thoughts on dating and some tasty chicken

I'm all smiles today because Strider and I had the best-night-eva last night!! Stayed in, ate dinner, and watched a kids movie (ParaNorman – fun, but not fantastic). Don't you just love quiet, simple nights that leave you feeling happy and blessed?

The problem is…a lot of girls in their 20s are conditioned to feel like unless your guy has an elaborate plan involving a good bit of money to spend, it's not a special time or a worthwhile guy. This never really made sense to me. 

Life isn't like that

If dating is supposed to be the precursor to a life together, shouldn't it look at least a little bit like normal life? I mean, I'm all for the occasional night out and romantic, pre-planned gesture. But for the most part, I really think dating should just be two people doing normal life stuff together – washing dishes, talking about your day, and making each other laugh.

Maybe it is a question of expectations. If you plan on having a life of abundant wealth, no stress, and plenty of free time to look fancy and do things 'round the town…then maybe Hollywood is spot-on. For me? From experience thus far, I imagine that my future life will be a lot messier than that: work and bills, a cluttered house, kids (someday), and the normal rigamarole of life. But I look forward to that! And if your expectation is the perfect Hollywood "happily ever after", then you will always feel left wanting. But if you can find joy in the quiet, normal, life stuff and appreciate a man who helps you put away the leftovers, doesn't answer his phone all night, and laughs with you over a mediocre film…well, it becomes a lot easier to be fulfilled. 

Maybe I'm wrong, but if so…well, I guess I'm okay with that.

And not to be a post-title-tease, you should definitely try this ridiculously easy and tasty chicken recipe (which I made for us last night and paired with mashed potatoes and fresh grapes – yum!).

Tangy Ranch Chicken
Take 1 cup of mayonnaise (I use the new Kraft olive oil mayo) and combine it with a packet of dry Ranch dressing (use half the packet if you don't want it too tangy). Set this bowl aside and put 2 cups of breadcrumbs into another bowl. Now take a pack of raw chicken breast tenderloins and dredge them through the mayo-ranch mix, then through the breadcrumbs, then lay them into a PAM-sprayed casserole dish. The amounts here should be good for 8 or so tenderloins. Bake at 350 for about 40 minutes or until your chicken reaches safe serving temperature (165 degrees). Mmmmm so good and easy!
Picture compliments of Betty Crocker and does not actually depict the recipe above—but they basically look the same when they're done so here's a somewhat-unrelated but pretty picture of chicken. (Mine is always messier looking!)

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