Sunday, October 31, 2010


Happy Halloween!
With out further ado, here is my menu for 10/31-11/06:
Beef & Veggie Stew
Tamale Casserole
Tequila Lime Chicken
Tuna Noodle Casserole
Kung Pao Chicken
Eat at mom's (hey mom...did you know? I assume you did...the Packer's have the night game)

So there you go. A wonderful week of meals. I've actually already made my menu for next week too and shopped for it. So that's a mini update on my goals post of how we're doing on our budget. Still not so great, but definitely getting better. I'm actually balancing my check book. I know some of you just died in shock, and I'll miss knowing that you read my blog. HA!! But seriously, I created a register in Excel and I update it, check it with the bank and I balance to the penny. It's really nice. My bills are all paid, groceries bought so all I have to do is try to not spend the "extra" that we have in the account until the 15th. And it sure would be nice if Nick's job would give him the money from the expense report he turned in over a month ago... just sayin...

And in relation to the picture above - Happy Halloween! Even though it's Ben's first, it's really not all that different yet. We attended Boo At the Zoo yesterday afternoon....meh. Did you know I hate crowds? I do. I hate large groups of people, ambling about in no particular direction (except the one that happens to be in my way) and stopping randomly, blocking the entire pathway and blocking it for those behind them that want to continue walking. Remind me why I went again? ha ha no, it was fun to see all the kiddos dressed up. We saw a lot of dragons, Transformers, Darth Vaders, doctors....I didn't see any pumpkins which surprised me. I figured every other baby would be in a pumpkin costume (Nick said he saw one but I must have gone to my happy place and blocked it out), so that was a nice treat.

Today we're going over to my parents for the Packer game and that's about it. I'm going to set out my bowl of candy with a sign that says something about a sleeping baby so please don't ring the bell. I'll have Nick keep an eye on things and hopefully our trick or treaters are honest and only take a few pieces each.

Hope your Halloween is a good one!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Skillet Lemon Chicken With Rosemary

So here is another new recipe that we tried last night. I'll post how it was written in the book and then I'll show what I did different and my plans for this in the future.

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup dry white wine (optional)
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3 cloves garlic
1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary, pressed
6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon olive oil
  • In a blender or food processor, blend lemon juice, wine, mustard, garlic and rosemary until well combined. In a large zipper-topped plastic bag, throw the chicken in and add the lemon juice mixture. Keep in the fridge for at least an hour (or do this in the morning and have it well marinated that night).
  • In a small bowl, stir together 2 tablespoons of the chicken broth and cornstarch until dissolved; set aside.
  • In a skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Cook chicken (reserving marinade) on each side, about 4 minutes or until no longer pink. Remove chicken from skillet and cover to keep warm.
  • Now add reserved marinade to the skillet and, using a wire whisk, stir in the cornstarch mixture and the remaining broth. Bring to a bowl, sirring constantly. Cook and stir for 2 minutes more. Return chicken to skillet, heat through and serve with sauce.

What I did different:
  • I didn't use fresh lemon juice - just the kind from the little plastic squeezie bottle you buy at the grocery store.
  • I didn't have dry white wine, but I did use a sweet dessert wine.
  • I used the Gluden's spicy brown mustard for the dijon.
  • I reduced the garlic from 3 cloves to 1 (I followed another recipe of hers where she called for 4 cloves of garlic and it was simply too much).
  • I also didn't have rosemary so I subbed in thyme.
  • I found that 4 minutes was not NEARLY enough time to cook the chicken and I only used 2 breasts.

Over all, this was good. It was tangy and had a good flavor. Here are my plans for next time:

  • Follow all of the steps up through the marinade.
  • At that point, I plan to add the cornstarch to the entire cup of chicken broth, combine with the chicken and marinade and bake in a 350 or 375 oven, covered with foil, about 30 or so minutes until the chicken is done.
  • Then serve over egg or fettuccine noodles.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Baked Macaroni and Three Cheese*.

I've been trying out some new recipes this week and thought I'd pass on last nights dinner. Super yummy and way easy to make. I'll post the original recipe and then my alterations:

*disclaimer: The only ways this is a "macaroni and cheese" recipe is that there are noodles and cheese.

1/4 pound ziti pasta, cooked
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1 cup low-fat sour cream
6 ounces provolone cheese, thinly sliced
6 ounces low-fat mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 cup Romano cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9x13 baking pan.

In a large mixing bowl, toss together the pasta, spaghetti sauce and sour cream. Mix together the provolone, the mozzarella and the Romano cheese and set aside. Now layer half the pasta mixture into the baking dish and sprinkle half the cheese mixture on the pasta. Layer remaining pasta on top and then the rest of the cheese. Bake for 30 minutes or until bubbly. Don't let the cheese brown.

Here's how I changed it:
  • I did not use sour cream. I didn't have any.
  • I used my can of Parmesan cheese instead of the Romano (saved me moolah at the grocery store and I'm pretty sure there is zero taste difference - as far as the fakey stuff goes).
  • I bought the provolone at the deli counter, pre-wrapped and pre-sliced.
  • I didn't "mix" the cheese, it didn't make sense to me to do that, since the provolone is sliced.
  • I cooked the noodles, drained the water and returned them to the pot and added the spaghetti sauce.
  • Then I sprayed Pam on the baking dish and spread out half of the pasta with sauce.
  • Then I shook the can of Parmesan over the top til it looked good, spread about half a bag of mozzarella cheese on top and laid out about 6 slices of the provolone.
  • Repeat and bake.
This makes a LOT. The book says 6 servings.... I know Nick & I had seconds last night (and they were good sized portions, since I didn't make a side dish) and we have 4 containers of it left over plus I gave it to Ben for dinner and lunch (and he LOVES it).

Sunday, October 24, 2010


I saw on another blog I followed that this lady posts her weekly menu for the week every Sunday. So because I'm a copy cat and I adore lists (per my previous post), I thought I'd start doing that as well. Not so much because I think any of you that read my lil ol blog care about what I choose to feed my family for the week, but mostly to make sure I actually make my menu. I find that when I take the time to think of meals, look in my cupboards for what I have on hand and plan accordingly, we spend so much less money at the grocery store. Last week, I don't know what I did but I went to the store with the stupidest list ever and we've made 3 or 4 runs up to the Fred's on the corner to fill in what I didn't plan for.

So without further ado - my menu for the week. These aren't in any particular order, I'll make them as they sound good (although they are in beef, chicken & meatless order so I don't have 3 nights in a row of beef dishes, etc, so maybe I will make them in this order):

Beef & Bean Burritos
Chicken & Rice Chowder
Baked Macaroni & Three Cheese
Spaghetti with Meat Sauce
Skillet Lemon Chicken with Rosemary
Beef & Veggie Stew

I'm also currently reading: Saving Dinner: The Menus, Recipes and Shopping Lists to Bring Your Family Back to the Table by Leanne Ely, which is chock full of recipes and all sorts of tips. She breaks her book out into seasons and gives you about 8 weeks of menus per season, she also creates a shopping list based on the ingredients needed for each week of meals and tips to save you time when planning ahead for tomorrow's dinner. Right now I'm just mostly using her book for dinner ideas but this could really be a time saver for some one that doesn't want to sit down and plan a menu.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


I heart to-do lists. Even more, I heart checking things off my to-do list. On Saturday, we're having the awesome Carissa from ckg photography do some pictures for us. We had her do Ben's 6 months pictures, after we saw what a fantastic job she did on some friends pictures. At first I wanted to do them at a pumpkin patch but I guess Idaho does things a little different than what I'm used to from Washington as far as pumpkin patches go. I've never had to pay admission to a patch before and to be honest, after shelling out money for our outfits and props and the photos themselves, I'm not looking to spend any more money - just to gain entrance to the place where we're taking pictures. So we're going a slightly different route but I think the overall effect will still be super cute. Only two things left to do on my to-do list and we're done with that list!

Projects, however....well, finishing projects is something I apparently have a hard time with. If I can pretty much work a project start to finish non stop, I'll get it done - no problem. But if it's something I do that takes a few days or weeks (or months, in the case of a certain VERY overdue gift to my sister in law and her new baby), it seems like I never finish it. I'm working on that vaguely mentioned gift, refinishing a free desk, converting our front room into a crafting space and some other things. I feel like I'll never finish. I think this is why I can't really seem to get into scrapbooking. I love the idea of scrapbooking and I do like to sit down and create pages but it always feels like a work in progress. And going back as far as I want to go seems like an enormous task. Blah.

Making decisions is another thing that I both love and hate. Some times I'm really focused and can just plow through what to do, where to do, if I should do it, etc. Other times I agonize and worry and wonder what others will think....then I have to almost yell at myself and make myself do what's right for me, and try not to worry so much what others think. Let me tell ya, as soon as the decision is made and put into action, I almost always feel instantly better. I've been in a deep funk the last few months (getting steadily worse - feeling things about myself that I haven't felt in a very long time) and I finally decided that it just wasn't worth it any more.

I'm still working on my Operation Purge & Simplify. I haven't really made any changes since my last post but the guest room is next. I've sort of been shoving things in there that I don't want to throw away, in hopes that I have some sort of meager and sad garage sale next spring. I'm thinking that that'll probably be way too much work and I'm just gonna donate the whole shebang to the Youth Ranch.

I do have a new goal, though, that I need to update to my goals blog. I want to make sure I make at least one new dish a month. I feel like we eat the same ol' things, over and over again (spaghetti and burritos, spaghetti and burritos) and I need to change it up. Plus, Ben is eating more and more "people" food (as opposed to "baby" food) and I want to offer him a variety of tastes. My mom kind of pokes fun at me because I was hesitant to let her feed him ice cream. It's not that I don't ever want him to have sweets - I just want to make sure he gets an appreciation for all things that are good for him before I start adding in the bad stuff.

So there's my random blog post du jour. I might regale you all with some "before" and "after" pictures of a few projects I've done around the house recently. If you're lucky. ;)

Monday, October 18, 2010

10 Months.

Holy cow, it feels like just yesterday that I wrote the post for 9 months. I can't believe 2 months from today, he'll be 1 year old. :(

Not too much is different from last month, as far as skills go:
  • Pulling up to stand on just about anything he can use for balance
  • Cruising
  • Copying/repeating
  • Making new sounds (ga-ga-ga is his newest sound)
  • Casting things aside when playing with toys - it's very deliberate and super funny
  • Stands in his crib (this isn't really new) and throws his binks on the floor (it's a bink graveyard when we go in to get him after nap time)
  • Champion waver and does it really fast now. It used to take quite a bit of prompting to get him to wave back but now it does it almost instantly
  • Transitioning from an army crawl to an all fours crawl. He's doing it more and more every day.
He wears:
  • Anywhere from 6-9 months to 18 months. It really depends on the brand and what he's wearing. Pants are most definitely 9 months (Children's Place & Baby Gap make pants in size 6 to 12 months that fit him awesome) otherwise they're much too short or much too long. Shirts are 9 months to 18 months (the 18 month ones are a bit baggy but fit).
  • Size 4 shoe (but they're a bit loose, but any smaller is too little) and he doesn't really wear them at all.
  • No hats. He pulls them off. I have to find hats with a chin strap for winter.
He eats:
  • Just about anything. Loves: plain yogurt with applesauce & cinnamon mixed in for breakfast; toast with mashed banana; tortilla; spaghetti; tortellini soup; avocado with mashed banana; any veggie (but not super excited by potatoes and HATES peas); toast; Cheerio's...not a big fan of chicken yet.
Still waiting for:
  • Teeth (I keep thinking he's totally teething but...nothing yet!)
  • First words (he says "mama" and "dada" but I think I've said before that I really don't think he's directing them at us)
  • Standing on his own
People remark on:
  • That his hair is darkening up (and it is getting kind of long for him - he has total bed head after naps)
  • His friendliness

Friday, October 15, 2010


{12/21/2011: This was originally posted on a blog I started just for Ben. I no longer keep up with that blog, so I'm moving them all over to this one}

yes. he is eating a tube of butt cream. yes, the cap is firmly on.

That's what our little monkey does during all of his waking hours. He explores. He explores his toys by selecting, discarding and moving on to the next. Within minutes of being set in front of his little toy basket in his room, it looks like a tiny toy war zone. He explores his books, and he absolutely has favorites. He really loves the Look Book that his awesome Aunt T sent and the two touch & feel books he has. Everything is still automatically put in his mouth for a taste. Even things we would rather he not have a sample of. Like the small carpet fibers that our lovely and well mannered cat pulls up.

Ben is a PRO at pulling up to stand. I find him standing in his crib at the end of almost all his naps. He can use just about anything to get up and is pretty good at plopping back on his bottom when he wants back down. He's still working on cruising but is getting better and better at that as well. Today he used one of the dining room chairs to pull himself up, then used the craft cutting mat I have stashed behind the chair to make it over to the dining room window sill, where he had a grand time playing peekaboo with the curtains.

He's learning plenty of hard lessons. Like drawers can really hurt when they're shut on tiny fingers (he did that all by himself and I felt TERRIBLE - we don't have locks on all the cupboards, just the ones under the sink and with things like all of our glass casserole dishes or our small appliances). He's learning that just because he can see a space, doesn't mean his body (generally his giant head) will fit there.

Two of our most challenging things to try to get over are #1: his constant gagging of himself. He does it ALL the time, shoving his fingers down the back of his throat til he gags. It's awful and some times he does it after dinner and then throws up everything he ate. I have no idea how to discourage this behavior. #2 is rolling over while being changed. This includes diapers and getting dressed. It's frustrating because he gets really upset when I won't let him roll over and I get really annoyed because I can't change him upside down. Sigh. We'll get through it.

He's starting to recognize words. I must have said "duck" to him 500 times this evening and I swear he said it back once. We were playing with one of his bath towels that has a duck on it and I just kept saying "duck, duck, duck" over and over (til the word lost all meaning haha) and I'd say "Ben, where is the duck?" and he'd reach for the duck. It amazes me to no end when he learns something new. He can also show you his toes. :-)

Lots of jabber (ga ga ga is his new favorite) from him still but no actual words - that we've noticed anyway. Still no teeth.

Next Saturday we're getting more pictures taken. The same lady that did his 6 month photos is having another mini-session sale and we're taking advantage. These aren't for any special "month" - I just wanted some cute pictures of him in a pumpkin patch. I think we'll actually just do it at a park, with some pumpkins I'll bring and a few bales of hay. I'm gonna be on the hunt for a wagon this week as I want one in the pictures and he'll wear his Halloween costume (a pumpkin, har). Nick's work is doing a special day where trick or treaters can come through in their costumes, so I think we might get a little extra mileage out of my $5.95 costume deal (I heart children's resale stores) and take him to that. Our local zoo also does a deal on the 30th that we may go to.

So that's really it on Ben news. No more "sickness" necessarily, but he has been rocking a snotty nose pretty consistently for a week or so. I'm hoping that's a teething queue but again, no teeth yet and no real signs of them. They'll show up eventually!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Recently I've gotten into the Halloween spirit. I've always enjoyed Halloween, I like to pass out candy to the kiddo's (okay...I don't personally like to hand out the candy, but I like to listen to Nick to do it - he's all "oh, that's a great costume, Happy Halloween!" and I'm all "here's your candy, get off my lawn") and I liked throwing up a few decorations. Fall, however, is one of my all time favorite seasons and Halloween just happens to fall in the middle of it.

Usually for fall, I do up my mantle with lots of cute decorations. This year, though, I have a tiny Ben art gallery on my mantle that apparently I'm not okay with taking down (it's not like I can't just go LOOK at him any time or like I don't have thousands of photos of him on my computer I could look at in case I forgot what he looked like), so I've got it spread out a little. And this year I'm incorporating more Halloween goodness in with the fall stuff. Probably I'm more into it this year because I stay at home and have time to decorate (especially now that he takes nice long naps - I can get so much accomplished in 2 hours, it's fantastic - and would rather play on his own than play with me). I also read a lot of blogs during the day to pass the time when I'm not cleaning up after Ben. These women are SO crafty. I wish I was even 1/10th as crafty.

At this point, I'm not really going too much overboard because pretty much the only one that appreciates it is me. I know Nick doesn't care if I decorate or not (he got a kick out of the thing I made last night - more on that later) and Ben has NO idea so right now it's just for me. As Ben gets older and is more aware of what's going on, I'll probably do up all the holiday's more to make them fun and special for me. I remember my mom used to make all the little holiday's fun. The one I remember the most was Valentine's day. V-day is 3 days before my birthday so V-day morning, I would get a special Valentine's day breakfast and a little present (I always thought it was a birthday present early - for all I know my mom could have just been getting me a special prize).

I find myself really enjoying being a stay at home mom. I wasn't sure I would - I thought after a few months I'd be dying to go back to work. To be completely honest with you....I don't. I don't miss work at all. I suppose it doesn't hurt any that I really didn't like what I was doing before I quit. It wasn't a good fit for me (although I did like the people I worked with, just not the actual job itself) and I didn't enjoy doing it. I really just have no desire to go back to work. Sure, I get bored and I long for some social interaction, but over all, I love it. I love tending my home, my child and my husband. I enjoy cooking a great meal and watch Nick all but eat the paint off the plate. I enjoy watching Ben destroy a room I just picked up (really I do, that's not sarcasm. For such a tiny kid, he makes a big mess and fast and he selects and then discards a toy with such deliberateness (is that a word?) and speed). I like finding that I have time to do all the crafty things I admired before but never seemed to have time to sit down and do.

I'm trying to spend less time with the dramas of Facebook and more time tending to my house and working on things that inspire me. I've been a spray painting fool this week and spent a stupid amount of money at the dollar store ($30? really? at the DOLLAR store?? hey, it's all stuff I can use when I'm feeling inspired, which is a lot lately) and crafting up a storm. Here's some of my more recent projects:

I found these bottle idea here

Here is a close up of the label. It made me laugh that it says "Mr. Bones" and I have it sitting by a skeleton....ahh, it's the simple things in life. The bottle is just filled with food colored water

Okay so this isn't something I made, but it is something I decorated. I created this little "office" station since we don't have an actual office any more. It's a place to keep the calendar, our bills and other miscellaneous office stuff. It makes me smile every time I look at it.

I made this ribbon wreath yesterday afternoon during one of Ben's nap. I keep finding spaces where the foam base is peeking through so I'm going to get another ribbon color (I'm thinking ivory) and fill in. I found the idea here ages ago and I have been dying to make it. I LOVE it.

So that's my craftiness as of late. I have a few more projects I'm excited to do (this & this) and of course I'm constantly moving things around my house and discovering something else I can spray paint.

Happy fall, ya'll! :-)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Pay It Forward.

I heart sharing and giving. I like doing nice things for other people, it makes me feel good to make some one else feel good. I think there's an awful lot of sadness and destruction in our lives and a simple "I sure hope you feel better" care package may seem like a small gesture, but it really can make a world of difference.

Recently I've been sharing my things in a different, less "instant gratification" type way. Clearly, I've been donating tons to the Youth Ranch. I don't (always) buy cheap clothes and I keep them in (fairly) good condition, so I hope that some young, struggling mother or who ever chooses my old item off the shelf is excited by the find and feels pretty when she puts it on.

I subscribe to a lot of magazines. I follow a couple of "thrifty" blogs and they periodically (ha, no pun intended) post links to free magazine subscription offers, which I generally sign up for. I get All You, Women's Fitness, Women's Day, Men's Health, Parents, and Martha Stewart Living for free. I don't have time to read them all cover to cover but I do flip through them and then end up with a huge stack of magazines to recycle. Since I've had Ben, I've been making good use of our library and I noticed as I was leaving that they have several clear bins by the door where you can drop off magazines or take some home to read. I've been leaving 4 or 5 every time I go (which recently, has been a lot. I read Nora Roberts religiously [my guilty pleasure] and I've been behind on a few books, not to mention all the fun crafting books I've been flipping through), and it makes me feel good to know that some one else is getting a free read from my free subscription!

I check through the "wanted" ads on Craigslist frequently. I almost got rid of two sampler cans of Similac formula that I have on hand, but literally the day after I replied to the lady's ad, all that formula was recalled and she never wrote back (I could have told her that I checked and the cans I have aren't included in the recall). Tonight I responded to a lady looking for some plus-sized clothes in the size I happen to have quite a lot of. Man, if she'd posted on like Monday she could have had a whole new wardrobe outta the 5 bags I donated to the Youth Ranch!! She's coming by tomorrow to pick them up.

I get teased by my family a lot that my world only extends as far as my arms can reach and that I'm pretty self-centered and slightly anti-social. Which...well, to be quite honest is mostly true. Mostly. HA!!!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Just about 4 months I ago, I posted a goals post with some things I was working towards. This update is mostly for myself but since this is a public blog and imports (when ever it feels like it) to FB, feel free to read along :-)

Without further ado:

Goal #1: Get my house clean, organized and to stay tidy every day.


Original Status: So far, so good. I started this the middle of last week. I assigned myself specific areas to clean every day and so far I've stuck to it. I also made a mini-goal of keeping the rooms I've already clean tidy for the rest of the week so when I get back to that room next week, there isn't as much to do.

October Update: Failure and success at the same time. I've since abandoned my prior method of keeping the house up and recently have started this Operation Purge & Simplify. So far the master bath and bedroom look pretty amazing and I've gotten rid of a lot of stuff. Ben's room always stays clean, as I help him pick up his toys in there several times a day. Our kitchen/dining room usually look like a war zone, as our island tends to be a dumping ground for just whatever. I'm working on it! :-) Less stuff = less to clean up!

Goal #2: Try something new every month.

Original Update: This month is full of new things. We already took Ben on his first camping trip which was an overall success. Next up for this month are going to a concert with some girlfriends.

October Update: Awesomely! Our summer has been pretty busy and we're doing lots of fun stuff! I had forgotten this was a goal but I'm glad to know I've been keeping up with it! Ha!

Goal #3: Make baby food myself.

Original Update: Awesome! I've made applesauce and carrots so far. As soon as he runs out of the boxed rice cereal I already bought, I'm going to make my own brown rice cereal.

October Update: Well. Again on this one is both success and failure. I made all that food listed above and he wouldn't eat it. He gagged on the applesauce (I think it was too chunky for him then) and refused to eat the carrots, so I went back to using the jarred stuff. Recently, as he's been eating more table food and less jarred stuff, I've been whipping up some things of my own. I made my own peach applesauce (I used some store bought, sugar free applesauce and then defrosted a few frozen peaches and blended it together) that he seems to like, along with some other things. I'm hoping that by the end of the month I've used up all the jarred stuff I have and don't need to buy any more.

Goal #4: Clean out the clutter & live more simply.

Original Update: Just started. I've gone through some of my stuff and boxed up the nicer stuff to share with Susan. The rest I'll donate

October Update: AWESOMELY!!! I have gotten rid of SO much stuff just this week and I feel SO good about it! Usually I have regrets about throwing something about like the instant it hits the trash can but not this time! I'm being ruthless and 100% honest with myself. There is no point in holding on to clothes that I simply do not wear for one reason or the other. It's not all stuff that doesn't quite fit, it's just stuff I don't wear and have to dig through to find the things I DO wear. Our bedroom is all clean and on my way to a goal I posted outside of this and that was to redo our bedroom. It's getting there!

Goal #5: Spend less, save more.

Original Update: Haven't started. July is the month. We're going to try going Monday - Thursday of each week without spending any money. I've made a list of our most commonly bought grocery items to stock up on at Costco and see if I can't reduce our shopping from every week to twice a month. The last week of the month we're going to eat strictly out of our pantry to use up any straggling items so they don't carry over to the next month for infinity and beyond.

October Update: Oh super major fail. This is a constant work in progress that I'm not sure we'll ever achieve. Nick and I have no self control and we suck for each other in this department. He gets paid, we spend money stupidly, then we're broke until next payday. That payday rolls around and we spend stupidly again, excited to have money again to spend....and repeat. It's a vicious cycle. I'm trying to break it (because one of us needs to step up and be the money Nazi) so we'll see......

Goal #6: Tackle some of those "I'd love to do ______" projects.

Original Update: Haven't started. We need to plan exactly what it is we want to do (travel to Ireland, travel to Florida, remodel our bathroom, plant a edible garden, etc) and do an honest cost approach for each and start SAVING. Then our dreams can become realities.

October Update: FAIL. See above. And honestly, I'd forgotten about this one too. Something to work towards until my next goal update!!

Monday, October 4, 2010


Operation Purge & Simplify: Part 2.

Bedroom closet.

Target - remove, donate or throw away anything I no longer wear (including shoes...I died a little inside), reorganize and make pretty.

Mission accomplished.

I got rid of over 15 pairs of shoes (seriously...I died a little) and hundreds of items of clothes. Now everything is neat and tidy and orderly and I vacuumed up all the Sadie hair from the bottom of the closet. My maternity clothes are all neatly stacked together, waiting for me to get prego again (no....we're not working on that right now, give us a few years), my summer stuff is tucked away in the back part of the closet and everything is organized according to type. Heart.

Saturday, October 2, 2010


So, what's a stay at home mama to do on a Saturday night? Leave the kid with a babysitter and go party it up like the days of old (I make it sound like I was such a barfly back in the days before babe)? Nope. Instead, the baby is tucked away in his crib, dreaming sweet dreams of pulling my hair and stealing my glasses off my face (which reminds me that I really do need to call the eye doctor and reorder some contacts....such a simple thing to do that I've been putting off for months) and I'm standing happily in the kitchen with my husband, chopping vegetables.

Who woulda thought?

Anyway, I don't know if you are anything like me but we throw away hundreds of dollars a month in produce gone bad. I buy it with the best of intentions - I'm going to make this soup, or this casserole or cut it up and have it for snacks and 80% of the time, it ends up mushy and growing things with that dark puddle of produce goo gunking up the bottom of my veggie bin. This month I had an idea. I have a few bags of frozen fruits that I bought from the store and earlier this week I was defrosting a few peach slices to cut up and give to Ben for breakfast. Inspiration struck. What if I took the time to freeze my OWN veggies? The ones I buy and spend all this time chopping up (my thought process behind that one was - if I slice it up so it's ready to eat as soon as I bring it home from the store, I'll have more success in actually using it. And some months that works. Some times it doesn't) and just freeze it myself? Then if I want steamed broccoli to go with dinner....all I have to do is reach into my very own freezer and viola!

So, off to the internet we took and found some fairly simple (but slightly time consuming) tips on how to blanch, shock and prep your own veggies for freezing. And so we have spent the past hour and a half, cutting up broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, sweet potatoes, white potatoes, red & green peppers for freezing. It's kind of boring, yes, and my knees hurt from standing now, but it's time spent with my husband, doing something together. Something other than simply existing in the same space, computers warming our laps while the TV buzzes in the background. We're talking and laughing (I made Nick giggle....apparently my impression of a hungry drain, sucking up the dirty dish water was a good one) and's pretty nice. If I do say so myself.

I heart that I have a husband that will share in these kinds of simple chores with me. :-)