or Full-Time Relationship?

Dear Wifey,

My boyfriend never finished the home projects he starts. We “part-time” live together and when I first saw his home I thought many of the home repair/rehab projects had just been started. Boy, was I wrong.

It is his marital home, where his now-grown kids were raised. My opinion about what’s to be done is not welcome. I’d like him to sell the house so we could possibly get an “our house” down the road. When I bring any of this up he gets angry.

What do I do?

Frustrated in Philly

 

Dear Frustrated,

One of the ways in which relationships can be challenging when we are older (from you telling me your boyfriend has grown children, I’m guessing at least he is at least 40), is that most of us are less eager to change and/or compromise. I’m not saying this as a criticism, rather as a fact. By middle age, most people have already made compromises, learned lessons, and have decided what they like and how they want to live.

You mention that you are “part-time” living together in his house and I would imagine he would want you to contribute your opinion and make the place yours as well, rather than make you feel like an unwelcome guest. I gather that you have your own place too, and I wonder if he feels the same about your place.

My understanding of the situation leads me to believe that one of two things is going on here: Either he is feeling the same way about you and your place–like you don’t want to include him in your place–or he is just very set in his ways and unwilling to fully share his home with you–or anyone else for that matter.

Before you do anything, I would figure out which situation is happening, and the best way to do that is simply by asking him directly.

If it’s the first scenario, maybe you need to spend more time together at your place too and hopefully, you will both feel more comfortable in each other’s homes and will learn to find your own place in each other’s space. Personally, I think buying a place together is the best idea so you can have a fresh start at creating a common home and life and a full-time relationship.

The second scenario is more troublesome, unfortunately. It’s entirely possible that he simply is very comfortable with his solo living arrangement and–other than having you as a part-time housemate–doesn’t really want to change his life or his routines in any way. If this is the case, I would seriously consider how much more effort you want to invest in this relationship.

No one should get angry with someone who loves them–and whom they love–and who wants to share a home and a life with them. On the contrary, it’s often the path many people hope their relationship takes. I think you owe it to yourself to find out if he is one of them. Once you do, you can decide what path you want to take and whether you’re he’s the right person to walk it with you.

 

 

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Sunday Cooking with My Mother

Almost every Sunday during my childhood my mother made fresh pasta. She’d pull out the wooden board–handmade by my father for that specific purpose–and within minutes flour, egg, and water would turn into fresh dough. She would knead and re-knead it, let it rest. Then she cut it, rolled it out, cut it into smaller pieces and soon the table would be lined with tiny orrechiette, or cavatelli,  fusilli, or tagliatelle.

When I moved out on my own, my father made me a pasta board, knowing how much I loved to cook (and to eat homemade pasta). But, unfortunately, the only action my board ever saw was the rolling out of pre-made pizza dough purchased from the market! Life just seemed to take over and my parents visits never seemed to include enough time for a homemade pasta lesson.

It’s taken a while, but I finally managed to get that lesson from my mother and put my beloved pasta board to proper use. 

There’s no better way to spend a chilly winter Sunday than cooking with my mom. For now, enjoy these photos from a great afternoon in the kitchen. I’ll soon be sharing the proper recipe for my mother’s pasta dough.

Buon appetito!

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In the Kitchen: Migas

Perfect Ingredients: Migas

My first time eating Migas was only about a year ago, and even though I had no idea what a great plate of Migas tasted like, I knew that I wasn’t sampling the best. But I knew that I would love it when I tasted it, which in fact, was the case months later when I finally had the real deal. Delicious!–honestly I could eat Migas every day. So of course, the next step was to find a good recipe to recreate the scrumptiousness at home.

 
I found a few different versions–from Gwyneth Paltrow’s recipe in her book It’s All Easy: Delicious Weekday Recipes for the Super-Busy Home Cook, to Ree Drummond’s (aka the Pioneer Woman) from her website (also available in her first cookbook, The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Recipes from an Accidental Country Girl ), to a slew of random online cooking sites, and even a recipe on the package of the corn tortillas I bought!
 
Ultimately, I liked the simplicity of Gwyneth’s recipe and  tweaked it just a tiny bit.  It’s so delicious and so easy, I suspect I’ll be eating it pretty often!
 
MIGAS (makes 1 serving)
 
1. Add about 1 tablespoon of Olive Oil to a nonstick pan (at least 8″ in diameter)

2. Heat oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, but not smoking (when a bead of water “dances” in the pan),  places 2 corn tortillas (cut into wedges) in the oil, along with 1 Tbsp of chopped white onion (or more to test). 

3. Pan fry the  tortilla wedges/saute the onions, until the wedges start to crisp and onions soften.

4. Crack two eggs directly into the pan and, with a wooden spatula, scramble the eggs together with the tortillas and onions. (Optional, you may also add crumbled chorizo at this point if you wish.)

5. When eggs are almost cooked, season with salt and pepper, sprinkle to cilantro (to taste) and add crumbled Cotija cheese (a couple of Tbsp). (Gwyneth suggested Queso Fresco, which is also very good. Cotija is drier and a bit more crumbly, so it’s a matter of taste.)

6. Transfer entire contents of pan to a plate, and top with your choice–sliced fresh avocado, pico de gallo, fresh salsa. Garnish with crumbled cheese (Cotija or Queso Fresco) and cilantro.
 
If you have your own favorite Migas recipe, please share it–I’d love to try more variations. If you try this quick recipe, let me know how it turns out!
 
Sig.Melaina
 
 
 
 
 
 
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A Mother’s Day Dozen

Happy Mother's Day!

 

 

Mother’s day is only days away, but there’s still time to get a thoughtful gift for the woman who is always there for you. So here are a dozen ideas that will make your “Best. Mom. Ever.” smile.


1. Vince Camuto Ink Blot silk scarf: $58, VinceCamuto.com


2. “Best. Mom. Ever.” t-shirt by Choies: $19, Choies.com


3. Mother’s Day Card by Rifle Paper Co.: $4.50, RiflePaperCo.com


4. New Growth Designs, Larger White Peony Faux Flowers: $920 (not a typo), BergdorfGoodman.com


5. Happy Elephant Rosa by Monica Strigel, iPhone 6 case: $40, Castify.com


6. Agraria Lavender & Rosemary Bath Salts: $79, Amara.com


7. Diane von Furstenberg “Frankie” crocodile effect leather cuff: $134, MatchesFashion.com


8. Smartphone connected ring by Ringly: from $195, Ringly.com


9. Diptyque Scented Candle, Mimosa: $60, BergdorfGoodman.com


10. “I love you Mom, and Here’s Why” Journal: $16, ShopTerrain.com


11. “Home Is Wherever Mom Is” Pillow Cover: $20, Etsy.com


12. Julie Nolan Zodiac Constellation Locket Necklace: $75, AhaLife.com

 

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers, mothers-to-be, grandmothers, godmothers, mothers-in-law, and honorary other mothers out there! 

Sig.Melaina

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Figs This Exit!

My father was a gardener. He loved to plant vegetables from seeds, cultivate grapevines, and tend to his  fig tree, which grew the most sweet and delicious fruit. All summer long his crops would fill baskets on the kitchen counter and table in my parents home.

 

 

Often, after weeding and tending his garden he would sit on the patio and relax, satisfied at his plantings progress. One summer day, while sitting with him there, I noticed a fixated stare and followed it to the power cables that bordered the property.

I asked him what was so interesting about them and he said in Italian “Scoiattoli.” Squirrels. Still confused I looked up to see a couple of the bushy-tailed hoarders confidently traveling back and forth on the high wire.

“It’s like an autostrada (highway) for them,” my father would say. But he was not at all amused by this.

As it turns out, squirrels would take the exit for our garden, jump from wire to tree, cross the garden and scurry up the fig tree. The uninvited guests select a fruit from among the tasty offerings, examine said fruit and either remain in the tree to dine or choose another “table” al fresco. Sated, they simply discard whatever remains of the fig–skin, stem, what have you–around the garden.

Not good.

Now, the fig tree had grown well beyond expectations, and there were plenty of figs to go around, even after sharing some with the scoiattoli. But my father believed that this was not a good precedent to set. It was the principle of the thing.

How to discourage the squirrels from feasting on the figs and solve this problem?

While my father was no fan of the squirrels’ pesky behavior, neither did he mean them any harm. He set out some humane traps that would simply catch the gluttonous offenders. Loading the full cages into his car he drove the squirrels to the park and set them free to forage among the vegetation there.

Back on the patio with a satisfied grin, my father proudly surveyed his flourishing garden and the absence of half-eaten figs on the ground. A job well done.

Well, yes . . . for a while.

Unfortunately, the park was a mere block away and our epicurean squirrels’ internal GPS soon led them back to the autostrada and to the exit at the garden.

My father was not pleased. But being a foodie himself, he understood the attraction to his garden and its fruits, so he couldn’t really blame the squirrels.

Last fall, while having breakfast at my parents’ house, movement my attention was caught by a small visitor on the patio outside the breakfast room . . .

 

I feel quite certain that if my father had seen up close how much his uninvited guests enjoyed his figs, he might not have minded so much.
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A horse in the home.

A horse in the home.

For as many breeds as there are horses there are different kinds of horse people. And for as many types of horse people, there are as many ways to incorporate the equine into your home.

But however one defines their horsey-ness, for many of us, home is where the horse is.

Whether your decor leans toward a particular culture, a minimalist look, or if you embrace a traditional style, here are a few ideas to express your equine attitude when you’re not at the barn.

Just click on the image above or the link below for further details.

 
 
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Room to Work

Office Space

No matter what kind of work one does, everyone needs a personal space to think, read, study, create, or plan.  

Working from home certainly has its distractions and a dedicated space is often necessary in order to accomplish anything.  Essentials for me include plenty of bookshelf space, a good-sized desk, and a chaise for reading.

What does your space look like?

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