Tuesday, December 8, 2015

The Old Married Ladies' Holiday Wishlist, vol. 2

Last year, we crowd-sourced some ideas for last-minute holiday gifts. This year, we are a half-step ahead of the game.

Let's get right to it!

Cheeky shirts

For a book lover or for the woman who loves cozy nights on the couch or for the woman who adores Beyonce (and greens).

A fancy, frou-frou,  spa gift set 

I like sugar scrubs, but it's not something I often remember to put in my own shopping cart. This one comes with body butter.

My sister really loves L'Occitane, so I'm throwing this in smooth body set as a symbol of what the special people in her life should consider buying. (NO SPOILERS HERE.)

Weird decorative things 

Ceramic ring holders that look like pale, chubby thumbs? It's the objet d'art you didn't know you needed. For the feminist in need of art, consider this delicate cut-paper sign. When in doubt, ask yourself: Would I love a ceramic hedgehog? (I hope the answer is yes.)

An overnight bag 

Because some of us are still using the same bag we got in college. Which honestly? It's holding up pretty well for a clearance-at-Macy's purchase that studied abroad with me.

But I like an update every now and then, and so do the Old Married Ladies in your life. Here's a bold print for car trips, a faux leather that looks especially nice in oxblood, or a unisex style in a nice olive.

Honey for a tea lover

Just like flights of beer, Terrain has a tasting of honey for enthusiasts. This is a tad pricey but great gift for someone who doesn't want things and is watching their diet. And I've got a whole group of people who fit in that category!


National Parks Print 11x17

National parks map

Visiting all the national parks is a big goal. If you have a loved one who is trying it (as we do), give them a way to keep track of their park travels with this awesome map. There are stickers to mark where you've been (sold separately). And for the kids, don't forget to get them a passport book to learn about each park they visit.

The Old Married Ladies don't have affiliate deals or sponsors. We are simple consumers, with simple wishlists. Happy shopping! 

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Adventures in Pregnancy, Delivery, and Motherhood

Here is Ada!

She has arrived in all her glory (as Granny used to say). Ada is everything we hoped for. She is a wonderful baby that is just starting to smile, loves eating delicious milk, and sleeps on a consistent basis.

As a new mom, let me share what I learned about pregnancy, delivery, and the first two months of motherhood. I read everything I could on pregnancy and delivery, so it is only fair that I related what ended up really being important.


Pregnancy is both exciting and boring.
  • When you find out you are pregnant, nothing is better. Then you have to wait 12 weeks for the first ultrasound, then wait for test results, wait for the 20 week anatomy scan, and most of all wait for the birth. Because waiting is fun, right?!
  • Your pregnancy might be easy (as mine was) but you will still be fraught with anxiety. The doctor's only prescription for anything is to remove the baby. Yeah, that's not anxiety inducing.
  • The last trimester is no joke, you will be HUGE and have trouble doing things like staying awake, resisting the urge to pee every 3 seconds, and sleeping through the night (weird, right because you are so tired).
  • You will have no idea what you actually need for the baby even though everyone (good-heartedly) keeps asking what they can give you.
  • All the lists of WHAT YOU NEED to do before the baby arrives is just to keep you busy. None of it actually matters. The baby will probably sleep in your room to begin, so why did you stress your partner out about getting the baby's room done when she won't be using it for a couple of months yet. You read about what to pack for the hospital but really all you need is YOU. 


D-day: It's all you've been waiting for! Time to meet your baby, time to use all you've learned from your childbirth classes, time to use that damned birthing ball you spent so much time bouncing on, and time for most of that to be inconsequential.
  • At the hospital things happen, pain happens, laughing at the stupid jokes your husband makes happen, and then a baby comes out! That's it really.
  • After you are holding her in your arms, you realize that all you wanted was informed consent and your baby. If you have those two things it doesn't matter where you gave birth, when you gave birth, or how you gave birth.

My Birth Story

My water broke at 9:45 a.m. I called my doctor's office and my doula. A nurse at the doctor's office told me to go to the hospital. Unfortunately, I wasn't having contractions yet. My doula and I decided that I could delay for a bit. My husband and I took our time getting ready and arrived around 1 p.m. 

When my doctor checked on me, he said that I shouldn't have come in for 12 hours but since I was here, I should stay. (Damn it!) Then I labored for 12 hours. I finally took some pitocin to get things moving and had indescribable pain until I asked for an epidural 5 hours later. Then I slept and when I woke, I was fully dilated and ready to deliver. Only 25 hours of labor. I pushed for 30 minutes and voila! A baby! My baby! 

Motherhood: First Two Months

Early motherhood is both tiring and awesome.
  • Don't feel ashamed that you keep checking to see if she is still breathing. Everyone does it. (Except my husband, so I have to  keep asking him to check, lucky guy!) I fear the SIDS.
  • Breastfeeding is an eye-opening experience; you realize your breasts actually have a function. At first, it will be awkward, but eventually it will comfort both the baby and you.
  • Having a supportive partner with six weeks of paid paternity leave is the best thing ever! Pump some milk, hand him the baby, and disappear for two hours. It is glorious.
  • Hormones are REAL. You may find yourself crying at ridiculous things, like an episode of Deep Space Nine. Yep. Best thing to do is tell someone. Lean over on the couch and tell your partner through sobs and tears that you are feeling trapped, inadequate, tired, ugly, and that you are afraid he doesn't like your body anymore. Then watch as he holds you close and tells you how ridiculous you are and that none of that is true. Then cry some more and finish that emotional episode of Deep Space Nine (hopefully there is some ice cream nearby).
  • The bleeding. Yep, gonna mention it. If you happen to be a woman, then you know how to deal. It won't be that bad. You are just making up for lost time.
The one thought I kept repeating to myself is that everyone has children. This whole pregnancy and birth might seem strange and alien but is one of the most common things people do. Your grandma did it, your mom did it, so just relax and you will do it too!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Confessions: I'm afraid to wear white

Even before I had a walking stain-creation machine (also known as a toddler), I was hesitant to wear white. I have a handful of white shirts, but they're all machine-washable pieces that I change out of when I return home from work. I'm spill-prone, generally clumsy, and I like doing hands-on things like cooking, baking and playing in puddles with a toddler. So in the season of "WEAR WHITE," I find myself staring longingly at summery white dresses, colorless shorts, eyelet shirts, gauzy peasant tops and all things pale, creamy or ivory.

But in addition to the mess factor, I can't get a handle on the fashion. There's a weird clinical look if you opt for a white jacket or a certain kind of dress. If it's a dress that's too long or formal, it veers toward bridal. Some cuts and patterns look futuristic. Like a world where white culottes are the rage. DO WE LIVE IN THE FUTURE?

Is there a secret to wearing white? Do you invest in a lot of bleach? Clorox also scares me. I haven't bought Clorox in my adult life, though I regularly purchase stain removal sprays, scrubs and treatments. What am I missing here? Has anyone mastered the secrets to including white in your wardrobe?

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Happy Fathers Day!

We couldn't be Old Married Ladies without men in our lives, so what better day to celebrate them than Fathers Day? In honor of the sort-of-holiday, we're belatedly posting a few of our favorite recent finds related to fatherhood.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Notes to a new mom

Dear mama-to-be,

Before you have your baby, I want to tell you a few things.

First: You have to go through this brief, very physical rite of initiation. You've been training for it the last nine months, and the actual marathon event is *almost* here. One day, one event, one baby at the end. Labor and delivery is such a teeny sliver of motherhood. It's the crumb before the cake of parenting. It's the doorway you pass through, not the hallway or the room.

I was so nervous thinking about what that experience would be like, to bring my baby from a parasitic creature wholly dependent on my body to a free, unattached being out in the world, mewling and wailing, kicking, grasping at air with tiny fingers. For weeks before the delivery, I drank raspberry leaf tea and listened to meditations about birthing. But in hindsight, those hours are just a microscopic dot in the timeline of motherhood. The most important thing about labor and delivery is that it is the process by which you get to meet your baby. How that happens will be a blur compared to the awesome experience of meeting your child.

Second: Trust yourself and trust your partner. If you feel nervous about something, talk to each other about it. If you're tired, ask for relief. Don't fret if a friend, relative or stranger opts to parent their kid differently than you parent yours. I follow the Amy Poehler school of thought: "Good for her, not for me!" You and your baby-daddy are the only two people whose opinion ultimately matters. But when in doubt, vent to a fellow mother you respect.

About your partner: There are moms in the world who don't trust their partners with their kids. That sucks. But if you have a smart, caring husband, then let him take charge of the baby so you can rest, shower, or get some alone time. There are few joys in the world better than standing back, eavesdropping from another room and hearing your husband and your baby giggling at each other.

Third: Make time for yourself as an individual and make time for your relationships. Being a mom is so important to me, and I enjoy being around my kid. But I realize after 19 months of parenting that I let my social needs lapse somewhere along the way. Don't lose yourself because you have a baby. Your identity will now include the word mom, but it hasn't become only mom.

Connect to things that make you feel human and adult: A good meal at a nice restaurant, a stroll around an art museum, an indie music concert. Or maybe it's just time spend buying supplies for a home craft project, or leisurely strolling through a grocery store without a kid to mind. Maybe it's going to a yoga class. Maybe it's watching a movie, in a theater, with a box of overpriced theater candy in hand.

I got so many offers of free babysitting when my boy was a squishy, immobile infant. I should have said yes a little more. A few more date nights would've been nice. Even though you and your husband will be spending a lot of time together, carve out space for the two of you, child-free. Talk about non-baby things. Talk about pop culture and life and vacation plans. Talk about work. Talk about neighborhood gossip. Or just stare exhaustedly into each other's eyes, hold hands and drink very large cocktails. You deserve that, too!

Fourth: Be kind. To your baby; to your self; to your husband. This is really a re-hash of the above points, but a good lead-in to one of my favorite Kurt Vonnegut quotes. Feel free to read aloud to your baby when she arrives or to yourself when you need a reminder about how to live life generally.

"Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth. It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It’s round and wet and crowded. At the outside, babies, you’ve got about a hundred years here. There’s only one rule that I know of, babies—God damn it, you’ve got to be kind."

Monday, June 1, 2015

Baby talk: Good reads, vol. 3

Mrs. Crafty's due date approaches! As she starts her pre-baby maternity leave, I've got a few more helpful reads for her (and anyone else stockpiling good links on parenting, motherhood, kids and life).

  1. There's a whole Instagram feed dedicated to breastfeeding art. I discovered the top image on the post ("Madame Helleu Cradling Paulette in Her Arms" by Paul César Helleu) via that feed. I'm sure it won't be long before Instagram tries to shut it down and controversy ensues, so enjoy it while you can! 
  2. Is modern parenting "all joy and no fun"? What ails modern parents? Slate talks to an author who asked NOT the question, "What am I doing to my kids?" but rather "What are my kids doing to me?" 
  3. ALSO, remember that routines matter
  4. I know that Mr. Crafty tends to be the official photographer in your house, so share these six tips for photographing your child. (And get mega-inspired by checking out You Are My Wild, a one-year time capsule in which professional photographers shared beautiful photos of their kids in everyday life.) 
  5. Makes me laugh: It's Like They Know Us is dedicated to ridiculing stock photos and terrible advertising choices.

And finally, one very weird image discovery after the jump.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Baby talk: Good reads, vol. 2

A couple weeks ago, I shared some of my favorite starting reads for parents-to-be, filled with gems about registries, birth plans, labor and delivery, and decorating. But now it's time to move on to the tougher topic at hand: Parenting.

I won't lecture you about motherhood, but I'll sum it up as best I can: It's beautiful, messy, colorful, frustrating, rewarding and tiring. When I started sifting through some of my favorite pieces of writing, I found a common theme: They made me laugh, and they made me feel good about my parenting abilities. So here's the next part of your parenting-class syllabus:
  1. In a nutshell, the best parenting advice is "don't kill them."
  2. Prepare yourself for lots of well-meaning, but totally irritating advice from strangers on the street. McSweeney's lays it out here.
  3. People tell you lots of lies about infant sleep. Don't believe the hype. Every baby is different, every parent is different, and every household is different. 
  4. Calm the fuck down: The CTFD method is the sweariest parenting philosophy.
Two pieces of practical advice:
Do any parents out there have some favorite reads to add to the mix? As you can see, we're willing to consider all sorts of parents scribes and screeds. 

Image from here 

PS - Vol. 3 to come in a week or two! 

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

What to craft when you're expecting...

When I first found out I was pregnant, I sought and took in as much information as possible. This went against Mrs. Snacky's advice to avoid Dr. Google and parenting forums, but I wanted to know everything (and still do).

In my quest for pregnancy knowledge, I learned that there is lots of information about what to eat, what to wear, how to exercise, where to go, what to buy, and so on. However, I was really dissatisfied with what I found about what to craft when you are expecting. I needed ideas about practical, useful stuff that we could fit into our lives, not put up on a shelf and never touch.

The Haul. What I've made for baby so far.

First, why make baby things? I was actually anti-baby-crafting in the past. Babies grow so fast, they get everything covered in puke and poop, and things will probably just get thrown out when they are done being used. While none of that is false, I've changed my mind. Here's why:
  • Heirlooms: Blankets and quilts can be used, then saved and given to my baby when she is older. If my girl follows in her sentimental mom's shoes, she will be excited to have the same blanket from the picture of her only days old.
  • Convenience: It is so easy and quick to whip up a crocheted wash cloth, burp rag, and other small things. Plus, you need a ton of them, so why not. You can make them out of scrap yarn or scrap fabric, and they don't have to match anything.
  • Sentiment. Even if you only make one thing, every time you look at it, it will remind you of the time you were waiting for your baby's arrival. And make you cry, maybe, in my case.
Knit on one side, fabric on the other. It will fit perfectly in the rocking chair.

When to know your limit. Usually I challenge myself to do something grand. Can I make EVERYTHING for the baby? I must sew 20 burp clothes. (And so on.) This time I'm removing all the challenges and deadlines and taking a more laid back approach. I'm going to make what I want, no pressure and enjoy everything I make. If we buy clothes and wash cloths, I'm not going to beat myself up because I could have made them. Not to mention, I do work full-time, in addition to duties as a full-time wife and a full-time stupid human to one fluffy muppet. Time isn't always plentiful.

Here's my very practical take on crafting while waiting for a bundle of joy.

  • Burp Cloths - Here is a fun project. Cut a rectangle of fabric that sits on your shoulder. Cut a matching one out of soft fabric. Sew them together. You are done! Burp! I mean, Voila!

Varying sizes. The newest one is on the bottom.
  • Knit/crochet blankets - This is my favorite topic and one where you will find a plethora of designs and ideas. Go wild. Baby blankets tend to be on the smallish size, so they whip up pretty fast.
Knit with cotton in squares
  • Mobile - One of the easier crafts to do for baby. Grab a hoop, some string, some stuff to tie to the end of that string and you have a mobile. Just make sure it's tied tight! 
  • Toys - I've knit teddy bears, owls, and rabbits for friends but I'm always looking for new stuff to make. One of my new favorites finds, and something I will certainly make, is DIY Nessie. It is the most adorable toy and it looks like so much fun. Thanks to Hannah, the creator, for giving this to the masses!
    • Rebecca Danger Designs - If this suits your style, she has created the most wonderful stuffed animal designs.
  • Wash cloths - Nothing is simpler than a wash cloth. If you sew, it is just a square piece of fabric terry cloth and voila! Wash cloth! If you crochet or knit, this is an easy commuting-home-on-the-bus (or sitting in front of the television) project. Usually takes me an hour or two to make one.

This is scrap yarn from a different project. Both are crocheted.
  • Clothes - This request comes from Mrs. Snacky because "OMG THESE." Check out Bootee Check for some awesome-looking kicks! I think these are better bought than recreated. :)
    • Hats - These are a great way to use scrap yarn, as I've done below. I actually got this pattern out of a book but there are lot of patterns online. 
This is self striping yarn that I was recommended. I'm not a huge fan but the hat is cute.

Anything else? What else is a practical craft that I can add to list? Send over your ideas!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Do you eat meat replacements?

Do you ever eat fake meat? Not the Subway variation of ham made from turkey, but the kind made of veggies, grains and spices.

A few years ago, I was diagnosed with high cholesterol (eek!), so I'm always looking for ways to curb my meat consumption. I try to incorporate tons of veggies in my diet, but sometimes I need meat (or a meat substitute) to feel satisfied with a hearty meal.

This weekend, we tried neat, which is made from chickpeas, pecans, oats and spices. I followed the instructions to add two eggs, water, stir it all, and then brown it in a saute pan. Next, I layered it into veggie lasagna with spinach and red peppers (and of course, cheese and red sauce). 

It was delicious! My dad actually said he'd have thought it was ground beef if I hadn't told him. 

So, would you eat something like this? Or do you prefer to stick with the real thing? 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Baby talk: Good reads, vol. 1

Dear Mrs. Crafty,

Congratulations on your impending bundle of joy! Becoming a parent is a weird and wild ride, and I'm thrilled that you're joining this bizarre sorority called motherhood.

I have lots of random bits of advice culled from my first 15 months of parenting, but I thought maybe we could start with a few interesting reads for pregnancy, labor and delivery.

There are a lot of books about pregnancy and parenting, but I find myself less interested in devoting hours to parenting guides and more interested in watching Gilmore Girls on Netflix. Sure, I could recommend you sit down with a "What to Expect," a "Baby's First Year," a retro Dr. Spock or a modern Dr. Karp. But I've found I'm happiest--and most confident--when I trust my own mom-instincts rather than falling into a wormhole of questioning whether I'm doing something wrong (or badly) in the world of parenting. You will always be able to find some source that raises doubts about what you're doing.

In general, I strongly advise against Googling for parenting advice, medical symptoms, and other anxiety-inducing topics. And for the love of all good things, do not read the comments on parenting forums. (Yes, I'm talking to you, Mrs. Crafty.)

However, the Internet does hold some helpful, necessary reads. I've made some efforts to collect the best reading to share with friends. Today I present "What To Read When You're Expecting."

While pregnant: 
A pregnancy survival guide from lifestyle blog Cup of Jo

What to buy:
Two options for registries (and I urge you to ask a friend or two for real-life, real-time feedback): Design for Mankind's multiple posts about her curated, well-designed baby necessities or Cup of Jo's city-living registry

Related: What to pack in a diaper bag. This may seem obvious, but a water bottle and snacks are ALWAYS good to have on hand for mama.

Labor and delivery:
Let's start with Jamie and Jeff's birth plan.
"If Jamie starts to sob uncontrollably during labor, please turn offThe Notebook. In the event the crying continues, please administer the following drugs to Jeff (per Mr. Cooper): Darvocet, Diamorphine, Vicodin, Medical Marijuana."

Then let's move on to this giant collection of pregnancy, labor and delivery, adoption and other stories about "growing a family" via Design Mom.

Everyone knows Cheryl Strayed (writer of Wild), right? She wrote this wonderful essay on labor and delivery that is a fantastic read:
"As I gazed out the window, I prayed to be out of this misery, to muster up the courage to do whatever I had to do, for the baby to be born soon. I felt entirely at the mercy of the birth, as if I’d lost any sense of who I was outside of this. As if there was no me outside of this."

If you are saying to yourself, "I really need more to read, and I'd like it in the tone of a hilarious, snarky, witty girlfriend," then that friend is Tracy Moore, and you should read everything she writes on Jezebel's Motherload collection.  I recommend starting with "Guide to Your Most Shame-Filled Motherhood."

And finally, if you enjoy decorating, adorable toys and kids rooms, you may find some good inspiration on Design Mom's Living with Kids series, Apartment Therapy's family section or my Pinterest board Kid 'n' Play

Happy reading! Sending you wishes for an easy pregnancy and a healthy baby in the next few months. 

Mrs. Snacky 

Images from the Library of Congress here, here and here 

PS - If you enjoyed these resources, I'll be sharing vols. 2 and 3 (with more reads for later stages of parenthood, more laughs and a bit of deeper philosophy) in the next couple weeks. 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Mrs. Crafty's new project: A BABY!

Subject: Expecting in June
Date: February 18, 2015

Dear Mrs. Snacky,

The Mister and I have embarked on one of our biggest adventures yet. I'm pregnant!

Our dinner conversations are full of parenting philosophies, ideas for the baby's room, cool museums to go to, and crazy toys to buy. We are both super excited and worried at the same time (admittedly I'm worried enough for all three of us!).

Our little girl at 12 weeks.

As I look back at the last decade or so of my adulthood, I realized that I wasn't always sure that I wanted to have kids. So many people in my high school got pregnant at a young age that I saw first hand at how difficult raising children is. I wanted to travel, learn languages, be independent. Having a baby didn't seem to really fit into that plan. It wasn't until meeting my husband that I was sure about having kids. I have a partner in life to face all the challenges and celebrate the successes with. I know I don't have to be on top of everything all the time because we are a team. It makes me so excited to see what our genetic combination will produce!

While we are preparing ourselves for changes and for the excitement, I just wanted to know if you are ready? There will be phone calls, text messages, gchats, random 10-hour car rides to Ohio because I want to lay on your couch, eat your cooking, pinch some chubby baby cheeks, and pet your fluffy muppet dog.

Ready. Set. Baby!

Mrs. Crafty

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Formulas for easy living: What to make for dinner

Formulas for easy living: In this series, we look at shortcuts for our everyday lives. The goal is to create habits for quicker decision making, stylish living and efficient routines. Today, we talk about no-fuss dinner recipes. 

I like to bake, and I love to feed people. But when I come home from work, I'm tending to a baby who moves surprisingly fast, a dog that needs a walk, and my own hungry, rumbling belly. I've found a few go-to meals that are speedy to make, mostly nutritious, and don't require special grocery trips. 

These aren't fussy recipes. They're off-the-cuff, use-what-you-have types of meals, so rely on your judgment, tastes and cooking know-how to make these work for you. 


General principle: Take a starchy vegetable (squash, potato), cook it, cut it in half, and stuff each half with the meats/veggies/grains of your choice. Serves two adults (can also serve a baby, if you're willing to share). 

Stuffed Acorn Squash
  1. Microwave your acorn squash
  2. While your squash is cooking, sauté a mix of diced chicken sausage, leeks and corn. Note: For two people, I'd do two or three chicken sausages, one or two diced leeks, and about a cup of frozen corn. We like Italian-style chicken sausage or the chicken-apple variety for this.  Each person gets half the squash.
  3. When you sauté, you'll probably want to use a little bit of olive oil, salt and pepper.
  4. When the squash is finished, cut in half, scoop out the seeds, and fill each half with a generous pile of your sautéed sausage-and-veg mix. 
  5. Eat. 
  • Swap your veggies for tomato, onion and spinach. Top with grated parmesan cheese. 
  • Don't like chicken sausage? Use the sausage of your choice, diced prosciutto or bacon. 
  • Vegetarian: Skip the meat altogether and add in a few more veggies (good options: bell peppers, tomatoes, black beans).
  • Sprinkle with a little bit of gouda, parmesan or the cheese of your choice. 


General principle: Use a canned curry sauce, add in frozen veggies and meat, serve with rice or naan.

Thai Fish Curry 
  1. When you go to the grocery store, buy a jar of Thai curry. I tend to use Trader Joe's green curry. In the freezer section, grab whatever variety of white fish you like (not breaded), as well as a bag of stir-fry veggies. 
  2. Sauté your fish (suggested: two or three fillets) with a tiny bit of olive oil, salt and pepper. Break into large chunks as it cooks. 
  3. Add frozen veggies and let cook for a few minutes. 
  4. Add curry sauce and let it all simmer together for 20 minutes or so.
  5. Eat. 
  • Use teriyaki sauce instead. Or use a mix of curry paste, canned coconut milk and broth.
  • Chop up whatever fresh veggies you have, instead of frozen. This would be good with a mix of potatoes, peppers and onions. 
  • Serve over noodles or rice, or with a piece of naan, pita or other good scooping bread. 


General principle: Sauté some veggies, add lots of stock and pasta/grains/legumes, and serve it all up with the bread of your choice.

Split Pea Soup 
  1. Dice up some carrots and onions. Suggested: 2 large carrots and 1 small onion.
  2. Sauté the veggies for a few minutes in a soup pot, using about 1 tablespoon of oil or butter, lightly seasoning with salt and pepper. 
  3. Add in one cup split peas, as well as 2-3 cups of  whatever broth you have around. (Veggie, chicken, ham or beef will all work just fine.) Got some spare bacon, ham or sausage? Throw that in too! 
  4. Cook everything together over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes, then turn down to a simmer and cook for another 15 minutes. 
  5. If it's too thick, add some water or additional broth. 
  6. Serve with dinner rolls, baguette pieces, or whatever hearty bread you like.  
Here are a few more places to turn for inspiration: 
  1. If you want your recipes served with a large dose of profanity, read Shannon's Kitchen, which describes itself as "healthy food and recipe ideas from a naughty nurse." 
  2. 100 soup recipes for cold days or 15 essential soups
  3. 101 picnic dishes from one of my favorite recipe authors
  4. A sandwich for every day of the month or two-ingredient sandwiches 
What's your go-to quick meal for weeknights? Where do you find realistic recipes? 

Original illustration by Kathleen Founds; photos from the Library of Congress herehere and here