A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

Tag: just the tip tuesday (Page 1 of 6)

Thanksgiving Pot Pie

You’ve probably already gobbled up all of your Thanksgiving leftovers by now. But on the odd chance that you have a few left and are sick of turkey sandwiches, I wanted to share with you one of my favorite ways to squeeze one or two more delicious (and ridiculously easy) meals out of all that hard labor you did last week.

We call it Thanksgiving Pot Pie, and it couldn’t be easier…or trashier. As if most Thanksgiving casserole side dishes aren’t trashy enough, let’s mix ’em together and bake ’em in a pie! Yeee-haw!

This is one of those simple things I assume everyone knows how to do, but when I told my Mom about it on the phone the other day she acted like I had just invented the world’s first combination blood sugar monitor & chip-clip. She then encouraged me to put the recipe on my blog because she didn’t think she’d remember the steps. (Bless her heart.)

So this one’s for you Mom. 

Here’s what you do:

1.) Chop up some leftover turkey into bite sized pieces and throw it in a big bowl.

2.) Add spoonfuls of all your leftover casseroles (except the mashed potatoes…that’s for the topping), and gently fold it all together. I used leftover green bean casserole, sausage & mushroom stuffing, and sweet potatoes this year (along with the chopped up turkey).

3.) Spoon it all into a pie shell (I used frozen, but whatevs).

4.) Top the pie with your leftover mashed potatoes.

5.) Cover with foil and bake in the oven at 375° (or so) for about 35 minutes (or so), then take off the foil so the edges of the crust can brown up and the mashed potatoes can get a little golden brown (about 10-15 minutes more). You want this baby to be piping hot.

If you have any leftover gravy, warm that up on the stove and spoon it over each piece of pot pie as you serve it.

thanksgiving pot pie by the bearded iris

We had this last night with leftover cranberry jelly, corn casserole, and gravy. I even had enough to make a second pot pie and stick it in my freezer for later. Haters gonna hate.

Note: this meal doesn’t bode well with picky kids who segregate their foods like little side dish supremacists. “RACIST!” I cry. “Let your side dishes mingle!” But Bucket Head won’t hear of it. He said this meal “looks like vomit pie.” The nerve. Someday he’ll come around and then he’ll thank me for exposing him to new things.

Or he’ll get a neck tattoo espousing his deep rooted devotion to casserole purity. And I’ll sit around crying in my ambrosia and wondering what I did wrong to raise such a fucking monster.

And that concludes the Thanksgiving portion of our blogging calendar year. Coming soon: the return of Dobbie, our prize winning Inappropriate Elf on the Shelf!

Wishing you abundance and good cheer today and always,


I put white vinegar in my washing machine and you should too.

I love Tuesdays. Not only do I get to share great info with you, but it’s the only day of the week I have a pretty dependable routine going.

Tuesday means “Taco Tuesday.” That’s one less day of having to endure the kids whining, “Mom, what’s for dinner?” 

I also scrub the toilets on Tuesday. It makes our Saturday morning family chore time a little easier if I get the toilets out of the way earlier in the week.

There’s one other weekly chore I try to do every Tuesday, and that’s washing towels. I’m a simple girl at heart, what can I say.

However, due to my clinical inability to complete any task EVER, I never seem to get a load of laundry finished all the way through.

It is not an uncommon event around here for me to wet a clean hand towel, wring it out, and stick it in the dryer with an old wrinkly load that I forgot to pull out days ago.

I’m sorry. I just said “load” and “pull out” in the same sentence. Excuse me while I go have a giggle fit in the corner.

Okay, I’m back.

We were talking about laundry, weren’t we.

Oh yes. And I know I’m not the only one who forgets about my laundry and lets a wet load sit in the washing machine too long, getting all musty and sour. I know this because my sense of smell is my super power and I can smell that sour old laundry stank from a mile away.

So don’t act like you always remember to move the laundry to the dryer in a timely fashion. We’re all human. We all forget sometimes.

And when this happens, we need to pull out the big guns to get that sour stank out of our stuff.

And by big guns, I mean white vinegar.

I go through it like water ’round here.

We buy it in bulk at Costco and about 4 big bottles will last me the month. Naturally, I only buy Heinz vinegar because I’m a Pittsburgh girl and we’re loyal to our hometahn, an’ ‘at. 

Stinky or not, I always add one cup of white vinegar to the wash when I’m doing towels.

the bearded iris adds vinegar to laundry

The vinegar acts as a natural antibacterial agent and kills bacteria, mold, and germs.

Vinegar is also a natural fabric softener, even in hard water! White vinegar naturally softens laundry by removing soap and residue. It contains small amounts of potassium and sodium, which softens hard water and disolves mineral build up.

Double bonus!

Some people add vinegar to the rinse cycle. I don’t because I think it leaves the clothes smelling a little like vinegar. I always add my vinegar at the beginning of the wash cycle and never have a problem with lingering vinegar smell.

I have a very old and reliable top-loading washing machine, but you can use this trick in front-loading machines as well. In fact, I’ve seen several articles about using white vinegar to clean your funky smelling front-loading machine. Here’s one, if this is an issue for you.

Please note: I only use WHITE vinegar for laundry. I’m kind of a vinegar racist, I guess. Apple cider vinegar is great for other stuff like stopping a cold in its tracks. But don’t use darker vinegars on laundry unless you are purposefully going for the dingy stained look, and then God help you. (Crazy hipster kids today.)

I also use diluted white vinegar to clean my hardwood floors.

Do you have a favorite vinegar related household tip to share? (Spare us the douche comments, Uncle Slappy.)

And/or what is your super power?


Leslie (aka “Iris”)

Some Twitter Truths You Need to Know

Today’s tips are all about Twitter. Whether you’re relatively new to Twitter and struggling to figure it out, or you’re a veteran and think you know it all, there is probably a tip in today’s post you can use. So stick around!

First, let me just confess, I truly hated Twitter when I began using it 4+ years ago. I mean really hated it. It was like a foreign language to me. And me no speakie nothin’ but good ol’ American, and in a Pittsburghese dialect to boot. So there.

But the more I used it, the faster it became my favorite social media platform. And then I got so good at it that I “earned” a butt-load of free high value Old El Paso coupons just for tweeting free sex to the head of General Mills! Skillz, people. That takes mad skillz.

And you too can earn free coupons for a lifetime supply of broken taco shells if you enroll in my trademark pending e-course: “Tweet Like a Ho-Bag in Five Easy Steps.”

Kidding. I don’t do it for the coupons. I do it for the love.

I also Tweet to interact with interesting people I probably wouldn’t otherwise know, like famous authors, newspaper columnists, and kitchen and bath design experts who can give me faucet installation tips and make me laugh at the same time.

Oh, hello Nick, darling. (Let’s tweet about caulk later!)

I mean, come on. Where else can I have conversations like that, in public, without being arrested or fired? I heart Twitter so hard. I really do.

So let’s get to it, shall we?

First up, let’s just explain some of those pesky abbreviations you see all the time in Twitter, because I once jokingly told HotMessMom.com that #FF meant “fuck a frog” and the next thing I knew she was tweeting photos like this:

Actual #FF photo tweeted by @HotMessMomCom. No live frogs were hurt in the making of that tweet.

Honest to Pete.

That girl is more fun than a front pocket full of peanut butter at the dog park. 

Don’t worry. I set her straight . . . eventually. Friends don’t let friends hump amphibians.

But I digress.

Four Twitter abbreviations everyone should know:

RT = retweet, the way you share someone else’s tweet with your followers

MT = modified tweet (when you edit someone’s tweet before you RT it)

FF = Follow Friday, one way to spread the love on Twitter, by recommending someone you think your followers would also enjoy following.

DM = direct message, like a private email, but less than 140 characters

Speaking of DMs, you probably see a lot of people who send out automated DMs when you follow them. They usually say things like “Thanks for the follow! For more of my awesomeness, read my free e-book, How to Be a Huge Douchebag on Twitter!”

Yeah. That.

Please don’t set up automated DMs. It makes you look like a cheese ball, and not in a good way.

Looking to maximize the visibility of your tweet and gain new followers? Add a good hashtag!

Hashtags make the topic of your tweet more easily searchable. When I was tweeting about the Emmys the other night, I was sure to include the hashtag #Emmys or #Emmysmack so that anyone following that hashtag would have my tweets show up in their search, even if they aren’t my followers.

All Tom Beringer needed was an empty chair. #EmmySmack
Leslie Marinelli


Oooh, wondering how I put my tweet into this post? It’s a plug-in called Twitter Blackbird Pie. Get some.

Only time for one more Twitter Truth, and I’ve saved the best for last!

If you want your tweet to be seen by the most people possible, don’t start it with the “@” symbol.

I’ve written about this extensively here, but in a nutshell, when you start a tweet with an @, that tweet will only show up in the feeds of people who follow BOTH you and the person you are “@ mentioning” at the beginning of that tweet.

Say what?

I know. This one is a little tricky.

And listen, sometimes you don’t want to clog up all your followers’ feeds with the details of a back and forth conversation you’re having with one person (see crack/caulk convo with Nick above). That’s when a quick reply that begins with @ is a good thing.

But if you are trying to tweet out something fabulous that you really want the most people possible to see, like a link to a friend’s blog post that you love, don’t start the tweet with their twitter handle.

For example:

This is a good example of how to tweet a link: 

I FRICKING LOVE this by @: And They Say Romance is Dead http://t.co/U4QjPkYQ
Leslie Marinelli

It would show up in the feeds of all 2158 of my followers. Actually, it would have been even better if I had added the hashtag #marriage and/or #romance to increase visibility to people outside of my reach!

But this next tweet is an example of what NOT to do:

That would only show up in the feeds of people who are following both me and @motherhoodwtf. That’s only 186 people, as opposed to all 2158 of my followers who might not all know the fabulousness that is Allison of MotherhoodWTF.

By the way, I found that number using Twiangulate, a very cool way to find new people to follow and extend your Twitter reach. Check it out!


In that handy dandy Venn diagram above, wouldn’t Allison rather have all my peeps in the yellow circle see my tweet about her post than just the tiny sliver in the middle of our mutual followers?

Yes. She would. And luckily for her, I know how to tweet for maximum visibility. And now, so do you! Yay! Group hug, bitches.

And that’s all we have time for today. Please leave me a comment below if there are any other burning Twitter questions you’d like me address in a future post. If I don’t know the answer, I’ll find it. Hey, anything to avoid housework.

Thanks for being here!

Your Twitter Truth Ho,


Your ellipsis is showing

Welcome back for Week #2 in my Back-to-School series of tips for bloggers!

Last week I shared a basic typesetting rule that blew a lot of you away.

Yes, many of us who learned to type either on a typewriter or from a teacher who learned on a typewriter had it drilled into our little heads to insert two spaces at the end of each sentence.

Ring a bell?

Well stop that! Your PC/Mac is NOT a typewriter. 

Unless you’re specifically using a fixed-width font like Courier, one space is plenty between sentences. Go read last week’s post if you’re just joining us and need more details. Continue reading

Your Computer Keyboard Space Bar: Less Really Is More!

Are they gone? (The kids, I mean.)

Are you okay? It gets better. Trust me.

My kids started back to school weeks ago. I live in the deep South. Folks do things differently down here…like say “We need to get together!” when they really mean “I’d rather eat a bag of hair than invite you over.”

But enough about me and my Mother in Law. (Winky face!)

Hey, you know what? I haven’t shared any good blogging tips in a while.

And since it’s Back to School season, let’s celebrate in style with a series of tips! But unlike July which was accidentally themed “Bad Smells Month,” I’m going to devote all my Just the Tip Tuesdays in September to better blogging. 

Continue reading

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