Thursday, December 31, 2009

Frugal Food Challenge-Week 2

Jan 2-8, 2010

Ok first of all, where did the last year go?

Saturday, January 2, 2010
Ham Breakfast Casserole

Sandwiches with fruit and chips

Salisbury steak, mashed potatoes, green beans

Sunday, January 3, 2010
Sausage and Eggs

Veggie Corn Dogs from the freezer

Crockpot cream of tomato soup

Monday, January 4, 2010
Back to Work-only dinner
Iranian Macaroni Salad

Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Hot Dogs with french fries/tater tots (whatever is left in the freezer)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010
cheesy tomato sausage skillet

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Friday, January 8, 2010
Out-boys are on their own

Groceries I will have to buy-will edit later with prices:
Half & half
Plain yogurt

**Bought a few extra things so my total grocery bill was $22.59.**

I think I'm going to try to spend only $60 at the grocery store for these 4 weeks. That will save me $180 if I can eat out of the pantry for 4 weeks.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Frugal Food Challenge

So I'm challenging myself to clean out our pantry and freezer. I'm going to do this for as many weeks as it takes. I'm hoping to make it one month. This week I only had to buy golden mushroom soup, mushrooms, and green onions. That may have cost $5.20. I'm not sure b/c I sent the hubby out to buy it so I'm guessing on what I know to be the normal costs of those items. I was going to make salisbury steak last night but we had leftovers instead. This just means that I will be using the golden mushroom soup next week instead.

Menu Plan Week 1

Saturday, December 26
Work Christmas party

Sunday, December 27
Leftover steak, leftover mashed potatoes, frozen broccoli, 1 can COM soup, and shredded cheese...voila! leftover casserole

Monday, December 28
Rich and creamy macaroni & cheese, Aussie Chicken, and green beans

Tuesday, December 29
I will be dining out with a friend using a Bonefish gift certificate that I won online. The boys will certainly be eating pb&j (this is not punishment, this is truly a great choice for them).

Wednesday, December 30
Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup

Thursday, December 31

Friday, January 1

Saturday, October 31, 2009

I got nothing but love for you honey

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

36 before I'm 37

Well let's see how I do with this. I'm keeping the same goals as last year and only replacing the ones I actually did. I will also remove the private ones b/c I really don't remember what those were.

36 before I'm 37:
1. Donate my time to a charity
2. Travel to BelizeAug '10
3. Get Monkeyface The Yellow Submarine album(Nov '09)
4. Pay off $5,000 in debt(Jul '10)
5. Lose 60 lbs
6. Print and put Monkeyface's photos in an album
7. Create a work of art(Nov '09)
8. Go to a movie alone
9. Send 3 friends gifts for no reason (I liked this one) (1-Apr '10) (2,3,4, &5-Jul '10)
10. Sell clothes on ebay (see debt elimination above)
11. Walk a 5k
12. Donate a box to charity each month-at least 12 boxes total(Jul '10)
13. Paint the bedroom
14. Find a new dresser for the bedroom
15. Resave $1,000 in an emergency fund(Nov '09)
16. Learn to fold an orgami t-shirt
17. Take Monkeyface to a movie(Mar '10)
18. Take Monkeyface to the art museum for a hike
19. Make my own face lotion (Nov '09)
20. Visit Ikea again
21. Wear my hair straight once
22. Walk around Lake Johnson(Sep '10)
23. Take Monkeyface out on a walk while he rides his tricycle(Apr '10)
24. Take Monkeyface to a drum circle
25. Read book 4 of twilight series(Mar '10)
26. Read one new book a month(Jul '10)
27. Attend one new church (Nov '09)
28. Get rid of picnic table (May '10)
29. Have a yard sale OR donate all items to charity
30. Plant something in my yard
31. Grow an herb garden(Apr '10)
32. Get a bookshelf for Monkeyface's room
33. Have my dad take the glider to the river(Apr '10)
34. Own a pair of black boots
35. Get a massage (May '10)
36. Entertain a group of friends at my house

Update 35 before I'm 36

How many did I complete?

35 before I'm 36-or a way to get around having resolutions
1. Go on a family picnic (done Mar09)
2. Go to the beach
3. Teach Monkeyface to ride a tricycle
4. Pay off $5,000 in debt
5. Lose 60 lbs
6. Print and put Monkeyface's photos in an album
7. Rent a park for Monkeyface's birthday party(done april 09)
8. Go to a movie alone
9. Send 3 friends gifts for no reason
10. Sell clothes on ebay (see debt elimination above)
11. Walk a 5k
12. Get rid of 3 pairs of shoes
13. Buy new sheets (done april09)
14. Buy a new duvet cover (done april09)
15. Save $1,000 in an emergency fund (done 2/12/09)
16. Learn to fold an orgami t-shirt
17. Take Monkeyface to the art museum for an outdoor movie
18. Take Monkeyface to the art museum for a hike
19. Make a sugar body scrub
20. Plan a monthly budget as of Jan 2009
21. This entry is private
22. Walk on the treadmill at my house (done March09)
23. Take Monkeyface out on a walk while he rides his tricycle
24. Read Obama's book-the audacity of hope
25. Read book 4 of twilight series
26. Read 5 random books
27. Potty train Monkeyface
28. Move picnic table down to back yard
29. Have a yard sale OR donate all items to charity
30. Plant something in my yard
31. Grow an herb garden
32. This entry is private
33. Wear a dress(done April 25, 2009)
34. Own a pair of black boots
35. Go to the spa

Monday, October 26, 2009

Things that need to be done this week:

1) The header is a work in process. That needs to be finished.
2) Make cookies for Friday
3) Trick or treat with the family
4) Wash bottles I got from Ikea
5) Hide kid table I got from Ikea b/c Monkeyface is starting to ask questions
6) Jewelry making class
7) Grocery shopping
8) Laundry
9) Pick up chips for Monkeyface's Halloween party
10)Balance a budget
11)Decide if I'm going to catch up on Heroes
12)Invite B&M out for dinner Friday night
13)Crunch some leaves
14)Take cider home
15)Take knife home
16)Stop by Food Lion for some free eggs (email me if you need the coupon)
17)Pick up some more Ziploc bags (Paid me $1 to buy 4 boxes)
18)Clean out car
19)And now I need to stop b/c this is getting too long and it's only things I need to remember...not things I'll do any way.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

This weekend

Inspired by my brother-in-law BB (I think I'll call him Bubble Butt), I'll be going about this list style.

1) Friday took off work early and drove 2.5 hours south to watch my niece cheer at a football game.
2) Discovered that high school is exactly as I remember it and she is graduating exactly 20 years after I did. I swear I do not feel that old.
3) Went to Niece #2's soccer game out in the Fuh-reeeeezing cold. She made 1 assist and 1 goal. It was really awesome. My little one played with his new umbrella the entire time. It took me over a month to actually find a kid sized umbrella.
4) We then went to the giant yellow store (aka IKEA) and it was awesome. Seriously. I couldn't even traverse the entire store b/c it was too huge. Anyone want to go back?
5) Brought home all kinds of goodies. The best was the tiny tiny espresso cups complete with saucers, a creamer pitcher, and a pretend sugar bowl. My little one loves to make coffee for me. He's going to be thrilled.
6) Fingers crossed that Santa actually brings him the kitchen he keeps asking for. ;)

Friday, October 9, 2009

Spud Special Soup

I got this recipe from Keeper of the Home

Spud Special Soup
3 Tbsp butter
1 large onion
1/2 cup thinly sliced carrot
1/2 cup diced celery
1 garlic clove (or more, if you like it, which I do!!)
4 cups diced potato
2 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. parsley flakes
2 cups milk ( you could also use yogurt in a pinch-I used soy milk)
(My own addition to this recipe is chopped sausage-I have used smoked and breakfast)
1/2 cup grated cheese for garnish
Put first 5 ingredients into a large pot and saute veggies until onion is soft and clear.
Add potato, chicken broth, salt, pepper and parsley (and sausage, if desired). Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer slowly until all cooked, stirring occasionally. Stir in milk at the very end, after turning off the heat (do not allow it to boil once the milk has been added).
Garnish with cheese. Serves 4-5.

Stop by Gayle's for more recipes

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

It's ok

This is the time of year when I normally sit down and reflect on what I want to accomplish before my next birthday. I'm not really in that place this year. Autumn is normally my new year. It's when I thrive surrounded by vibrant colors, cold crisp air, wide flung windows, warm apple cider, and the crunch of leaves under my feet. This year is different. I've spent a lot of time lately thinking and allowing myself to trust. My faith has been tested and has grown. It's been a very personal time for me these past few months. It's been unlike anything I've ever experienced. I was reading some poetry today by Jen Lee and it opened something in me that made me want to sit down and write. So I am. I'm also going to go out on a tremendously long limb (for me) and share.

I hope that one day I am able to look at myself the way I look at my son. I forgive his mistakes quicker than I forgive my own. I don't believe his angry words that he spits out at me when he doesn't get what he wants. I have hope for his life. I know his strengths and weaknesses, and am constantly surprised by what he is capable of doing. I hold no grudges against him. I can see him for all that he is and all that he is not and I have nothing but love for him.

I know that one day he's going to look at me and realize that I am not perfect. I'm okay with that because I'm slowly starting to realize that it is ok not to be. It's ok to want my space. It's ok to dance when I want and to sing loudly when it hits me. It's ok to want to use my energy to be creative. It's ok to forgive and forget. It's ok to cry when music moves me. It's ok to be over the moon for my husband. It's ok to allow myself to be sad, to hibernate and really feel it. It's ok to be vulnerable even though it hurts me down to the core. It's ok to ask for help even though it makes me even more vulnerable. It's ok to constantly make lists of things I want to accomplish but then never mark them off. It's ok to like knowing that the list is out there. It's ok to live simply and delight in the beauty all around me. It's ok to want more memories and not more "stuff".

Since having my son and almost losing myself, I have learned that I also don't like being right all the time anymore. I hate to think of all the energy I have wasted throwing up walls, giving up my empathy, arguing, holding grudges, & generally thinking I'm better than some people. In the end, who cares? My phone used to ring off the hook with people that called themselves my friends. Now it sits silent most of the time and when it does ring, I'm excited because I know it's someone I love. I used to love to be the center of attention. Now I enjoy comfortable silences. I used to love to talk just for the sake of talking. I used to think that that was the only way you learned. Now I know that you learn more by getting your hands dirty and walking your talk.

I don't think I'll ever stop pushing people's buttons. I like to watch people accomplish things they never thought they could. Maybe now I just won't push them into getting in trouble...though who knows?? I think I'll always be a mischevious little monkey. I'm intrisically curious and you'll be hard pressed to fit me into a stereotype. I'm the girl that will listen to IIIrd Tyme Out, Motley Crue, and Shug Avery's gospel music all in the same hour. I'm the one that will weep for The Color Purple, Lloyd Dobbler, and puppies wrapped in toilet paper. I'm the one that will befriend the freaks with multi-colored hair and tattoos, the dirty hippies, the queers, and the Mormons. I'm the one that will always believe that when my left hand itches I'll get some money soon and you'll never see me walk under a ladder. I'll be the one that will always have a story and I'll never stop believing that everyone has something good inside of them. I'll never stop trying to help them see what I see. I'm learning to see what people are and what they are not and having nothing but love for them.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Pork & Cider Stew

2 medium sweet potatoes (1 1/4 lb), peeled and cut in 3/4-in. pieces
3 small parsnips or carrots, peeled and cut in 1/2-in.-thick slices
1 cup chopped onion
2-lb boneless pork shoulder, cut in 1-in. pieces
1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup flour
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp each dried sage and thyme
1/4 tsp pepper
1 cup apple cider

1. Layer sweet potatoes, parsnips, onion, pork and apple in a 3 1/2-qt or larger slow-cooker.

2. Stir flour, salt, sage, thyme and pepper in a small bowl to mix. Add cider; stir until smooth. Pour over meat and vegetables.

3. Cover and cook on low 7 to 9 hours or until pork and sweet potatoes are tender when pierced.

Taken from Woman's Day Magazine

For more recipe ideas, please visit Gayle

Chicken & Vegetables with Creamy Mustard-Herb Sauce

1 can (10 3/4 oz) condensed cream of chicken soup
1 1/2 cups sliced scallions
4 whole chicken legs (about 2 1/2 lb), skin removed (I used breasts)
4 medium new potatoes (about 12 oz), cut in 1 1/2-in. chunks
8 oz baby carrots (1 1/4 cups)
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp each snipped dill and sliced scallion (I used dried dill)

1. Stir soup and leeks in a 3 1/2-qt or larger slow-cooker until blended. Add chicken, potatoes and carrots; stir to mix and coat.

2. Cover and cook on low 7 to 9 hours or until chicken, potatoes and carrots are tender when pierced.

3. Remove chicken and vegetables to serving bowl with a slotted spoon. Add mustard to cooker; whisk until smooth. Stir in the dill and scallion; spoon over chicken and vegetables

Taken from Woman's Day Magazine
For more recipes, please visit Gayle

Friday, September 11, 2009

My week of firsts

1) First new tires and first new brakes on my newish car $807
2) First new windshield in my car thanks to a stress break $100
3) First new a/c fan for my a/c on my house $460
4) First time I wiped out my emergency fund
5) First time I've had to replenish emergency fund just so it could be wiped out again
6) First time I paid cash for all of this
7) First time I didn't have to pull out the credit card to pay for an emergency
8) First time I had to tell my child "no" b/c we didn't have the money

**Edit to #2-windshield can't be fixed b/c bolts that hold in windshield have either been stripped or not replaced properly. I am not going to have to contact Firestone to figure out what in the world is going on.**

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Gee Haw

My daddy is in Asheville right now and as per this post he is hopefully picking me up some pickles.
Don't worry Karlaanne...I will share with you.

And hope beyond hope that after he finds me some greasy beans he will also find me a gee haw whimmy diddle stick

Hours of entertainment shall ensue!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Monkeyface's agenda for today

a) Learn to ride a tricycle
b) Help with the laundry
c) Make apple dumplings
d) Foamerators
e) Have sausage and eggs for breakfast
f) Clip my nails
g) Go to Target to play with all the toys that I don't need but boy oh boy do I love to play with them**
h) Stick my feet in my mom's face and tell her to smell the feet of the king (Ferocious Female Freedom Fighters reference)

**edit at 1215pm-Just been invited to the pool so I've decided not to go to Target. I think it is a wise decision.**

Friday, August 14, 2009

Food Friday

This week I made Broccoli and Cheese Chicken and served it with mashed potatoes. It was delicious and would be great for a fall night. The little one looked at my best friend over dinner and said, "I love broccoli". Well this was news to me but if this recipe will get him to eat it then I will make it.

Broccoli & Cheese Chicken Breasts

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into smaller pieces
Salt & pepper, to taste
2 T. butter or margarine
2 T. flour
1 1/4 c. milk
1 1/2 c. cheddar cheese, cubed or shredded
2 c. frozen broccoli
1/2 t. thyme
2 T. butter or margarine
1 c. breadcrumbs
1. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Place in small casserole dish (8×8 or 9×9).

2. In a small saucepan, melt 2 T. butter or margarine over medium heat. Stir in flour and cook for 2 minutes. Whisk in milk, bring to a boil and cook until thickened to gravy consistency. Remove from heat. Stir in cheese until melted. Add the broccoli. Season with salt, pepper and thyme. Pour over chicken.

3. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

4. Melt 2 T. butter or margarine and combine with breadcrumbs. Sprinkle over chicken and return to the oven. Bake for 5-10 minutes, or until browned and chicken is fully cooked.

This recipe was totally stolen from Cooking During Stolen Moments. Her website is great and right now there are pull apart rolls on the main page which I am going to make.

This recipe is posted to Gayle's website.

Giveaway Everyday

This looks like a really fun prize

I love this website for giveaways and for gift ideas.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Canning Queen

I just won another giveaway. This time I won this. My sister in law is going to be excited that I don't have to bug her every time I want to can.

Monday, August 10, 2009

100 Best Beach Books Ever

According to NPR these are the 100 Best Beach Books Ever. How many have I read?

1. The Harry Potter series, by J.K. Rowling
2. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
3. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini
4. Bridget Jones’s Diary, by Helen Fielding
5. Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen
6. Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, by Rebecca Wells
7. The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald(more than once)
8. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams
9. Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe, by Fannie Flagg(more than once)
10. The Poisonwood Bible, by Barbara Kingsolver
11. The Time Traveler’s Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger
12. Life of Pi, by Yann Martel
13. The Joy Luck Club, by Amy Tan
14. The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien
15. The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
16. Gone with the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell
17. Bel Canto, by Ann Patchett
18. The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien
19. Middlesex, by Jeffrey Eugenides
20. Water for Elephants, by Sara Gruen
21. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain(more than once)
22. The Bean Trees, by Barbara Kingsolver
23. The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, by Alexander McCall Smith
24. The World According to Garp, by John Irving
25. Catch-22, by Joseph Heller
26. The Prince of Tides, by Pat Conroy
27. Like Water for Chocolate, by Laura Esquivel
28. The Princess Bride, by William Goldman
29. The Accidental Tourist, by Anne Tyler
30. Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer
31. A Confederacy of Dunces, by John Kennedy Toole
32. East of Eden, by John Steinbeck
33. The Red Tent, by Anita Diamant
34. Beach Music, by Pat Conroy
35. One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
36. Rebecca, by Daphne Du Maurier
37. Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card
38. Lonesome Dove, by Larry McMurtry
39. The Thorn Birds, by Colleen McCullough
40. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, by Michael Chabon
41. Pillars of the Earth, by Ken Follett
42. Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy
43. Interview with the Vampire, by Anne Rice
44. Cold Mountain, by Charles Frazier
45. Empire Falls, by Richard Russo
46. Under the Tuscan Sun, by Frances Mayes
47. The Count of Monte Cristo, by Alexandre Dumas
48. Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, by Tom Robbins
49. I Know This Much Is True, by Wally Lamb
50. Murder on the Orient Express, by Agatha Christie
51. Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott(awwwww)
52. The Stand, by Stephen King
53. She’s Come Undone, by Wally Lamb
54. Dune, by Frank Herbert
55. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
56. Love in the Time of Cholera, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
57. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll
58. Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov
59. The Godfather, by Mario Puzo
60. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, by Betty Smith
61. Animal Dreams, by Barbara Kingsolver
62. Jaws, by Peter Benchley
63. Good in Bed, by Jennifer Weiner
64. Angle of Repose, by Wallace Stegner
65. Snow Falling on Cedars, by David Guterson
66. The Old Man and the Sea, by Ernest Hemingway
67. The Fountainhead, by Ayn Rand
68. Breakfast of Champions, by Kurt Vonnegut
69. Cat’s Cradle, by Kurt Vonnegut
70. The Big Sleep, by Raymond Chandler
71. The Sun Also Rises, by Ernest Hemingway
72. The Hunt for Red October, by Tom Clancy
73. Cold Sassy Tree, by Olive Ann Burns
74. The Lord of the Flies, by William Golding (more than once)
74. Bonfire of the Vanities, by Tom Wolfe [tie]
76. Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte
77. Outlander, by Diana Gabaldon
78. The Shell Seekers, by Rosamunde Pilcher
79. Prodigal Summer, by Barbara Kingsolver
80. Eye of the Needle, by Ken Follett
81. Cannery Row, by John Steinbeck
81. The Pilot’s Wife, by Anita Shreve [tie]
83. All the Pretty Horses, by Cormac McCarthy
84. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, by Stieg Larsson
85. The Little Prince, by Antoine De Saint-Exupery
86. The Road, by Cormac McCarthy
87. One for the Money, by Janet Evanovich
88. Shogun, by James Clavell
89. Dracula, by Bram Stoker
90. The Unbearable Lightness of Being, by Milan Kundera
91. Presumed Innocent, by Scott Turow
92. Franny and Zooey, by J.D. Salinger
93. The Secret History, by Donna Tartt
94. Dead Until Dark, by Charlaine Harris
95. Summer Sisters, by Judy Blume
96. The Shining, by Stephen King
97. How Stella Got Her Groove Back, by Terry McMillan
98. Lamb, by Christopher Moore
99. Sick Puppy, by Carl Hiaasen
100. Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson

**Whoa. Only 28. I need to get to reading**
**I own quite a few of these. I need to get busy**
***updated 23FEB11***

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Things I have said this morning

1) Get your feet out of the grapes!
2) Go pull up your yogurt chair.

Let me tell you how much fun you will not have if you spend 4 hours in an inflatable palace of jumping and joy only to come home to find out your a/c is broken. It was like all the happiness in me just ran away screaming and I instantly became evil. In my mind all I could see was $5000 being spent to fix it. I'm trying so hard to get out of debt and I felt utterly defeated. I also realized I like being in control a lot more than I thought. There is nothing I can control about a broken a/c but then I realized that I should call my friend that just had the same thing happen. He told us where the fuses should be located and Hubby changed those out. We now have a/c but I'm still going to get it serviced. I'm not going to let that happen again.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Week Six

I didn't do an update last week b/c it was just too depressing to post the same thing again. No weight loss. Same thing this week and I know it is all purely mental. I'm too exhausted by the time I get home each and every day and I cannot bring myself to get out of bed any earlier. Tomorrow is the day I go for my yearly check up at the cardiologist so I suppose it's my New Year's Day. I've got to find something to motivate me and soon. I've got to snap out of this.

Weight Loss
I have neither lost nor gained any weight
Still having a problem with the moving thing. Why oh why do I fight it? How do I convince myself to roll out of the bed early in the morning?
Food is all out of whack. My portion sizes are smaller but what I'm eating is not all that great.
I feel like I'm fighting depression. Yes I know exercise would snap me out of this but I am caught in a Catch-22. I know I'll snap out of it soon enough but for now I'm taking it for what it is and I'm learning new things about myself.

Goals for Week 6:
**15 minutes of movement every day
**Try out Jillian Michael's 30 day shred (for real really this time-it is in the DVD player waiting for me)
**Lose 3 lbs this week
**Get outside for a nature walk...maybe the art museum trail
**water, water, water

Friday, July 31, 2009

Family Fun Monday

Ok so it's Friday but I totally forgot to post what we did on Monday. It was fun.

I made this dip (minus the onions) and served it up with some carrots and yellow pepper strips. I swear to you that my little one would have licked the bowl clean if he could have. The boy loves some dill (just like his mama). On another platter I had cut up bananas, grapes, and plums. The last platter had sliced cibatta bread which I served with brie, fresh mozzarella with basil, and fresh mozzarella wrapped in proscuitto. Monkeyface didn't care for the cheeses but he ate almost all the plums, grapes, and carrots.
I spread this out on the floor and we had us an indoor picnic. It was awesome and Monkeyface always likes when we eat on the floor.

Also crossposting this to Gayle's site.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


I just remembered how completely happy this song makes me. It takes me back to drumming for the Afro-Caribbean dance troupe and watching the girls get down to this song. I think it's time for a dance around the living room with Monkeyface. Man that was a good time. Drumming and letting it all go. Then I had to go and get married and want to devote my time to marriage instead of drumming. I don't regeret my decision b/c the troupe fell apart soon after that. We were practicing twice a week and then performing almost every weekend. It was hard to commit to that as a newlywed. I think fondly of these strong, magnetic, empowered women and girls. I could never dance like they could but I could provide a funky beat. I miss the sweethearts that were my drumming buddies. I miss impromptu drumming in the rose garden on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. I miss watching people lose themselves in music especially when it's my music.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Living Juicy

I just found this website and found it enthralling. I read a lot of blogs and a few of them talk about living juicy or surrounding themselves with juicy women and today I finally thought to look up what they mean by "juicy".

I find the whole concept very interesting. Sort of a "Carpe Diem!" attitude which I can totally appreciate. I think I've lost that part of me and have been finding things too "inconvenient" lately. What I mean by this is that I almost lost a fantastic day at the beach with my hubby and son b/c I didn't want to get everything together to go. That was my excuse until something inside of me snapped and I thought about what I was saying. My hubby never wants to go to the beach or even do things spontaneously. Why would I deny myself a memorable day? I am thrilled that I snapped out of that. Now to work that into my daily life...

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Arrgh all the colors!

I'm blinded by the rainbow that is Sarah Palin's resignation speech.
I hate when people use punctuation incorrectly and don't get me started on bad grammar. I missed my calling as an editor.


I have a ton on my mind lately so I'm going to do what I used to do and that is journal what I need to journal. Private things will go in my handwritten journal which I haven't pulled out in years. Who writes anything anymore anyway? Anyone?

First matter I have issue with is my lack of presence. Practicing presence means that I deliberately focus my awareness on the here and now. "Being fully present is being at peace with What Is. Presence is powerful and people can feel it. They are attracted to it."*
I have a friend that I call when I need a boost and even sometimes when he needs a boost b/c he always lifts me up. Everytime I speak with him, he makes me feel like I am the center of his universe at that moment. I understand that when he leaves, the next person he talks to will feel the same way, but for those moments, I relish in his presence.
I am trying to actually listen when people speak to me. By this I mean that I am trying to be present for what they are saying instead of hurriedly formulating my next sentence to them based on something they said. I have a tendency to pick up key points of a conversation instead of listening to everything. It's like I want someone to hurry up with what they have to say so that I can say what I need to say before I forget it.
I often laugh and joke that I have a monkey mind b/c it runs and jumps and swings 60 ways a minute. Listening is a hard job and being present is even harder but it is a first step.

*Daily Groove

Monday, July 20, 2009


I am the queen of random. I now tip my crown to this guy.

**Thank you Karlaanne for making my day a little brighter

My new motto

and my new favorite t-shirt

Week Four

Really? Week Four already?

Weight Loss
I lost .2 lbs this week.
Still having a problem with the moving thing. Why oh why do I fight it? How do I convince myself to roll out of the bed early in the morning?
Hormones were all out of sorts this week so I ate way more sugar than I should have. That will be remidied. I was able to introduce plums and nectarines to the little one this week (thanks Grandma!)
I am adding this new section b/c I think it's important. When I started this process again for the 1,000,000th time I promised myself that I would not get frustrated at how slowly I lost and I would track everything for at least one year. I can't believe I am not frustrated yet but I also realize that I am not giving this as much effort as I could.

Goals for Week 4:
**exercise 3 times this week for 30 minutes each time or a total of 90 minutes
**Try out Jillian Michael's 30 day shred (for real really this time-it is in the DVD player waiting for me)
**Lose 3 lbs this week
**Take a walk around the neighborhood again
**water, water, water

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Life lesson

We were just watching Little Bill and he was threatening to run away b/c he didn't want to take a nap. I asked Monkeyface if he'd ever run away and he said..."No, I'd walk."

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Fresh Corn Salad

3/4 cup light sour cream
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
3/4 teaspoon seasoning salt
3 cups fresh corn kernels (about 5 ears)*
1 large tomato, seeded & finely chopped (to taste)
1 bunch of green onions, finely chopped (to taste)
½ cucumber (to taste)
1 clove garlic, minced


Combine first 3 ingredients in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk.
Add corn and remaining ingredients, stirring to combine.
Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.
*I cooked my corn in water, some milk, and a little sugar to bring out the sweetness*
**I think this would also be good with some black beans, avocados, or even red peppers**

Don't forget to swing by and visit Gayle this week.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Week Three

Weight Loss
I lost 2 lbs this week.
I really need to get moving. I don't like to exercise and it is proving to be more difficult than I thought. I'm going to lower my expectations so that I can accomplish my goals this week just this once.
I ate all the veggies from the farmer's market and even developed my own new Corn salad recipe. I only dined out for one lunch and one dinner so that was great. Doing a really good job keeping my food on track.

Goals for Week 3:
**exercise 3 times this week for 30 minutes each time or a total of 90 minutes
**Try out Jillian Michael's 30 day shred (for real this time)
**Lose 3 lbs this week
**Take a walk around the neighborhood
**Enjoy some fresh veggies and empty the freezer of frozen veggies so that I can freeze some more.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Fun times this weekend

It's gonna be a nice weekend so I'm making a list of things to do again so that we don't stay inside.

Rocket ship art
Homemade sidewalk chalk paint
Farmer’s market
Breakfast outside
Pancakes & Sausage
visit with Granny & Papa
afternoon at Grandma’s

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Week Two

Weight Loss
I lost .2 lbs this week.
The only exercise I got this week was a slow saunter down the beach while I looked for a place to throw my stuff down.
A little out of control this week. I was very conscious of what I was eating and I made good choices, but I did not keep track of it. This was my downfall here. I ate Broccoli slaw which is always delicious. I've been making this for years and never thought to add bacon bits or cranberries. It was completely awesome. We visited the farmer's market yesterday and purchased tomatoes, corn, squash, green beans, blackberries, and watermelon. I'm excited to dive in this week. I already made a blackberry cobbler which will be savored a little at a time.

Goals for Week 3:
**exercise 4 times this week for 30 minutes each time or a total of 120 minutes
**Try out Jillian Michael's 30 day shred
**Lose 3 lbs this week
**Take a walk in a new location
**Eat all the veggies I brought home from the farmer's market

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Bacon Cheeseburger Chicken

This is one of my favorite ways to eat chicken. However, I try to take out as many unneeded calories as possible. The original recipe can be found here along with lots of pretty pictures of the cooking process.

This is how I make it.

Bacon Cheeseburger Chicken

2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut in half lengthwise
2 tbs teriyaki sauce (this is your salt so use what you like. I don't like salt)
1/2 cup light ranch dressing (I used about 1tbs per piece of breast)
1/4 cup 2% shredded Cheddar cheese (I just sprinkled it over the chicken a pinch at a time)
2 tbs bacon bits

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spray a large skillet with non-stick cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat. Add chicken breasts, and saute 4 to 5 minutes each side, until lightly browned. Place browned chicken breasts in a 8×8 inch baking dish. Cover with teriyaki sauce and dressing. Sprinkle with cheese and top with bacon bits. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear.

I serve this with garlic mashed potatoes (also made skinny) and a salad.

Week One:

Weight Loss
I lost 4.4 lbs this week.
I made myself get up 2 mornings to exercise and I loved it. I knew that if I ever allowed myself to skip a day then I wouldn't get back on track and I was right. While I was able to fit in 4 days of exercise, it was mostly me doing housework.
I kept my calorie count on target but I ate pizza, hot dogs, and some fried chicken legs this week. Those are all things that I don't normally eat but due to circumstances beyond my control I had to eat dinner out twice this week.
I have kept a food journal the entire week so balancing my calories out with my exercise was easy to do. I will say that I had 2 fantastic salads this week. One was the Pioneer Woman's best spinach salad ever and it truly was. The other was a roasted veggie salad from a local pizza place. All organic veggies freshly roasted - zucchini, mushrooms,yellow onions, rosemary roasted red potatoes, baby spinach & broccoli on a bed of organic mixed greens with parmesan, spices & our croutons! It was awesome!

Goals for Week 2:
**exercise 4 times this week for 30 minutes each time or a total of 120 minutes
**Try out Jillian Michael's 30 day shred
**Lose 3 lbs this week
**Eat 4 salads

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Momma Zen

I've been reading Momma Zen by Karen Maezen Miller and I've been loving every minute of it. The book really spoke to me but I didn't realize how much until I reached this section:
I was unhappy a lot of the time. When I wasn't, I might be annoyed or impatient and intermittently resentful. This was obvious to everyone. My daughter could read between my furrows and inflections. She would break my troubled silences with a stunningly simple question, "Momma, are you happy now?"
Monkeyface has started asking me this question all the time. Sometimes he even walks over, kisses me and then asks me again, "You happy now?" I always answer "yes" because why would a 3 year old need to know what's on my mind? However, now I realize that yes, I can be happy now and I am blessed to have my little one to remind me. I can choose and change, and by changing my attitude, change everything. Being happy is worth everything. It is my heart's desire...It's what I want most for my child. Being healthy is great, kind is sweet, smart is convenient, but happy matters most of all.
You don't have to wait for happiness, because there's not time but now to be happy. You don't have to go somewhere else, because there's no place but here to find it. You don't have to do something else, because there's nothing more to it. You don't have to get something else, because everything you already have is enough. You just have to be happy.
Am I happy now? Yes Monkeyface, I am and I thank you for reminding me.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Beginning of a journey

Tomorrow is the longest day of the year and the day I start my weight loss journey again. This has been a struggle my whole life but now I have a new goal. I want to be able to ride a bike with my son when the time comes. I need to be active for him. I want to be able to have the endurance for a long walk. Now I do realize that I have problems with my heart so exercise in the beginning will be difficult but I have never felt better than when I exercise. This is going to take a lot of hard work and this may even turn into a weight loss journal for a while. I'm ok with that. I'm also going to try to maintain my current $60/week for all meals eaten at the house as well as toiletries.
I haven't really been happy lately and my vacation helped me to realize what I need. I'm happy with most things on the outside but inside I've been fighting a real battle. I just haven't felt very kind, compassionate, or patient lately. I don't like feeling this way and it is time that I withdraw for a while and take care of me. We'll see what happens. I'm putting a weight ticker on the side of my blog to track where I'm going and my starting weight is from today, not the highest weight I've ever been.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Gravel and Grub

One of the great things about traveling is that you get to try new food. Here is what I had for dinner last night. It combined my beloved Costa Rica with some Jamaican flair. You can just click on the links for the recipes:

Jamaican Jerk and Plantain Kabobs

The recipe above includes a Jamaican Jerk Rub. I didn't want to go out and buy one so I made it myself. I love recipezaar. It has made my life a better place.

Gallo Pinto (Costa Rican rice and beans)

2 to 3 Tbs. oil
1 medium-sized onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups cooked white rice
2 cups cooked black beans, drained, rinsed and liquid reserved
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
2 to 3 Tbs. Salsa Lizano*, or Worcestershire sauce
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat, and add onion. When onion starts to turn color, add garlic, and sauté for about 5 minutes, or until onion is golden.
Stir in rice, beans and seasonings, combining well. Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup liquid from canned beans, if desired, to make the rice "dirty." Cook until heated through, and add salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.

*Lizano Salsa is only made in Costa Rica but it makes everything you put it on taste better. You can sometimes find it in a Latino market or you could have a friend pick you up some when they go to CR.*

For more recipes, go see Gayle

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Family Fun Monday

My sister in law introduced me to the concept of Family Fun Monday. Apparently the Mormon church has been doing it for years and I was never notified. Well since the little one's birthday I've decided that we are participating in this. Being an avid list maker, I've come up with several ideas:

1-make an apple pie together
2-play with the waterpillar
3-make sidewalk paint and paint together
4-ziploc omelettes
5-walk around neighborhood
6-play at Shelley Lake
7-walk at Umstead
8-feed ducks at Lake Lynn
9-drumming out at Lake Johnson
10-picnic at Pullen Park
12-Pelican's Snoballs
13-picnic at Rotary Park
14-disc golf
15-airplane park

That should keep us busy all summer.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Grape Salad

I married into an extremely large family and we all meet once a month in order to keep in touch. I made this 2 months ago and people still talk about it. In fact, I thought that I had made too much, but it was devoured. This will be going into the permanent cookbook.

Salad Ingredients
2 lbs green seedless grapes**
2 lbs red seedless grapes**
8 ounces lowfat sour cream
8 ounces Neufatchel cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract, to taste

Topping Ingredients
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed, to taste***
1 cup crushed pecans, to taste (I may have used a little more-I'm nutty like that)

1 Wash and stem grapes and set aside to dry
2 Mix sour cream, cream cheese, white sugar and vanilla by hand until creamy
3 Stir grapes into mixture, and pour in large serving bowl
4 For topping: Combine brown sugar, and crushed pecans
5 Sprinkle over top of grapes and give it a good stir
6 Chill overnight
7 When you are ready to serve, give the salad a good stir to re-distribute the sauce

**I used a combo of red, green, and black seedless grapes**
***Original recipe called for 1 cup but I only used half and it was great***

Cross posted to Gayle's recipe swap.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Weekend update 3

1) make pasta salad for the family cookout 23May
2) visit the farmer's market 23May
3) play with water outside (various water activities) 23May**
4) play with outdoor bubbles (I make them myself) 24may
5) Go to the art museum for a walk and a picnic
6) Make seed bombs
7) Go to the park 23May
8) Glue cotton balls to a plate and then paint them
9) Paint with shaving cream
10) I spy
11) Paint driveway with sidewalk chalk and/or water 24may
12) feed the ducks
13) make bird feeders
14) make breakfast together
15) get coffee with friends 23MAY

Nothing new knocked off the list but we still had a great day running errands, getting free ice cream, and playing with the newly purchased water guns. Made new jars of jam with the hubby tonight so we should be set for a while. I think we're going to try peaches next month when those are ready.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

weekend update 2

Redneck pool party was a success after I convinced Monkeyface to actually get in the water. He loves visiting with his favorite friend and always bugs me to death until he gets to go to her house. I am completely exhausted but still going to help the hubby make strawberry preserves tonight. We'll see how it goes.

1) make pasta salad for the family cookout 23May
2) visit the farmer's market 23May
3) play with water outside (various water activities) 23May**
4) play with outdoor bubbles (I make them myself) 24may
5) Go to the art museum for a walk and a picnic
6) Make seed bombs
7) Go to the park 23May
8) Glue cotton balls to a plate and then paint them
9) Paint with shaving cream
10) I spy
11) Paint driveway with sidewalk chalk and/or water 24may
12) feed the ducks
13) make bird feeders
14) make breakfast together
15) get coffee with friends 23MAY

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Progress on the weekend of fun:

1) make pasta salad for the family cookout23May
2) visit the farmer's market23May
3) play with water outside (various water activities)23May**
4) play with outdoor bubbles (I make them myself)
5) Go to the art museum for a walk and a picnic
6) Make seed bombs
7) Go to the park23May
8) Glue cotton balls to a plate and then paint them
9) Paint with shaving cream
10) I spy
11) Paint driveway with sidewalk chalk and/or water
12) feed the ducks
13) make bird feeders
14) make breakfast together
15) get coffee with friends23MAY

**Went to the grandparent's house today and Monkeyface had his cousin turn on the water hose and he proceeded to spray his cousins, the deck, the chairs that weren't supposed to get wet and himself. I count this as a water activity even though we have been invited to a redneck pool party tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Things to do this weekend:

So last weekend I was wiped out and after making jelly, I didn't feel like doing much else. I'm not quite sure why b/c the jelly making process was easy. This lead to a lot of TV watching and I'm not down with that. This weekend that is not happening. Here is a list of things that will keep us busy:

1) make pasta salad for the family cookout
2) visit the farmer's market
3) play with water outside (various water activities)
4) play with outdoor bubbles (I make them myself)
5) Go to the art museum for a walk and a picnic
6) Make seed bombs
7) Go to the park
8) Glue cotton balls to a plate and then paint them
9) Paint with shaving cream
10) I spy
11) Paint driveway with sidewalk chalk and/or water
12) feed the ducks
13) make bird feeders
14) make breakfast together
15) get coffee with friends

Now I don't plan to do this all at once or even all in one weekend but at least I have ideas now and TV is not included.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Strawberry jam, yes m'am

That's not all my jam over there but it was still fun making it. My sister in law came over and we made it together and it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. I'm totally ready to dive in but I have to wait at least 24 hours.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Easy Pesto Rice

I am a sucker for all things pesto. I live for summers full of basil this and that. I mix it with mayo and make tomato sandwiches, I of course make pesto, and I mix it with pasta. This rice satisfied all that is glorious and holy in my basil lovin' soul. It used up my leftover pesto and made a nice sized pot of rice. I served it with crunchy oven baked pork chops and juicy, ripe tomato slices.

Rice With Pesto or Herb Oil (from "How To Cook Everything")
Serves Four

1 tablespoon canola or other neutral oil
1 1/2 cups basmati or other long-grain rice (I used white long grain rice for this)
2 1/4 cups water
Salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup pesto or 1 cup fresh herb of your choice: chives, parsley, chervil, or cilantro, 1/4 cup canola or other neutral oil, & 1-2 tablespoons water if needed.

Heat the tablespoon of oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the rice and cook, stirring, until the rice is coated with oil. Add the water and season with salt and pepper. Turn the heat up a bit and bring the mixture to a boil. Cover and turn the heat to medium-low.

After 15 minutes, turn off the heat under the rice, but leave the cover on. Wait 10 minutes, then stir in the pesto or herb oil. Check the seasoning and serve immediately.

**I originally saw this recipe on The Motherload and am reposting it to Gayle's recipe swap.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

I hate you Grey's Anatomy!

OSO Special

I was out on a walk with Monkeyface tonight when he suddenly stops, looks up at the tree and tells me he wants to fly like Oso. I told him he needed spy gadgets and that he should talk to his dad about getting some of those. He agreed that "Yah I need spy gahjuts". I told him that maybe he could even get a special vest like Oso's so that he could fly whenever he wanted. He patted himself and said "Yah I fly now!"
**Oso's vest converts into a helicopter complete with safety helmet, safety goggles, and steering capability. I want one too**

Saturday, May 9, 2009

What I've been loving this week

1-I broke down and bought some Nutella. Monkeyface is eating it right now and is loving it.
2-I've been teaching him that monsters aren't scary b/c he's bigger than they are and we can scare them right back.
3-People keep thinking he's 4 even though he's still 2. He is super tall and fearless.
4-Speaking of fearless...this kid is not afraid to try anything new. I'm amazed how willing he is to try something. Sometimes it takes explanation and maybe even doing it myself first, but he always tries
5-I've been spring cleaning of sorts. I've kept a running list all week long of what needs to be done and I've been actually doing it. I do love scratching items of a list. It is extremely satisfying.
6-I am taking it super easy this weekend & just chilling out. Making some cookies with Monkeyface, doing a few light chores, some artwork, and just playing.
7-Why does my kid refuse to wear pants on the weekend? It cracks me up.

Last weekend we ventured out to the Ham & Yam Festival where the guy running the petting zoo sounded like the chicken farmer from Napoleon Dynamite. I kept asking him questions just so I could hear him talk. My kid loved feeding the animals including a baby camel.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

They Might Be Giants

Just bought tickets to go see They Might Be Giants with Monkeyface. They are actually putting on a kids show. How exciting is that?

Sunday, May 3, 2009

what I'm loving

I love that when Monkeyface tries to raise his eyebrows, he bats his LONG eyelashes
I love that when he tries to wink he closes both eyes
I love that he makes silly faces b/c he wants me to laugh
I love that he washed the pots and pans this morning
I love that he can tell me he needs new batteries for his keyboard

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Update-35 before I'm 36

35 before I'm 36-or a way to get around having resolutions
1. Go on a family picnic (done Mar09)
2. Go to the beach
3. Teach Monkeyface to ride a tricycle
4. Pay off $5,000 in debt
5. Lose 60 lbs
6. Print and put Monkeyface's photos in an album
7. Rent a park for Monkeyface's birthday party(done april 09)
8. Go to a movie alone
9. Send 3 friends gifts for no reason
10. Sell clothes on ebay (see debt elimination above)
11. Walk a 5k
12. Get rid of 3 pairs of shoes
13. Buy new sheets (done april09)
14. Buy a new duvet cover (done april09)
15. Save $1,000 in an emergency fund (done 2/12/09)
16. Learn to fold an orgami t-shirt
17. Take Monkeyface to the art museum for an outdoor movie
18. Take Monkeyface to the art museum for a hike
19. Make a sugar body scrub
20. Plan a monthly budget as of Jan 2009
21. This entry is private
22. Walk on the treadmill at my house (done March09)
23. Take Monkeyface out on a walk while he rides his tricycle
24. Read Obama's book-the audacity of hope
25. Read book 4 of twilight series
26. Read 5 random books
27. Potty train Monkeyface
28. Move picnic table down to back yard
29. Have a yard sale OR donate all items to charity
30. Plant something in my yard
31. Grow an herb garden
32. This entry is private
33. Wear a dress(done April 25, 2009)
34. Own a pair of black boots
35. Go to the spa

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

I bigger now-Cooking with my kid

My little one is 2 (almost 3) and has been helping me cook as long as he could stand.

He's bigger now, after all:

He drains cans for me and dumps them into whatever I am cooking
he washes veggies for me
runs the food processor or blender as I’m standing nearby
he uses the immersion blender with my help
he hands me dishes so that I can put them away
he cuts with the butter knife
he stirs and pours with his new kid sized utensils
mashes bananas or potatoes
scoops out avacados
closes and opens the microwave/refrigerator doors
sweeps the floor with a tiny little broom and dustpan
he throws things in the trash or recycling for me

He's also allowed to get his own snacks and pour his own juice.
And he loves to mow grass and help with the laundry. How long does this phase last? I'm loving it.

What I'm loving...

I swear that I've been blogging since 2001 and have kept a written journal since I could write. There's just something about making it all public that I can't do. I can ramble for hours and hours but put it in writing and publish it for the world to see and I can't do it. I used to document Monkeyface's every move which I really miss doing so I may pick that back up. For now, here are some things I'm loving.

1-my new bedroom (still a work in progress) It does include this peony pillow which I obsessed over before buying. I love it and actually make my bed daily now. I took before pictures and when it's all done I'll post them along with the after pics.

2-This rhino which I am going to love and pet and call him Sylvester. He's going in the new bedroom and I swear he is going to make me smile.

3-Banana Oat Bread that Monkeyface baked with me this weekend. It was fun and he actually did most of the mixing and pouring.

4-I love that my kid loves to help me do everything. Sure it takes longer to get things done but if he insists on helping then I insist on letting him. This includes an obsession with mowing grass. He asks me everyday if the grass is "bigger now" so that he can make it smaller again.

5-Sugar Free Italian Ices! YES! YES! YES!

6-Dreams of a day spent leaned up against a tree reading a book. (secret mother's day wish). Dreams of a clean car (out loud mother's day wish)

7-Creating something for somebody

8-I love cooking. I really do. I love turning nothing into something and watching people enjoy themselves.

9-This was on my Facebook, but I really like that the other night Hubby runs in with Monkeyface on his shoulder and Hubby goes "ARRRGH!!" and Monkeyface goes "Squawk! Polly wants a cracker! Squawk!"

10-Even though kiddo is sick now he is still making funny faces at me trying to make me laugh. He won't do it when anyone else is looking and will only do them for me.

Ground Beef Gyros

I totally forgot about this recipe until last week. I love these and lest I forget to post this later, I'm posting it now. Enjoy!

Ground Beef Gyros
Serves 6

3/4 pound extra lean ground beef -- cooked and drained
3/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1/4 cup cucumber -- finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon dill weed (I add more b/c I'm crazy like that)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 medium onions -- sliced into rings
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
6 whole wheat pita breads -- warmed
1 small tomato -- chopped

Combine yogurt, cucumber and dill weed. Cover and refrigerate. Heat
oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat 2 minutes. Add
onions; cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add beef, garlic
powder and oregano; cook 4 minutes or until heated through, stirring

Stuff beef mixture in warmed pita breads and serve with yogurt sauce.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Giveaway winner

Make sure you enter those giveaways out there b/c you just never know when you might win!

Go Team Clean!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Rathskeller's Black Bean and Rice Salsa

2 tbs olive oil
1.5 cups cooked brown rice
1 tsp minced garlic
1.5 cups cooked and drained black beans
1 cup chopped red onion
1 cup diced green chiles
1/2 cup diced red pepper
1/4 cup Dagwood sauce(recipe follows)
1/2 cup diced green pepper
1 cup diced Roma tomato
salt and pepper, to taste

In a large saute pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat & add garlic, onion & peppers. Saute, being careful not to burn garlic, 2 to 3 minutes, just until vegetables are soft. Remove from heat and toss gently with rice, beans, chiles, and 1/4 cup Dagwood Sauce.
Adjust seasoning to taste with salt & pepper & chill. Serve over grilled tofu as an entree, or alone as a side dish. *

Dagwood Sauce
1/2 tsp ground marjoram
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp onion powder
1 cup vegetable oil
1/4 tsp granulated garlic
1/2 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp Tabasco sauce
3/4 tsp dry mustard
3/4 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp pepper

Mix togther all ingredients until well-combined. Cover and store in Refrigerator. **

*We eat this as a meal b/c it makes a ton of food*
**You will have Dagwood Sauce leftover which makes a fantastic stew beef**

For more great recipes, check out Grocery Cart Challenge's Recipe Swap!

Monday, April 13, 2009

never boring

My hubby just ran in here going "ARRGH!" My child was perched on his shoulder going "Need a Cracker! Squawk! Squawk!"

Saturday, April 11, 2009


Am I ever going to be able to find these old books?

Friday, April 10, 2009

posting for work

Mountain Paradise Hotel
Arenal, Costa Rica

I stayed at the Mountain Paradise back in August 2008 with my husband and 2 year old and we had a fabulous time. By the time we got to our junior suite, we were exhausted and elated to find the room clean and well appointed with a large inviting bed and Jacuzzi on the verandah. From your bed you can open the curtains to reveal a spectacular view of the volcano. The bathroom was huge with a waterfall shower as well as a glass enclosed shower with some of the strongest water pressure I’ve ever experienced. As soon as we were settled in our room my little one was out on the verandah playing in the Jacuzzi. It was the perfect way to end a long day of travel.

Our second night at the hotel we moved to the Master Suite which is a 2 bedroom/2 bathroom unit. It has a full kitchen, a Jacuzzi in the bathroom and a “shower of power” in the master bath. I call it the shower of power because it has 10 separate shower heads and spray jets that are set up to massage your back while you shower. Instead of a Jacuzzi on your verandah, we have a plunge pool that overlooks the volcano. This unit was perfect for our family and allowed us to stay up chatting after we had put the little one to bed.

My favorite part of the hotel was the concierge, David. He was the best concierge I’ve ever had at any hotel and I quite often saw him running around with his walkie talkie or shuttling passengers on his golf cart. He always had a smile on his face and a kind word for us. My little one was in our bed unwinding right before his bedtime when he got sick. I immediately called down to the front desk and David came running to our room. We had stripped the bed before his arrival and he stayed late helping us remake the bed and bringing us whatever we needed to make us comfortable. I cannot say enough great things about him and quite often he is the reason I sell the hotel by telling people how wonderful the service is and even give them David’s name.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Flying Biscuit Salad

We copied this salad this week and it was awesome.

Flying Biscuit Salad
Fried eggs
mixed greens
oven roasted potatoes
crispy applewood bacon
balsamic vinaigrette

We used this Balsamic vinaigrette recipe from Your Home Based Mom

Balsamic Vinaigrette
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp honey
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
Scant 1/2 cup olive oil (hubby used some bacon grease)
Mix well

For more recipe ideas check out the Recipe Swap

Thursday, April 2, 2009

'tis true

This hit me in the heart

New kicks for the boy

I have been in a shoe buying mood lately but I needed something comfortable and now the little one is busting the seams on his tennis shoes. He's been wearing them for almost a year so I can't complain. Here are the new kicks:

If they came in adult sizes then I know that I would be buying a second pair for my other boy :)

Friday, March 27, 2009

Check out my new kicks

I have a horrible time picking out shoes. I blame it on my being born pigeon toed. I also hold a special place in my heart for Mary Janes since I had to wear Forrest Gump "magic shoes" until I was in 6th grade. I can't stop wearing cute Mary Janes or at least Oohing and Aahing over them. These shoes feel like I'm walking on a pillow. And the best thing is that they were $120 and I paid $30 including free shipping.

You will have to bury me in these shoes.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Snow Day

Woo Hoo! After a fun weekend, I was so happy to wake up to a snow day. Monkeyface is going nuts inside saying "Snoooooow" over and over again. I suppose that soon I will need to bundle up and head outside.
This weekend we had a friend over for arts & crafts. We finger painted, did collages, and built little foam creatures (I attached a magnet to the back so that they could go on the frig). Our poor kitten is saying "woof" b/c there was no "meow" in the package. We ended up at McDonald's Saturday afternoon for a half eaten lunch and some running and playing. He's only been to McDonald's to play one other time and had a blast. Most kids were courteous to him though he did get knocked down at least once. I understand that it can be overwhelming for him to be in such a small space with a ton of bigger kids, but he held his own pretty well.

Yesterday we picked up a new to us, gently used Radio Flyer tricycle. It blows my mind that these tricycles are $90, on sale for $70. We were lucky to find it for $30 and it is awesome. Of course, now it's snowing so there is no riding the tricycle today. How about this weekend when it will be 74 degrees? I feel a sickness coming on. Seriously. This has been the weirdest winter that I remember since it continuously drops and rises 30-40 degrees weekly in some instances.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Conversation with a 2.5 yr old

Monkeyface: I'm tired
me: You're tired?
MF: Yes, I'm tired
me: Did you sleep last night?
MF: Yes
me: If you went to sleep then why are you tired?
MF: I woke up

Friday, February 27, 2009

Food Friday-Cornbread Supreme

This is not my recipe, though I wish it was. This was the best cornbread that I've ever had and I am a cornbread aficionado (as well as all things Southern)

Cornbread Supreme
Makes one 9x13 pan

1 (16 oz.) can whole kernel corn, drained
1 (16 oz.) can cream style corn
16 oz. container sour cream
4 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup margarine or butter, melted (I only used 1 stick of butter)
2 boxs Jiffy cornbread mix (7 1/2 oz. each)
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (optional) (not really optional)

1. In a large bowl, combine cornbread mix, sour cream, butter, whole kernel corn, cream style corn, and eggs. Place in a lightly greased 9" x 13" baking dish and sprinkle with 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese. Bake at 350-f degrees for 45 to 50 minutes or until golden on top and cooked through. (My oven is old and I would say I cook it for 55-60 minutes)

For more recipes, please visit Gayle

Also...why is it that the weekend you finally want to break out the kite your kid has been talking about, it's going to pour down rain?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


I've had these for a year. I didn't realize they made Chucks bigger than the number in the shoe. They finally fit!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I keep forgetting to post the funny things

Last night Monkeyface and Hubby were in the bedroom watching Diego and when it was over Monkeyface comes running out and jumps in my lap saying that he wants to watch TV. I was watching SCRUBS and knew it was going off in about 4 minutes so I told him he could sit with me for 4 minutes. Hubby starts heading upstairs and calls for him to come to bed. Monkeyface screams out “four minutes daddy” and I burst out laughing.

Monday, February 23, 2009

New complaint

We sent the clients here for their honeymoon:

They were bored at this hotel b/c there were not enough guests here:

There were very few other guests at the hotel and although it was romantic it was also very isolating. The pools and beach were almost deserted.

I'd say that maybe someone shouldn't have gotten married if they can't entertain themselves here for a week:

Friday, February 13, 2009

Artibel Figs Covered in Dark Chocolate

Can I just tell you how much I love figs? I've been thinking about them since this summer and I never did get my hands on any. I miss my neighbor's fig tree and how we used to just pluck them and eat them in the backyard. Well today my day was made. I won these. Now the only question is, do I share them?

Flying Biscuit Grits

I am a true Southern girl and nothing is better to me than a bowl of grits. With that being said, my mind was blown when I ate at The Flying Biscuit the other night. I immediately went home and googled the recipe.

3 cups water
1 cup half-and-half
1 tsp kosher salt
pepper to taste
1 cup quick grits
1/2 cup grated white cheddar cheese (I used regular b/c that is what I had)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed (I ommitted)

In a saucepan, combine water, half-and-half, salt and white pepper and bring to a boil. Slowly pour grits into boiling water while whisking the entire time. (Watch out for splattering; mixture is very hot.) Reduce to low heat and continue to whisk often, until thick and completely smooth, about 10 minutes.
Add cheese and stir gently until cheese melts. Whisk again to combine. Turn heat off and allow grits to rest 5 minutes. Add butter and stir until completely smooth, silky and shiny.

Per serving: 221 calories (percent of calories from fat, 49), 6 grams protein, 23 grams carbohydrates, trace fiber, 12 grams fat (7 grams saturated), 35 milligrams cholesterol, 549 milligrams sodium.

You can thank me later. For now, mosey on over to The Grocery Cart Challenge for more recipe ideas.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Chocolate Chip Pancakes

I just made pancakes from scratch for the first time in my life. I don't know if I'm saddened by this or impressed by this.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Popcorn Sutton

Oh Popcorn! Life just won't be the same without you out there making yer likker.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Grocery Score!

The Goods:

2 bags Green Giant steamers
1 bag meatballs
4 cans Rotel Tomatoes
2 bananas
1 lb grapes
3 apples
1 pear
8 bags 2% bagged shredded cheese
1 box Nature Valley Granola Bars
1 box Chex Mix Turtle Bars
1 bag Goldfish crackers
2 bottles Coffee-mate creamer
2 containers sour cream
7 boxes oatmeal
6 containers Yoplait yogurt
1 bowl pink grapefruit

I scored $117.29 worth of groceries tonight for $33.01 after coupons and discounts. I'm so proud of myself.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


I want to write about today for my little one. Obama is walking out now and the people at the inauguration are going wild. I have never in my life experienced a rock star president. It's unbelievable to me that we have elected Obama into office. And I'm not saying this b/c he's black. He's also white. It's just that I've never felt hope before when it comes to this country and how we are viewed in the world. I've never felt passionate about politics and never thought that someone that I could be proud of would ever be in office. It seems weird to me that I have put my faith in a candidate to do great things and I know he can do it. I love the parallels between JFK and Obama and Lincoln. I love the great change that is on the horizon. I love the hope that I feel and the emotions that are running through me right now. I feel that Obama is going to be a strong leader that can rally the people and get some work done. He has a huge mess to clean up and I can't imagine the pressure that he is under. The scrutiny that he will constantly be a part of his life. The amount of hope that is riding on his shoulders. I know I couldn't do it.
It's odd for me to be so emotional. I'm pretty good and keeping it together but today is different for me. Today I feel like my vote made a difference. What I think and what I value is represented in so many ways.
Can you imagine what is going through Obama's mind right now? It's just all too surreal.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

We all poop.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

35 before I'm 36-or a way to get around having resolutions

1. Go on a family picnic
2. Go to the beach
3. Teach Monkeyface to ride a tricycle
4. Pay off $5,000 in debt
5. Lose 60 lbs
6. Print and put Monkeyface's photos in an album
7. Rent a park for Monkeyface's birthday party
8. Go to a movie alone
9. Send 3 friends gifts for no reason
10. Sell clothes on ebay (see debt elimination above)
11. Walk a 5k
12. Get rid of 3 pairs of shoes
13. Buy new sheets
14. Buy a new duvet cover
15. Save $1,000 in an emergency fund (done 2/12/09)
16. Learn to fold an orgami t-shirt
17. Take Monkeyface to the art museum for an outdoor movie
18. Take Monkeyface to the art museum for a hike
19. Make a sugar body scrub
20. Plan a monthly budget as of Jan 2009
21. This entry is private
22. Walk on the treadmill at my house
23. Take Monkeyface out on a walk while he rides his tricycle
24. Read Obama's book-the audacity of hope
25. Read book 4 of twilight series
26. Read 5 random books
27. Potty train Monkeyface
28. Move picnic table down to back yard
29. Have a yard sale OR donate all items to charity
30. Plant something in my yard
31. Grow an herb garden
32. This entry is private
33. Wear a dress
34. Own a pair of black boots
35. Go to the spa


Stolen from Montessori Mama:

Bold what you HAVE done.
Here goes...

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning Damn you Red Lobster!
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Read an entire book in one day