Friday, August 26, 2011

Mad Girl and the abnormal cervix

Okay, this one is just for the ladies. It involes a vist to the gyno and some very sensitive info about my cervix. Guys, go grab a beer and sit this one out - you'll thank me later.

So I went for my regular check up with my gyno (who is so awesome that I want to make her my BFF - is that weird?) and the results of my pap smear came back abnormal. I really wasn't surprised, if I have an angry vagina then why not have an abnormal cervix? I didn't really know what this meant, but my gyno assured me that it was not cervical cancer, but we would need to get checked out anyway.

I had to schedule an appointment to get a colposcopy which is a test that looks at my lady parts through a lighted magnifying tool. My doc also scraped some cells from my cervix to run some tests on them. I really didn't know what I was up against, but my doc did a fantastic job of explaining everything to me and I wanted to share my experience with you in case you or someone you know is in the same position as I am.

First off, you need to get a check up and pap smear EVERY it? My test came back abnormal and it also turns out I have HPV. Did you know that 80% of us have HPV? There is a huge stigma around it, but chances are you have it. Yes, it's an STI, but my doc explained it like my vagina has a cold and while there is not cure, you can get over it. The part that sucks is that it doesn't show up for men. Why is life so unfair. Anyway, HPV can lead to cancer so it's important to get yourself checked out. Also, maybe the HPV vaccine for young gals isn't such a bad idea...

So I went in this morning for my procedure which was honestly just like a really uncomfortable pap smear. The feet went into stir-ups and my doc put some vinegar like substance in me. This dried out the wall of my cervix and made any abnormal cells turn white. She took a sample of these cells to analyze. The scraping part was uncomfortable and I guess some women experience cramping, but I don't think it was too bad. Besides, my doc and I were talking about mimosas most of the time.

The whole procedure took only about 15 minutes and then my doc handed me a pad and said I'd want to use that because there would be some bleeding later. She also told me to just try and lay around for the rest of the day (I can do that) and avoid sex for a few days (that one is going to be a bit harder to do). I came home and took a long nap and have just been chilling. Really not too bad at all.

Now I have to sit and wait for the results and hope that there is not too much craziness going on in my cervix. I'll let you all know what the outcome is, but in the meantime please do me a favor and go get a check up on your lady bits if you haven't been for a while.

UPDATE: So the good news is that it's not cancer. The bad news is that there may be something there and I need to get Paps done every 6 months. I like my doc and all, but I really need to boost my immune system so I can fight of the frickin cold in my cervix. With a little time and a healthier lifestyle my issue should clear up.

Monday, August 15, 2011

from Bachelor to friend?

So what gives universe? I spend all these years being single and when I finally do find someone it seems that everyone is interested now! Yesterday I got a call from B15. There wasn't a lot of chemistry with him, but we got along really well. We went on three dates and there was no kiss. After the third date we agreed to meet up again and then he never contacted me.... until yesterday. He said that he had some stuff going on and wanted to see if I was interested in meeting up again. Seriously? What is it with guys? I just don't think I'll ever get why they do shit like this.

Anyway, I texted him back letting him know I was 'involved' with someone, but that I could use a drinking buddy. He seems to be up for that, so it looks like I've found myself a new bar buddy! Let's hear it for making friends. If he's cool with having a platonic friendship then count me in. I've managed to keep in touch with a few of the previous bachelors and I can say that I consider B4, B6 and B10 my friends. Is it wrong to do it like this? I have no desire to be with any of them, but they all possess qualities that I look for in a friend. All of these guys have been there for me at one point and I've been able to have some pretty good times with them, even when sex is not a factor.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

blame it on the rain

There's something almost magical about being tucked away inside my apartment during a rain storm. I get to just laze about and let the summer rain wash everything away outside. I've spent my whole day being totally unmotivated to do anything. I've basically sat around on my ass watching movies and stuffing my face (for the record, leftover coq-au-vin is d-lish). I had a to-do list a mile long, but the mess can wait another day. I managed to do a load of laundry and finally clean all the dishes that had piled up in my kitchen. I feel slightly guilty for not getting more done. I even said I was going to call some long-lost friends and catch up with them, but here I am hiding away from the world. Today I'll blame it on the rain, but what will I blame it on tomorrow?

Friday, August 5, 2011

voulez vouz manger avec moi ce soir?

I'm cooking dinner for B19 tonight and decided to go with a French theme. I feel that having a theme helps tie everything together. This way you can coordinate food, drink, music and decor to help create the ultimate dinner party. I've been watching a lot of Rocco's Dinner Party on Bravo lately so I've been inspired to throw one of my own. I used to do cocktail parties at my place but haven't done one in a while. My real dream is that one day I'll have a big fancy kitchen, huge dining table, and tons of interesting friends to entertain. A girl can dream.

So here's the run down of tonight


Arielle Dombasle

Amelie Soundtrack

Carla Bruni


Paris for Lovers

anything Putumayo

Edith Piaf

menu (recipes below)

French Onion Soup

Coq au Vin

Haricot Vert

Thyme Roasted Fingerling Potatoes

Chocolate Mousse


sparkling limeade

wine (Bordeaux)

Let's get cooking! This is a very simple menu to make. It may look like a lot of work and sound fancy, but you will be surprised at what went into this.

I wasn't sure what to do with this and thought that instead of making something I'd just see what Trader Joe's had to offer. I started with a box of bacon wrapped scallops, but then I found frozen French Onion Soup! Bingo. I know I could have made this, but I figured that with everything else I was making I wouldn't have time to pull off homemade soup too. I also have a really good zucchini curry soup that I love to make and would be perfect for summer...I just now remembered that.

Coq au Vin (or Chicken in wine) is a delicious, comforting dish. There are may recipes out there, but I'm using one from Nigella Lawson (I also referenced my copy of Joy of Cooking and they are pretty similar). I always like to put my own touches on recipes though so what you find below isn't the exact same one that Nigella uses.

In a saucepan combine:
2.5 cups red wine (I'm using a Bordeaux)
1 celery stalk
1 quartered carrot (I actually bought a pre-made mirepoix at TJ's - it's way easier)
2 cloves garlic
1 sprig thyme
a few sprigs parsley
3 peppercorns
3 bay leaves
bring to a boil, reduce heat and let bubble away until reduced by half. Strain and reserve.

In a casserole
heat 1 tsp olive oil
brown 6 skinned chicken thighs
season with salt and pepper as you are browning

remove chicken and add
3 shallots minced (you can use onion from the mirepoix for this as well, but i like the taste of shallots)
diced pancetta (or Canadian or Irish bacon) to your liking (the recipe calls for 2oz)
cook over medium heat for 5 min

add 6 oz sliced button mushrooms
6oz pearl onions pealed (for the life of me I could not find these so was stuck with onions from a jar)
cook for 3 min or so
sprinkle with a tablespoon of flour
stir and cook over low heat for 3 minutes
gradually stir in 1 and 1/4 cup chicken stock and reserved wine

place chicken thighs back in
cover and cook gently for 45 min to a hour until chicken has just begun to get loose on the bones
heat 3 tbs of brandy in a ladle over a low flame and tilt until the brandy ignites. Pour into casserole and stir

It should be done, but if it's too runny just remove the chicken and raise the heat and reduce to thicken little more.
sprinkle with parsley
serve with crusty baguette


Thyme roasted potatoes

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
in a saucepan
heat 2 tsp minced thyme in EVOO until fragrant and sizzling
remove from heat and let steep for 20 minutes - strain and toss potatoes in olive oil and roast for 30-40 minutes. I like to add a sprig of thyme to the bake sheet as well
season with salt and pepper

haricot vert

saute up some extra onion from the mirepoix, bacon (I'm using applewood smoked bacon) and haricot vert until tender


chocolate mousse

sprinkle 1 packet of gelatin over 2tbs of cold water and let stand for 2 minutes (I couldn't find gelatin at the store so I used pectin...we'll see how this turns out) add 1/4th a cup of boiling water and stir until gelatin is completely dissolved

mix 1 cup sugar and 1/2 cup cocoa in a large bowl add 2 cups of whipping cream and 2 tsp vanilla extract. beat until mixture is stiff. pour in gelatin mixture and beat until well blended.

spoon into dessert dishes and refrigerate at least 30min. garnish with strawberries.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Mad Girl is a slob

I am not a very clean person. I've often commented on how I live with 3 frat boys who keep my apartment in a constant state of mess, but in reality it's just me. Blame it on laziness, procrastination, or Bravo TV - I'm a slob. I've actually never been a neat and orderly person. I remeber fights with my mom about cleaning my room or making my bed. To this day I refuse to make my bed. Why bother?

I've been trying to be better at this, but housework isn't a lot of fun and I'm often too tired to pick up after myself. Right now I have dishes piling up, my floors need to be cleaned, and there are various piles of clutter building up around the house. How do clean people stay clean? Are there people who actually enjoy cleaning?

I did notice that while I was on staycation for a week things stayed pretty tidy around here. Maybe I just don't have the time and/or energy to maintain an orderly home life. Someone also told me that Libras are bad housekeepers and I believe them. I can't imagine what it would be like if I had a house and kids to take care of as well. Maybe I'll get lucky and find a house husband one day...