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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Uh Oh. He's mobile.

As a mother of 2 boys. I now officially regret wanting our kids to do stuff early. Why is it viewed as a sign that your doing things right with your kids?  Just b/c my kid wasn't doing something by the "norm", does that really mean I'm doing something wrong. Can't I take into consideration the fact that my kids are stubborn (like me-thanks genetics for that one), or that their reflux kept them from wanting to be on their tummy?  

So here comes the second baby. With his Plagiocephaly and Torticollus, the stubborn little guy isn't letting either stop or even slow him down. He's ahead in so many things.... Add CRAWLING to that list now. Honestly I'm proud of the little booger. He is officially dangerous, let this be the public warning that trouble is actually coming now.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

May Meal planning.

This is the 2nd month that I am picking out all our meals in one day. I am going by what I have in the deep freezer and my stockpile. So on a weekly basis I watch for sales, and just buy fresh fruits, veggies and the basics. I have been trying to make homemade bread 1 time a week. I do my weekly shopping on Wednesdays (start of publix sale ads) so my days are showing the start of the month this thursday.
A couple tips that I learned a while ago (thanks to some couponing blogs that I read and pure luck).
1. Every so often Publix will put their boneless, skinless chicken breast packages on B1G1, and with my coupon of 5 dollars off 50, I stock up, and individually wrap and freeze the breasts so I can pull out however many I need.
2. I go to Kroger early in the mornings when I can and look in their meat department. If you go before 9 am, there is usually the just marked down Manager's specials (which I divide and freeze if needed-think lean ground beef, turkey, chicken). Most of the manager specials are items that have sell by dates of the next day (so quick sale). If you are looking for a certain meat (like steak or chicken) I always check the sell by date. If there is one that isn't marked and has the sell by date tomorrow, I ask the meat department if they can reduce it.... They've done it for me several times, sometimes it's on ones they missed or hadn't gotten to yet. Either way, I'm getting a price cut.

We are slowly trying to cut out the processed foods and just eating more "real" foods. I haven't completely committed to the 100 days of no processed, but if we can cut down then maybe cut out... it's a process right? So our meals are keeping that in mind. They all aren't going to be super healthy, but I go by the 80/20 rule. If I'm good 80 % of the time, I can splurge every once and a while. Right?

So a couple people have asked what kind of meals I had chosen. So the ones I have recipes for I will post, others I can try to post as I go along.

3-Roasted Chicken Lasagna from Pinterest
4-Chinese Chicken and Broccoli (recipe I have)
5-Spicy Bean and Rice Burritos from Pinterest (Cinco DeMayo- have to have Mexican)
6- Baked Chicken Wings and Sweet Potato Fries (homemade-using hot wing sauce)
7- Breakfast for dinner (Bacon and eggs)
8- Salmon burgers with cheesy Cauliflower tots (burger from Kroger seafood department) Tots from Pinterest
9-Shrimp Caesar Salad, (grilled shrimp over romaine lettuce)
10-Roast Beef (crockpot)
11-Roast Beef Quesadilla Pinterest
12-Turkey Meatloaf (WW recipe) with mashed potato and broccoli
13-Pizza (Papa Murphy's coupon we have)
14-Baked Spaghetti from Pinterest
16-Whole Roasted Chicken with Veggies and W. Rice
17-Chicken Noodle Soup (with leftover Roasted Chicken)
18- Sausage and Pea Tagliatelle
19-Cheddar Onion Chicken breast with Sweet Potato (recipe on French fried onion box)
20-Grilled Chicken with Lemon Basil Pasta - Pinterest
21- Bonefish (date night)
22- Pork Chops with Salad and veggie
23- Goulash (mom's recipe)
24- Leftover Goulash
25- Steak Fajita salad
26- Ribs and Salad and Corn
27- Stuffed Shells with Caesar salad
28- Michael's birthday- he chooses restaurant or homemade meal he wants
29- Spicy Chicken Cacciatore (Old Weight watcher recipe)
30- 3 Bean and Sausage Bake (Weight watcher recipe)

So there you have it. Our dinners for a whole month!!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Dirty Microfiber??

This wasn't the first thing I've pinned and accomplished from Pinterest, but it might be the most impressive to date (kinda close call with the cake I made last week).

Here is the original blog that the pin came from:

When we first did the nursery for Will I bought this big comfy recliner since I knew there was going to be hours of my life spent in his room feeding him. We (read that as I) wanted a chair that we could move into our normal living space when we no longer needed it in the nursery. Fast forward 4 years. We have moved 1 into our living room, and bought a match for it, so we have extra matching chairs.

So that means I have 2 microfiber recliners, and a microsuede couch that is constantly dirty from Jake and Tilly rubbing their backs on it, and a 4 year old who spills juice, water, milk, cheezit dust on. You get the idea, it's a typical household, with normal wear and tear. No my house will never be one in a magazine, as much as I'd like to move into the Pottery Barn Catalog, it isn't going to ever be like that.

I've been staring at these chairs over the past few years just getting dirtier and dirtier. So when I saw this one pinned, and her before and after pictures, I had to try it to make sure it wasn't just photoshopped. Yes, I was a doubter.

All I used was the sponge (that you see in the picture, yes that dirty one was brand new when I started), a spray bottle full of plain rubbing alcohol and a towel to help scrub. And followed her instructions.

I would say that it has worked AMAZINGLY. The only thing I did learn by trial and error, with our chairs, you have to do 1 large area instead of smaller ones that she suggested. Or the water marks are left. When I went back and re-did larger sections I got rid of the large "water spot" looking marks on the chair. Then I used the blowdryer to dry it faster, to see if I had missed spots.

4 hours later the chair looks almost brand spankin' new. I no longer have the desire to go flip through the Pottery Barn catalog looking for new chairs... ok, so I still have that desire, but now it's not because of my dirty chairs.

Welcome back me!!!

Yes I realize it's been what 9-10 months since I've posted anything. What can I say, having a second child, dealing with a now 4 year old, 2- 100+ pound dogs, hubby and life in general. It's been a little overwhelming. So I'm not going to make any promises about regularly posting. Life's just not that simple. With the guilt about deserting my blog out there.

Some Confessions First (besides the whole desertions thing):

I have not lost ANY of the baby weight, and yes every says "aw you just had a baby"... Well that baby is turning 6 months in 2 days... and I weigh the same. It's not for lack of working out, so my assumption is it is the Gigi's cupcakes, and all the sweets that I have brought into the house and subsequently eaten. I can't blame anyone else, and in fact I can feel bad because hubby hasn't lost the weight that he has wanted too either. But we are changing that. Slowly but surely.

I'm addicted to sugar. That scares me, and I am secretly (well not so secretly now) sabotaging my weight loss with sugar. I will do good for a few days, then BAM I see something, or hear something, or just have a bad day and I turn to sugar. Not chips, not fried foods, not even Taco Bell anymore. Just sugar. I'm hoping by finally admitting this, that I might be held more accountable to myself about my sugar consumption.
I'm addicted to Pinterest. Just like millions of people in America, I could spend hours a day on Pinterest going through different categories, re-organizing my boards (which I did-go look if you don't believe me) and daydreaming about all the fun things I find on Pinterest that I want to try or do or places to go.

So here comes my new goal:
My friend Michelle (crazy girl that she is) gave me an idea. I'm not only going to blog about how I'm couponing, and planning my meals for a whole month at a time while still trying to eat healthy, the fun stuff that our family is doing, my exercising and races that I've signed up for this fall even with my knee injury that is sending me to therapy, but about Pinterest.

Every time I try something on Pinterest, I'm going to tell you all about it. If it worked, if it was worth it, if I could do it cheaper or better than the original pinner (yes I'm a tad bit competitive). Sounds like fun huh?? It kind of does to me.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Slipcover finished!

When we bought this couch from Ashley the big selling point was the fabric was stain resistant. Will took that as a personal challenge. Ashley furniture lost. With all my calling and e-mailing photos of the stains that were supposed to be covered under their extended plan we bought. We got nothing from them. So next came the task of looking for a slipcover to fit it. None to be found. So what is a pregnant girl to do??? Of course make her own.
The lovely job a 3 year old can do. Stain resistant my butt.

Here is the before couch. Sorry about all the pillows on it (I made those too).

With the help of Design Intervention blog I figured my way through many hours and finally finished the slipcover!!

I think it turned out pretty good, considering I've never done one, and had NO pattern. At least I know next time. Look for a couch that I can find a pre-made slipcover for.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Birthday French Toast.

Yeah, I've been lazy. But I haven't seen anyone complaining about my laziness, so I let it continue. But now I do have a recipe to share. This is one that I actually made for my canning party, and I'm going to have to make some more, because it was just so good, and I could see so many uses for it. It's Praline syrup. I know, your thinking why make it when you can buy it. But seriously, I've never had syrup this good, and it was easy to make. Not the healthiest, but delicious anyways.

For my canning party, I made homemade bread from scratch. It was delicious, especially since I don't have a bread machine, it was all BY HAND.
For my birthday I made french toast with my homemade bread and praline syrup. It was so deliciously rich. That is truly how french toast is to be made.

The original recipe calls for dark corn syrup and brown sugar, but says you can replace it with light corn syrup and brown sugar for a lighter molasses flavor. I used the light ingredients and it tasted like a pecan pie.

Praline Syrup
2 cups light corn syrup
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1 cup pecan pieces
1/2 tsp vanilla

Combine syrup and water in a saucepan. Add sugar, stirring until dissolved. Bring to a boil, boil 1 minute. Reduce heat stir in pecans and vanilla; simmer 5 minutes. ladle hot syrup into glass jar or heat proof container.

*For canning- Ladle hot syrup into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Adjust two-piece caps. Process 10 minute in boiling-water canner, time starting when water is at a constant rolling boil. After the 10 minutes, turn stove off, and remove lid, let jars sit in hot water for 5 minutes, then remove and let cool, check to make sure they are sealed, if not reprocess.

Told you it was simple.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

House of Boys.

The last 19 weeks I could have put money on the fact I was going to be buying pink and purple. Auburn hairbows, and dance recital videos... 21 weeks down and BAM, we are adding another boy to this household. I kinda thought I would have some disappointment with it being another boy, which I probably did for all of 10 seconds. Then the thought of how Will always needs a hug from his mom and how much fun it is to watch Will and Michael doing stuff together.

After experience with Will's ultrasound, I had taken the last month to figure out what makes this baby wake up and be active, since Will was so laid back that it took 2 ultrasounds to even get a 75% chance of boy. This time I didn't want to leave anything to chance. McAllister's sweet tea was the winning beverage. On the way to the ultrasound I stopped and got one.

By the time we got down to business, this baby was pretty active. The tech said that the he would get the shot he needed, then baby would move or jump before he could save it. The tech said baby had his arms just moving and even looked like the baby was throwing gang signs. Nice. He said the baby kept trying to swat the wand away.

Then comes the favorite part of this ultrasound... time to find out gender. At first he had his foot in the way, but with some wiggling and prodding. He finally moved his foot and BAM he dazzled the room with his boy parts. No doubt it was boy parts and not the cord. Then the tech went up to his face, and the baby was smacking his lips, sucking his thumb and at one point was actually licking his fingers, sticking out his tongue, basically putting on a show.

Now we are just going to wait and see if this one comes out with as much hair as Will did, and how well Will takes the whole sharing his trains and cars. It's going to be a fun ride with my boys!!