Lulabelle Reviews: Lay’s Passport to Flavor: Kettle Cooked Indian Tika Masala…….

Well folks, it’s that time of year again. That part of the year where I purchase and eat weird potato chip flavors to let you know if they are worth it or not.

So the people at Lay’s have taken this “contest” (I put that in quotes because the “winning” flavors seemingly disappears within weeks of the end of the “contest.” Never to be had again) and turned it on it’s head. This year they created an international experience with 4 new chip flavors: Chinese Szechuan Chicken, Brazilian Picanha, Kettle Cooked Indian Tika Masala and, Wavy Greek Tzatziki. Each bag sold is worth 100 “miles” that you can collect and go online to win various prizes. We’ve been so swamped here lately that all I’ve had the energy to do is eat and review each chip flavor. Which means we probably missed our chance to win an all-expenses paid trip to Guam.

Dang it!!

Today’s review is on Kettle Cooked Indian Tika Masala. Now in full disclosure this was the chip I was MOST excited about. I freakin’ LOVE Indian food, and Tika Masala in particular.

Smell: A fragrant explosion of curry. Tika Masala is a cream based curry.

Appearance: Like intense BBQ chips but instead of bbq flavor, it’s cumin and turmeric with specks of red.

Flavor: BBQ flavor that is more salty. I do taste a bit of the taste they were going for. They have a starchy after taste. A fair bit of heat, and I do definitely taste the cumin and turmeric (smokey flavors).

Honestly the texture is a bit strange. I’m used to real Tika Masala that you can put over rice. The rice helps to cut the heat and adds a bit of sweetness.

There is NO sweetness in these chips.

I’d rather go for the real thing. Plus I can have leftovers of it and eat it the next day. This bag lasted me 10 minutes.

So in summary, unfortunately this chip didn’t live up to it’s name or reputation. We’ll try a new flavor tomorrow.

Bon-Appetit’ Y’all!

Photo on 2016-08-28 at 22.51

FTC Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post. All items purchased by me.

Fun Family Milestones……

Today our kitten Riley turns 4 months old. And over the weekend we celebrated his adoption with a party.

No, I’m serious.

And we went all out. I’m talkin’ “It’s a boy” banner outside our house, balloons flapping on our porch and blue gum cigars given out as party favors.

Guys, we even had a cake made into the shape of a litter box. **cue gasps of horror and surprise**

This was a risk and confused the guest of honor at one point. Seriously, we almost had an embarrassing, therapy-inducing incident.

At least it would have made a great blog! πŸ˜›

Here are a couple peeks into Riley’s adoption shower:

(Off topic-I’m trying a new way to display photos on my blog. Let me know if you like it this wayΒ  or should I go back to the old way?)

We all had a BLAST and Riley enjoyed meeting everyone (we had about 10 guests show up). And now days later, our house is alive with sounds of jingles and beeps and boops from all the new toys Riley has!! (Who knew a cat nip toy is supposed to make noise?!!) These toys are definitely appreciated, especially when Riley is running around playing with them at 3am.

Thanks, guys! πŸ˜›


LAFF: Celebrity Impressions: Kitten Edition…..

So let me break down what just happened in the living room. First, some background…..Riley not only prefers senior cat food, but enjoys stealing his sisters’ dental treats that I give her once a day.

Tonight when he was out of sight (I had no idea where he was) I got out Phoebe’s dental treats and was in the process of putting them in front of her when……

Suddenly out of freakin’ nowhere Riley comes barreling up to Phoebe much like the way Kanye West did to Taylor Swift when he interrupted her VMA acceptance speech.

Riley was all like, “Hey, I’ma let you finish these dental treats but first I wanna say that I think I am entitled to at least one dental treat per day and I’m gonna take one now….. **in between crunching treat** “Fank Yu!” **exits stage left**


Innocent face? LIES, ALL LIES!! Seriously, he’s holding a water balloon behind the chair! πŸ˜€

Photo courtesy of S-R Images and our personal archives

Thank You Notes: Dear Fazoli’s

Thank you, Fazoli’s cashier for mentioning “raspberry” among the available flavors when I asked you what flavors you had in Italian Ice (I had a coupon for a free one with purchase). It sounded great, so I agreed to “raspberry.”

Now I’m more than sure you didn’t think I was listening when you turned to the person behind you and said, “one blue raspberry italian ice please.”

No where in my order did I specify I wanted my raspberry to be “blue.”

Ever since becoming an adult, I’ve not understood the concept of “blue raspberry.” Even as a kid I thought it strange, but this was way before I started a blog and I had just been given free candy so I chose to let it be.

But the truth is still the same; raspberries are not blue.

Now I was out to dinner with our family so I didn’t feel it was appropriate to correct you and possibly change my order. I guess I was hoping I had misheard you.

Turns out, I didn’t.

On the positive side of things, my blue raspberry Italian ice did have a very pretty sky blue color. Like drinking a liquified Smurf.

So I guess this is all to say, cashier man, that you are doing a great job

You just need to speak louder and enunciate. πŸ˜‰



And here we have a picture of Riley asleep on a plate. This picture has nothing to do with our topic of the day, but on the advice of our lawyer I’m trying to provide my blog with photos taken by us or those that I’ve gotten permission to share.

And also, how freakin’ adorable is this?? πŸ˜€

LAFF On Monday: Where Lulabelle Takes One Of Those Facebook Quizzes and Offers Her Honest Opinions………

Although today is Monday, I decided to post a LAFF piece because sometimes, you need to start a week on a high note…….

So truth be told this will not be a “In Real Time” piece as I’ve actually already gone ahead and taken the quiz at least twice. The first time was several years ago when it began circulating on Facebook. The quiz? The 1930’s Marital Scale.

Yes, this quiz really gives your self esteem a big ‘ole boost by finding out what kind of wife/husband you’d be by 1930’s standards.

Can you sense the sarcasm?? πŸ˜‰

If you want to take the quiz yourself after you read this, you can find it here. The quiz is open to both guys and gals. It is 100 questions long, so I’ll just give you some highlights. Now this is a “Check all that apply” type quiz, so I’ll be pulling out the most interesting phrases and giving my opinion.

1. “Doesn’t darn socks properly.” We have WAY too many socks for this to actually be an issue.

2. “An active member of some woman’s organization.” Hmmm….not really, but funny story, my senior year of high school we each received a senior prediction from other members of our class. My prediction was that I’d be the head of the NOW (National Organization for Women) πŸ˜€ (I’m not, by the way. In case that was unclear. πŸ˜‰ )

3. By “dresses for breakfast” does that mean “wears pants” or “dresses up as if I were to meet the queen?” I’ll let you guess which one applies to me. πŸ˜›

4. “Eats radishes, onions or garlic before a date or going to bed.” What the crap was going on in the 1930’s that this would be a concern?? :-O Who would even eat this combination of food in one setting?? Wait, I guess this is back in the day when salads were popular. That makes sense.

5. “Bathes or brushes teeth often.” Define “often.”

6. “Gives husband shampoo or manicure.” So at first I read “gives shampoo to husband” as going into town and buying him shampoo. Then I realized this meant that you shampooed his hair for him….. :-O **crickets chirp as I awkwardly move onto the next question**……

7. “Keeps hair neatly combed or shampooed and waved.” My hair is currently up in a mom bun because it is about 1000 degrees outside. I also haven’t shampooed my hair in a couple days. I may also be wearing yoga pants.

I don’t do yoga.

8. “Lets husband sleep late on Sundays and holidays.” I don’t know where to start with this one. If Chad wants to sleep in, he’ll sleep in. And he doesn’t work Sundays or holidays so this doesn’t apply. I’m starting to wonder if adults in the 1930’s were less adultier then adults in 2016 since they seemed so concerned with spouses sleeping in on certain days.

Back off, 1930. Geesh!

9. “Neat housekeeper. Tidy and clean.” I’m sorry, I don’t understand the question.

10. “Reacts with pleasure and delight to marital congress.” Is this the same thing I think it is? Because if so, I think we need to go back to calling it this. Although it sounds a bit stuffy and like you’ll each have to bring a list of ways to cure world hunger and then argue your side. Of course after all this arguing and debating, you are exhausted and decide to just go to sleep. πŸ˜›

10. “Praises marriage before young people contemplating it.” I do actually do this, but I also make sure to tell them that it’s a bunch of hard work. Sometimes it totally sucks, but at the end of the day it is SO worth the work.

If I’ve presented this correctly, the young person in question will be staring at me with a blank look in their eyes. You’re welcome, kiddos! πŸ˜‰

11. “Wears red nail polish.” Well, this isn’t often. I’m currently giving my fingernails some fresh air sans polish. I guess the unspoken truth in this statement is that red nail polish on your finger nails turns you into some sort of hussy.Β  Well, this just got awkwardly interesting….. πŸ˜›

12. “Squeezes toothpaste from the top.” I have no idea why this is a relevant quality. I guess where I squeeze the paste on the tube is in direct correlation to how tired I am when I brush my teeth, or if I’m able to turn on a light and see what I’m doing. In that instance it’s a miracle I’ve not brushed my teeth with caulk.

So there are the highlights. Oh and my score? A whopping -8. Yes folks, I’m a failure of a wife by 1930’s standards! πŸ˜›

In all seriousness, this was a fun quiz to take and it gives you an insight into what mattered back then. Here is my take away for the modern housewife/househusband….
As long as your spouse is happy and the kids (should you have any) are healthy and well fed, you are doing a pretty great job. Even if you squeeze the toothpaste from the top. πŸ˜‰

Cheers! πŸ™‚


This is what I’d probably look like if I lived back in the late 20’s and early 30’s. Image appears courtesy of S-R Images and our personal archives.

Lulabelle Reviews: Swedish Fish Oreos (Or How One Woman Ate Weird Oreos and Lived to Tell About It) #WhyGodWhy

Today’s blog that was supposed to be uploaded on Monday will actually go up today-ish as we had a bit of excitement with a stray kitten that got into our car.

And when I say into I mean, literally crawled UP INTO the guts of our car. But after several hours and super determined neighbors the kitty is free and…..back under our porch where it was to begin with and from where I tried to lure it out with cat food earlier in the evening.

Did I mention this was all in the rain?

We also now apparently have opened a first of it’s kind Transient Kitty Cafe/Budget Motel dealy. The only available lodging is on our porch and the food served is the healthy junk-the human equivalent of mung beans, kale and quinoa.

We may never get strays again.

Anyway, let’s get into our topic of the day….Oreos!

I gotta be honest-the taste of this one makes me confused. I really want to like it. But I could NOT decide if it was really good or not. So I decided to make a pros and cons list. Which ever had the most reasons, would be my final conclusion.

This was hard, y’all. I was so confused and wanted to do such a thorough review for you guys that I ended up eating the whole package.

Don’t worry, it’s not as bad as it sounds as this package only had 20 cookies in it.

I think we found our first con. πŸ˜›

Smell: Fruity like Swedish Fish or gelatin. It’s pretty overwhelming. Um, con?

At first I was like, “holy crap these are pretty great…” Then when I tried them again yesterday (One day later from the first taste) I began to taste things about them that I didn’t like. Con.

Taste: Fruity gelatin with a tinge of a bitter finish when the chocolate comes in. The bitter taste lingers for awhile after eating. Con.

Not a good life choice to eat the filling on it’s own-the taste alone is like Swedish fish and waxy crayon. Sorry twisters. But dunkers should have no problem pairing this with milk. Con con con/Pro!

Pro: Chocolate cookie instead of the golden. One weird fact about me is that I have a weird food allergy to the golden Oreo and the vanilla filled cookie from the Grandma brand. Big *ss Pro!Β 

Con: Has the taste of Swedish Fish which if you’ve ever had them tastes like the smell of those cheap kids fruity lipglosses that you could buy in the 80’s, fruity artificial sweetness with a mix of cough syrup flavor. Bon’appetit!

Con: Filling is definitely artificial coloring and looks like red play dough–like it’s an exact dupe I’m pretty sure. You could also say that the after taste has a bit of playdough-y flavor for some ungodly reason…..however this could be entirely a psychological reaction to how red the filling is.

Con: the bitter after taste lingers and I’m beginning to wonder why I thought the filling flavor was strawberry when it’s very obviously cherry. Cough syrupy cherry flavor.

So let’s add up the pros and cons……Pros: 2 Cons: 10.

Oh boy! That was kind of a landslide. I feel like now I need to re evaluate every cookie decision I’ve ever made in life. From now on I will not make any snap judgements after the first bite. My full feelings will always be revealed several days after eating the cookie and contemplating life.

Bon-Appetite, Y’all!

Photo on 2016-08-14 at 00.18

Here is what the package looks like and what my face did when I thought about eating them. I should have gone with my gut. πŸ˜€Β 

LAFF: Dear Riley: Episode 1…….

Adopting Riley has been pretty great. There have been some not so fun moments along the way and we are definitely not getting the same amount of sleep as before, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. I guess.

That could be sleep deprivation talking.

Because we have a new member of our family, I thought it’d be neat to start a new series on my blog about Riley’s adventures and lessons he’s learned about the world. This series will be titled, “Dear Riley.”

Dear Riley, I really appreciate your zeal in wanting to help me with housework.

That said, it is a million times harder to scoop the litter boxes when you insist on standing IN them while they are being scooped! πŸ˜€


**Excerpt from Kittens Of The Midwest: “Yeah, I spent some time on the streets, trying to find myself. Of course in that time I learned some bad habits, as you can see here. But now I am adopted and it’s cool. It’s cool. Although I still insist on standing in the litter box while it’s being cleaned out. My parents think it’s annoying, but what they don’t know isΒ  it’s a tribute to my brothers still kickin’ it on the street. We tight.”

**Blogger’s note: The excerpt and book, Kittens of the Midwest, doesn’t actually exist, but you are right, it really should. Someone should get on that. πŸ˜€

**PS (This should be obvious but here goes anyway) At no time in this photo was Riley actually blazin’ up a doobie. We just happened to have a skilled photographer on hand to capture the moment at the right time) πŸ˜›

*Photo courtesy of SR-images and our personal archives….that are very quickly filling up with shots of this guy πŸ™‚

Rebuttal to Little Things Sarah Delgado: On the Definition of Parenting

A couple housekeeping items today before we get into it:

1. Yes, I realize today is Friday and I normally do a funny/stress free post about something completely stupid…..I promise the stupid is coming tomorrow or Sunday. πŸ˜€ πŸ˜› LOL!!

This piece crammed itself into my already full brain and I had to get it out to relieve some of the pressure. It’s also on a topic that I am passionate about and want to change the way we view childlessness……with that said…..

2. This post is a rebuttal to an article I read on the Little Things web page. The original piece can be found here.

Dear Sarah, first of all I want to offer my empathy. You seem pretty stressed out and overwhelmed. But you are in luck! Although I don’t have human children, I DO work in childcare. And I can come over anytime you need a date night or just a nap. πŸ˜‰

I wanted to address some of your 15 claims that somehow prove having a human child is better or vastly different than having a furbaby.

But first let me tell you a bit about myself. I am a 36 year old married mother of 2……cats. Yes, that’s right. My kids have 4 legs and fur. My husband and I have been married for a little over 3 years, and are members of the Childless Not By Choice community.

And adoption and surrogacy are not possibilities for us.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean to bring up something so personal to garner sympathy. I just want to bring to light a possible common thread the people you callously addressed in your article are more than likely facing.

And it sucks. You want a human child so badly but you come to the place where you realize you’ll have a new normal for your life and you work hard to accept it.

Then you read an article about how you really aren’t a parent because your kids don’t look like the traditional definition of a child. Even after the author of said article talks about the, “ever more fluid definition of family. Love has so many shapes and I love and honor all of them….”. Until apparently that love trickles down to a mammal with 4 legs and a tail.


Now I do realize that you probably don’t realize how much pressure, stress and shame we are put under by society by not being able to reproduce or adopt, but it is very real. And we are all working extremely hard to change society’s mindset. It is getting better, but there is still a long way to go.

Now, about that list of 15 things…..

1. While it is true that dogs and cats age faster than human kids (I’m not even sure why you brought this up, but there it is), the flip side of the coin is that means we will lose our children in our lifetime. And if we keep adopting, this will happen multiple times.

Have you ever had to sit on the bathroom floor holding your cat while she’s having seizures and looking up at you terrified and you are helpless to stop what is happening and pray that you don’t have to put her down? But you do that night because there was nothing else you could have done.

The pain of losing a furbaby that way is something I don’t wish on anybody. And dammit if someone is gonna try to make me feel like less of a mom because the child I watched die in my arms had four legs instead of 2.

3. Hmmmm….So it’s frowned upon to drop your kid off somewhere to have them bathed. Have your kids ever spent the night at a babysitters house (who you paid) and had a bath in the process?? I hate to break it to you, but that my dear is pretty much the same thing. πŸ˜‰

5. When my husband and I welcome a new furbaby into our house, it’s for keeps. And while in some rare cases re-homing is the only option, that is a last resort and those parents that you describe are in the minority.

6. Part of being Childless Not By Choice also means we’ll never become grandparents of tiny humans. Thanks for hammering that point home.

7. This is almost too horrifying to even respond to. But I’m going to anyway. Those fellow pet parents that I know take way greater care of their furbabies when traveling then simply chucking Fluffy into a bag and stowing him under the seat. If we have to fly, we’ll leave them at a trusted babysitters or drive if we need to bring them along.

8. Speaking of horrifying………There is a reason responsible pet parents have adopted the hashtag “Adopt Don’t Shop.”

9. Do you know how often we have to buy cat food and litter?? And heaven help you if your furbaby is allergic to either one. So you have to keep buying different ones until you find the one that works. That can add up fast. And have you seen how expensive flea treatments can run? Then there are the trips to the vet for vaccines to keep them healthy. Oh yes, our kids get vaccines just like yours. The cost of which can add up fast.

12. Some say you haven’t lived until your dog has tried to hump your leg……several times a day. Our newly adopted kitten is also still trying to breastfeed….and he has sharp teeth. Such is life when you are a pet parent. πŸ˜‰

13. Try sleeping at night when you have just brought a new fur baby into your home and you are terrified of what he can get into in the course of a night because you are still grieving the sudden loss of your oldest cat. A death that you could not have been prevented and your mama heart can’t take another loss. Add to this your natural proclivity for anxiety and insomnia and you wonder how you ever sleep at all.

I think that about covers it. I do want to say that I wish nothing but the best for you. Enjoy your human child and be grateful you are able to have her and watch her grow up. But please never forget those of us in the trenches of grief. Who’s love of their fur babies in no way takes away from the love you have for your human kids.

No matter what we call them.


Two of the three loves of my life. My boys. I captured this moment one night last week after Chad had gone to sleep and our Riley climbed onto the bed and curled up next to his daddy and fell asleep. In that moment my heart swelled with love so profound I couldn’t explain it…..I am truly blessed. β™₯Β 

LAFF: Lulabelle Cooks Without a Net: DIY Popeye’s Restaurant Red Beans and Rice (Please Note This One Has Never Actually Been Made or Tried By Me)……

I have been blogging for a LONG time and lately I’ve begun to get bored. This is probably partly sleep deprivation due to integrating a 3 month old furry Cheeto with legs into our family. Or maybe because…nope, pretty sure that’s it. πŸ˜›

So today I had another topic planned, but it was just not coming along as I had wanted, so I’m doing something completely different. I am combining two series on my blog today: Lulabelle’s Anxiety Free Friday and Lulabelle Cooks Without a Net. Now just as the title states, this recipe hasn’t actually been tried by me yet, but it came to me earlier this afternoon while I was eating a lunch of leftovers.

So the other night we decided to get take out from Popeye’s Louisiana Kitchen. It just opened up in our town and we hadn’t been there before (I suppose we still haven’t actually eaten there since we did the drive through and took it home πŸ˜‰ ).

Anyway…..One of the things that we bought was red beans and rice; a Louisiana cajun staple. This caught our eye because it’s on the menu of another cajun restaurant in town that we also adore.

When we took our food home and prepared to eat, I opened up the red beans and rice and realized it wasn’t exactly what I was expecting. For one thing, it was sausage-less.

Dear Popeye’s, sausage is my favorite part of red beans and rice. Is that too much to ask??

**Sidenote: I took the time to make a GIF of myself with a sad face and attempted to upload it to a GIF maker, but that didn’t work. So then I decided I’d just upload the video here for you to see since videos I upload here from my computer don’t have sound anyway and are basically GIF’s. BUT when I went to upload the video…..And discovered that WordPress no longer lets you upload videos unless you upgrade your account.

BLERGH! πŸ˜› So just imagine my sad face blinking into your face right here…….

Sadness aside, I began to realize that I could totally DIY this dish. So I did. In my head. Here’s how you can have Popeye’s Red Beans and Rice at home for super cheap……

Step One: grab a can of refried beans.

Step Two: pour the beans into a bowl

Step 3 (I got tired of spelling the numbers): add a half a can of red beans

Step 4: add salt and pepper

Step 5: add some liquid smoke. I don’t know how much, but I can’t imagine you’d need a lot.

Step 6 (my favorite step): eat it!

Bon Appetit Y’all!

Photo on 2016-08-06 at 00.41

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