Thursday, January 19, 2012


Why?  A question that I am asked daily at least a thousand times.  "Why are we wearing that?"  "Why are you wearing that?" "Why are we eating this for breakfast?".   Why, why, why.  Some times I have answers.  Other times I resort to, "Because I said so!"  Try as I might not to, sometimes it slips out.  This particular why that I am asking is an introspective question.  Why am I writing this blog?

When I began this, it was to keep in touch with family that is out of town.  I quickly realized that I love to share recipes.  Love, love, love.  I also love to share crafting ideas that I come across, (some of them I actually try to do.).  However, now that I am actually trying to keep up with this blog thing, it is starting to overwhelm me.  Lots of times throughout the day, I think, "Huh, that would be cool to blog about."  And then proceed to not do anything about it.  Lazy.

I confess, I am terribly lazy.  I put things off, don't do things, and make excuses all of the time about why I can't do things.  I feel like people give me a lot of slack because of the kids.  They afford me some refuge from all of the things that I feel like I should do, and, all of the things that I know I would love to do.  The problem is, I still feel that I want to do lots of these things.  Almost a guilt that I am not being "crafty" enough.

There are lots of things out there to do- just check out Pinterest.  My problem is discerning which are important.  I have ADD.  Self diagnosed, of course.  But after living as me for all of these years, I know my brain.  I do not like to focus on one thing for prolonged periods of time.  I see something pretty and think to myself, "Sure would like to do that".   Then I file it in the "To do" file in my brain.  There, it creates clutter.  I am not a huge fan of clutter and every once in a while I have to go through and clean house.  I have to let go of the idea of doing some things, simply because there is not enough time.  Or, I do not have enough energy.  Or, I am too lazy to do it.

All of this is to say that I am trying to find my way with this blog.   There are days that I think I am just going to post about recipes that I make.  Then I come across a craft or activity that I think my friends would like to see, or do, and I want to post that.  Do you see what I mean about the ADD?  It's kinda like "Oh look, shiny things, oh there's another one, ohh, ohh another."  And it doesn't stop.  That's why the internet is such a bad thing for me.  I have spent so much time looking that I have actually stopped doing! So, I am taking it back.  Now, that doesn't mean that Pinterest is going to lose one of it's most prolific pincers, let's not talk silly talk.  But, I am going to be posting mostly recipes, but every once in a while something fun that we've done, or funny stories.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Menu (Almost) Monday

I know, today is not Monday.  But it is in my brain, and it will be for me all week.  I will struggle with what day it is until Saturday, when my husband is home again.  Sometimes, that's the only way I can tell the days of the week.  Here is the menu for the week.  Not as exciting as the last few.

Monday:   Skillet Macaroni and Beef

Tuesday:  Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

Wednesday: Left Overs

Thursday:  Balsamic Garlic Pork Tenderloin

Friday:  Baked Chicken with Smashed Potatoes and Broccoli

Enjoy your week.

A recent favorite picture.  Just 'cause it's cute:

Syd tracing her Daddy.  You can see the tracing of her in the background.  As it turns out, Daddy only had part of a head and a shoulder.  She lost interest!  Love great weather in the winter.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Menu Monday

We had such a great weekend!  Saturday it was in the 60's here!  Who would have believed it?  Today, back to reality.  It's 45 and cloudy.  Oh well, we enjoyed it while we could.

Thought you might like to see my kitchen helper

Here she is "helping" by putting away the sugar.
Here is the trail that she left.  What I didn't get a picture of was what she did when she got back.  While I was in the closet fetching the broom and dustpan, she decided that it would be helpful to lay down in the sugar and start eating it.  Can't believe I missed that.

Here is the menu for this week:

Monday: Slow Cooker Cream Cheese Chicken Chili .  Plain Chicken is amazing by the way!!  Love that site.

Tuesday: Korean Pork Stir Fry

Wednesday:  Breakfast for Dinner or as the girls say "Silly Night"

Thursday:  Pizza Spaghetti Bake, Strawberry Romaine Salad .  There's a theme here- Plain Chicken!

Friday: Three Cheese Chicken Alfredo Bake .  More from Plain Chicken- Love her.

Saturday: Chili and Cornbread

Sunday: Melda's Chicken and Tangy Green Beans

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Absurdly Addictive Asparagus

I love this recipe for many reasons:  First of all it uses asparagus.  Second the name is an alliteration.  And third, it has bacon.  Funnily enough, I made two recipes this week with the word addictive in the titles,  the other involved Brussels Sprouts.  Go figure! Not sure about addictive, but delicious non the less.  This recipe is super easy, and quick.  Plus, if you have kiddos,  you can just give them a few pieces of the asparagus without all of the "stuff" that is in the sauce, but the adults will feel like they are eating a fancy pants side dish.  Everyone wins!    

This recipe is an "adaptation" of one that I found in my new cookbook, The Food 52 Cookbook.  Check out the blog: Food 52 Blog,  they have great ideas.  I am not sure how to define adaptation.  To me it means that I have added or omitted at least one ingredient.  Not sure, I hope I am not infringing anyone's rights by saying that I have adapted it when in actuality I have only stolen it and added something.  Either way, I gave credit where credit was due.  Here is the recipe: 

Absurdly Addictive Asparagus

Absurdly Addictive Asparagus

4 slices bacon, chopped
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 pund asparagus, woody ends trimmed, sliced into 2 inch pieces on the bias
1 1/4 Cup thinly sliced leeks (white and pale green parts only)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp toasted pine nuts
1 or 2 Tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley
Salt and Black pepper to taste

In a large non-stick pan, sauté the bacon over medium heat until cooked.  Transfer the bacon to a paper towel to drain and remove all but 1 Tbsp fat.

Add butter to pan and melt.  Add asparagus and leeks and sauté until asparagus is crisp-tender, 3 or 4 minutes.

Add garlic, lemon juice, pine nuts, and parsley and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute.  Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately.  

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Christmas Clean Up: What to do with those Cards

I love getting Christmas cards.  Love, love, love.  Every year, I feel so guilty throwing them away at the end of the Christmas season.  I know how much blood, sweat, and tears go into the cards.  Not just the cards themselves, which includes hours of pouring over websites, choosing the "right" card, laying it out, ordering, not to mention the addressing and stamping.   I am not even going to get into the pictures that go on, in, or with the cards-yikes!  Choosing the card eats up so much of our Christmas prep time.  Anyway, all of this plays into my guilt for just tossing the cards when it is time for them to come down from the display.  So this year, I decided to do two things:

I took pictures of all of the cards with my phone.  Then I used the ones that I needed as Contact pictures in my phone's address book.  So clever!  I got the idea from Pinterest, where all good ideas come from.   Now, when I get a phone call, or text from someone, a picture of their Christmas Card comes up on my phone (see above).  Love it!

I am made a coffee table "book" out of the cards themselves.  All that I did was punch holes in the corners of the cards and tie a piece of ribbon through.  The girls will love looking over the cards and we are going to start praying for a different family each night at dinner.  This way, we will get a little bit more enjoyment from them.  Plus, the girls will get the chance to practice praying for someone other than themselves.  Everyone wins.

Monday, January 2, 2012

New Ideas for a New Year, and Menu Monday

Hello second day of 2012!  I am not a fan of making resolutions.  I have never made one that I have stuck with for more than 15 minutes.  So this year, I decided to come up with a list of new ideas that I want to try out instead.  No pressure if they don't work out, they were just ideas, right?  It really is funny how we can use semantics to fool ourselves.  One of my "ideas" is consistently using a weekly meal plan.  I have been doing a meal plan for the past few months.  I haven't succeeded every week, but more weeks than not, I have been able to plan.  It just makes it so much easier to go into the week knowing what you are in store for.  I spend less at the grocery store, and on gas because I am not running to the grocery store twelve times during the week.  I can plan for the days that the girls have activities in the evenings, and we don't end up ordering pizza, or, gasp.....picking up Micky D's.  I also know which nights are going to be the biggest arguments about food.  I have two pretty picky eaters and have not opened up an al la carte kitchen, so we all eat the same thing.  I can schedule these not so favorite meals on nights that I know won't be crazy, so Hubby and I can get ready for the complaint onslaught.

I am not the most organized of people out there, but I have learned how to make my life easier with a meal plan.  I just found these meal planning sheets on Pinterest (an entire post by itself) yesterday.

As you can see, I have already used this one.  I am kind of an old fashioned gal in that I HAVE to write things down.  I feel like it makes me remember things better (haha!).  My husband has been trying to get me to switch to the new fangled E-lectronic way of making a list, but I much prefer to write things down. I'm old like that!  Any way, there are tons of meal plan sheets out there.  This on I like because it has the shopping list attached.  Plus the shopping list is separated by food types.  Oh, and I am obsessed with the circus type font, and the colors:))  But that's me.  I found them here: .  She has lots of great ideas on her site.   If you decide to use this particular planner, please leave her a comment telling her how cool her stuff is:))

I am a cookbook junkie!  There, I've said it.  I love to read cookbooks like they are novels.  In fact, my hubby thinks it's hilarious to make fun.  However, since the advent of the internet, I have found that I go to my fav books less and less, especially if I don't plan.  One of my goals when I am planning my weekly menu is to use at least one recipe from an actual cookbook.  A printed one.  That way I use them and get to find new favorite recipes.

My final tip for menu planning is to advertise your menu to your family.  This is for accountability.  As much fun as it is to argue on Monday about what we are having for dinner on Thursday, I have found that if I don't put it in writing out there to the public (aka- my fam)  I tend to try to deviate from the system.  I'm like that though- not so much a rule follower.  Others may not have this problem.  I also have only one child that can read, so that reduces the whining about dinners that no one likes.  I may revisit in a few years.  Here is my menu board:

This is such an easy DIY.  All you need is a frame, some scrapbook paper, a way to prop it up (or hang it on your wall), and a dry erase marker.  There, you're done.  And as everyone knows, once it's written, it's rule.  No changes.  HA!  

I have learned not to plan more than four meals for the week.  I do have a husband and kids that will eat leftovers, though.  This leaves room in my schedule for flexibility.  I don't like to be too boxed in.  Makes me feel claustrophobic.  As you can see-hopefully, my menu currently has Christmas paper in it.  In about thirty seconds, I can change that out.  Which reminds me.......

Those are my pointers.  Would love to hear any other comments, advice, tips.  Here is my menu, in you need some inspiration:

Monday: Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli Bake with Egg Noodles

Tuesday: Meatloaf with Blackberry BBQ Sauce, Absurdly Addictive Asparagus (these are both from the newest member of my cookbook collection: Food52)

Wednesday:  Roast Beef Sandwiches (made with leftover pot roast from Sunday).  Tater Tots (still so much fun).

Thursday: Leftovers

Friday: Strip Steaks with Balsamic Cream Sauce, Ranch Roasted Potatoes, Tangy Green Beans

Saturday: MOPS Retreat at my house.  Sorry Family:))

As I build this blog, I am planning to add lots of recipes.  Some are new and some are go to's for me.  I will link to the ones that I have, but if anything looks good and I haven't linked it to anything, shout out.  I will send you the recipe.

Have a great Monday!

Sunday, January 1, 2012


Happy New Year!  I can't even believe how long it has been since I have posted anything.  It certainly isn't because nothing has happened around here, as with everyone, life has gone on.  I have just gotten lazy.  I have been feeling lazy about a lot of things lately, blogging being one of the many.  I am not sure why the holiday season overwhelms me every year.  Sure, there is a lot to do, but only because I choose to do so many things.  Somewhere about the third week of December, I shut down.  It happens to me every year.  I plan too much.  I have too many responsibilities.  So, I decide to drop out for a while.  This year,  I spent the time with family.  I missed several events that I am sure were super fun.  I missed spending time with people that I wish I had the energy to spend.  But, at the end of the day, all of that "extra" time was spent with my husband and my girls.

All of that to say, that one of the promises that I have made to myself for the new year is to spend more time sharing things here.  I have lots of pictures that family would like to see.  Lots of recipes that I have been making that I think are interesting.  So I will give it a shot, again.  We shall see.  I have not been very successful with this blogging thing, but I will try again.

To start, here are some pictures of what we have been up to since September:

We had a fun girls afternoon at Pumpkinville in October

While this is just a fun picture, I know that in the blink of an eye, she will really be behind the wheel!
My little girl is getting so big!

Syd wouldn't be outdone!

Liv's punkin

Our fam on Halloween night.

Izzy turned 6

Super cool gymnastics party.

Super cool cake!

Our first trip to the American Girl store.  

The newest member of our family, Addison.

Tea at American Girl with Grandma

Izzy lost her first tooth on her birthday!

She really wanted me to take a picture of it:)

Making Christmas cookies

Christmas Morning.

Hahahahahahaha!  Roar- We Are!

Tuckered out after all of the frenzied gift opening.

Quiet time with Dad

Well, that's about it.  That is what we have been up to!  Happy New Year to everyone.