Monday, February 28, 2011

Monday: Menu.

Here's what the Beesley's are cooking up this week:

Tuesday: Burritos
Wednesday: Spaghetti
Thursday: Chicken Stir Fry
Saturday: Lasagna Soup

What's cooking in your kitchen this week? ;)

Friday, February 25, 2011

Keeping It Real

Miranda over at Just Drink a Coke is hosting a link party where we show off our real messes. I thought it would be fun to join in. :)

Here's my mess:

This is what my kitchen/dining room looks like most of the day. I do clean it but that dang island is just a magnet for clutter. So what's going on in this picture?
  • Well, the purple sheet over the chairs to the right of the picture isn't normally there. I made a fort for Ben. He didn't care about it.
  • The hutch is pretty tidy, except for the birthday present that I need to wrap for tomorrow's party.
  • Island = general clutter. There's an empty milk jug that I rinsed out for Nick to put his used motor oil in, a case of Coke, the baby monitor, a huge stack of magazines (from this morning, I was trying to find my coupon for $10 off at the Amazon Baby Store), Ben's high chair tray, and the dish that usually sits on top of the dining room table (moved for the aforementioned fort), Sadie's food & water so Ben doesn't play in it, an empty coffee cup and my phone
  • Rest of the counters - I've got a pile of dirty dishes going in the sink, dinner in the crock pot, lunch stuff on the counter next to my computer along with my notebook, a magazine, bills, etc.
  • Not to mention the random crap Ben finds to play with and then leaves on the floor. And the tiny culprit himself.
It looks pretty awful but it takes about 5 minutes to clean up. And even less time than that to get it looking just the same again. :)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

PB&J Oatmeal Thumbprint Cookies

I found this recipe on Weelicious last night and made them after Ben went to bed (it seems I do most of my baking at night when Nick is at school... I wonder if that will change when school is out) and MY OH MY were these so good!!!

Nick walked in the back door, stopped and said "you baked!" He then proceeded into the kitchen where he stopped again and said "peanut butter cookies!!!" Then he continued talking to me, noticed the cookies again and interrupted himself mid sentence to say "peanut butter thumb print cookies?!?!?"

:) I think that was a nice treat for him after a really long and hard day (I could take total credit and say I made these just for that occasion - but the fact is that I wanted cookies & I wanted to make some that I could share with Ben without too much guilt).

As usual, I'll share the original recipe first and then share how I changed mine just slightly below.

PB&J Oatmeal Thumbprint Cookies (Makes about 60 cookies)

1/2 Cup Butter (1 Stick), softened
1/2 Cup Agave Nectar OR 1/2 Cup Honey
1 Large Egg
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
1 Cup Peanut Butter
1 1/2 Cup All Purpose Flour
1 Cup Old Fashioned Oats
1 Tsp Baking Soda
1/2 Tsp Salt
Jam, Jelly or Preserves

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place the butter and agave (or honey) in a bowl or standing mixer and beat for 1 minute.
  3. Add the egg, vanilla and peanut butter and beat another minute on medium speed or until smooth.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine all the dry ingredients and mix to combine.
  5. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix to incorporate.
  6. Drop 1 tbsp of the cookie dough onto a silpat or parchment-lined cookie sheet and using your thumb (or index finger if you prefer), make an indentation in the center of each cookie.
  7. Fill the indentation of each cookie with about 1/2 teaspoon of jam.
  8. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
  9. Cool and serve.

Here's how mine were different:

  1. I had some agave left from when I made Ben's birthday cake, but not enough. I used as much agave as I had and filled up the rest with honey (probably about a 1/4 cup each).
  2. I've been doing this for awhile now with all cookie recipes that want you to put your wet ingredients in one bowl and your dry ingredients in another, and then mix the two: I've always felt it was really stupid to dirty another bowl for dry ingredients, so this is what I do and I haven't noticed a taste difference at all: mix together all the "wet" ingredients as directed. Then mix in the smaller of the dry ingredients (usually the salt, baking powder, etc) with a hand mixer and then slowly stir in the flour.
  3. I'm not lucky enough to have a stand mixer, so I mixed all mine with a regular ol' hand mixer.
  4. I don't have a Silpat mat or even parchment paper, so my cookies just went on a plain old cookie sheet - didn't seem to bake any differently...
  5. There's no way you'll get 60 cookies if you follow the instructions. She says to drop by tablespoon full, which is what I did. I got closer to 45ish cookies (which is plenty).
In any case - these are freaking delicious!!! A bit time consuming but so worth the effort! I'll definitely make these again :)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Some Ben wackiness du jour:
  1. Peeing on the floor and then stepping in it. That's right, folks. I sent my naked child off towards the bath, he stopped to pee and then thought it would be fun to play in it. Mama disagreed. Loudly.
  2. Discovering his face reflected in the overflow drain in the tub. And then staring at himself. Admiring himself. Then he kissed himself.
  3. Finding that the toothbrush tickles. :)
  4. Backwards crawling. Everywhere.
  5. Forts in the living room - kinda fun!
  6. Digging through the picture box and looking at a picture of my mom and saying "nana" over and over - just about broke my heart. :( I think he misses her.
  7. Giving hugs to new friends at Little Gym.
  8. Stuffing handfuls of food into the catcher part of his bib and then giving the sign for "all done" - stinker.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Shepherd's Pie

I haven't shared this recipe before but it's one I make fairly often and it's quite delicious. I've changed the way I make mine, so first I'll share the original recipe and then I'll share my changes:


4 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon finely chopped onion
1/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste
5 carrots, chopped
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
1 pound lean ground beef
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon ketchup
3/4 cup beef broth
1/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese


  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until tender but still firm, about 15 minutes. Drain and mash. Mix in butter, finely chopped onion and 1/4 cup shredded cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste; set aside.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add carrots and cook until tender but still firm, about 15 minutes. Drain, mash and set aside.* Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C.)
  • Heat oil in a large frying pan. Add onion and cook until clear. Add ground beef and cook until well browned. Pour off excess fat, then stir in flour and cook 1 minute. Add ketchup and beef broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Spread the ground beef in an even layer on the bottom of a 2 quart casserole dish. Next, spread a layer of mashed carrots. Top with the mashed potato mixture and sprinkle with remaining shredded cheese.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

* Here's where I've changed mine: to be perfectly honest, the layer of mashed carrots sounded weird to me. Instead of that, I cooked a package of frozen mixed veggies (like carrots, peas, green beans, corn, etc) as directed on the package and layered that in place of the mashed carrots (so meat mixture, mixed veggies, top with potatoes and cheese).

14 Months.

Rearranging the dining room chairs - I think he'd move the table if he was strong enough! :)

Holy cow. I can't believe I'm writing about the things he's been up to now that he's 14 months old. We attended a 1st birthday party this weekend and it just really reminded me how fast it all goes. Ben's 1st birthday was only 2 months ago but it feels like forever ago. He's a completely different kid now than he was just 2 months ago. Makes me wonder what big changes we'll see in another 2 months...

He's still slow on the teeth department but he's up to 3 now. Both top teeth have come through (his big ol' chompers make my heart hurt) and he's still got that one lonely tooth on the bottom. He's been gnawing on his fingers and really anything he can find, so I think some more on the top are coming through. Stupid question coming: when do I take him to the dentist? Now? Later? I should look that up...

Telling papa it's time to get up!

He's picked up some more words. Last time I think I said he didn't say "cat" any more - well that's back and probably one of his favorites. He loves our cats (I wish they loved him the way he loves them!!!) and says "tat" now for cat. He's very deliberate on his "t" and it's super cute. He says "sacks" for "socks" and "shoes". I wasn't very interested in his shoes when we first got them but now he loves them. He'll go get them and place them on top of his feet now and wait for me to put them on. Then he just wanders all over the house with 'em on. Super cute.

He loves to go out (which he some times also says "ow-it"). we walk out several times a day to the oh so fabulous trash can to throw away diapers or out to the mailbox. The few nice days we've had, we've taken him out to either walk or play. He's ALL about walking now. He still does crawl but for the most part his mode of transportation is his own two feet. Which produces a challenge at the grocery store. When he's tired of sitting.

Cruising around Settler's Park

Signing is still going good. I can't get him to speak any of the words that he knows to sign so I don't know if that will be a challenge later or not. He's created his own sign for "more please" - he doesn't do "more" quite right, he usually just takes one pointed finger and touches it over and over to his other flat hand but recently he's been combining that motion with please and does a pointed finger to his chest in a circle motion for "more please". Another one of those that makes my heart hurt.

I'm thinking we're going to need to revisit some sleep training at night. I want to give it a bit more time, as he's been sick, but for the last month or so, he's been waking and needing help going back to sleep. I do blame it on being sick - first we all had a little flu bug virus thingie and then right after that he & I got colds (his came with an ear infection). I miss what it's like to have a full night of sleep.

He looks sad because I left to get the camera - I couldn't resist a picture of him half undressed! :)

This last month Nick's had to go into the office like a regular person and be there all day, 5 days a week. I miss having him around (he doesn't get to go to Little Gym with us any more either and that is NO FUN) and so does Ben, but I think Nick's the one that feels it the most. Since it's just the two of us for most of the day (and school nights especially suck, it's like we don't see him at all - I try not to complain because I know there are others that have it much worse and I am thankful for the time we do get to spend together and I know school is almost over YAY!), I am Ben's number 1 bud. Which I don't mind.... :)

Snow play!

So there you have it. The happenings of Ben at 14 months. :)

Thursday, February 17, 2011


Today I say: peace out, girl scout to my 20's. It was an interesting decade, that's for sure. In that decade I....

...took a couple of cool trips. We went to San Francisco, Florida, Scottsdale, Philadelphia (I did that one by myself for work), Green Bay... I don't know if I'm leaving any out, but I don't think so.
...started my first "adult" job
...made some truly fantastic friends
...bought my first house a dog married
...sold our house
...quit my job
...moved states
...bought a new house
...started a new job
...found my sister from another mister ;)
...watched my husband work hard for his associates degree
...had a baby
...quit another job :)
...had 3 nieces and 1 nephew born
...lost my mom
...made friends & gave them up
...finally had the time to find out who I am

In the last 10 years I've grown a lot. I don't think I'm the same person I was in 2001. I mean, essentially I'm ME but I've grown. I think I'm more mature. I'm certainly more dependable and probably very predictable.

I miss my mom a lot. Especially today. I know she would have called me or sent me an email or posted something on my Facebook (or all of the above) for my birthday. She would have made me a coconut cake if I'd asked for one and asked me what I wanted for my birthday dinner. She would have made me feel special and I would have taken advantage of having my mom there. I wish I had known last year. I would have tried to savor each moment.

But. Moving on to my 30's. I don't know what the future holds for me, but I'm certain it involves one more baby. I'm hoping it involves more good fortune, more money and better opportunities. I'm hoping that there's no more death (thought I don't think that wish will be coming true) and more celebration of LIFE.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Friday Confessional.

I'm doing something way different here and I'm not only participating in an idea I saw on some one else's blog, but I'm going to link up to it. I've never done that before and I'm sure I'll do it wrong (ha ha) but it sounded like fun so I'm gonna give it a go.


I Confess:

That I straighten products on the shelves at random stores I'm shopping at. I can't make myself stop.

I Confess:

That when the baby monitor goes off in the middle of the night, some times I try to hit the snooze button on my alarm to make the noise stop.

I Confess:

That I judge you if you don't take the cart back to the cart return. Really? It's like 10 feet. Put your cart away.

I Confess:

That bloggers who apologize all over themselves for "poor photo quality" bug the crap out of me. Unless you are a professional photographer, no one is going to care if your lighting isn't "just right" - it's okay. To be honest, I never notice anything wrong with the photos that are being apologized for anyway.

I Confess:

That some times I feel like my sweet baby boy was abducted by aliens and in his place they left this whiny, cranky, temperamental toddler who confuses and annoys me a lot. Then I feel bad that I'm annoyed at him, cuz after all - he's just a baby.

I think that's enough for today. I'm gonna go attempt to link this bad boy up. :)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


I have a fever and the cure in this case is not more cowbell. I have cabin fever. More accurately, BEN has cabin fever. He, of course, can't tell me, but I'm fairly certain he's bored of being cooped up inside all day. The only activity we do out of the house is Little Gym on Wednesdays. Other than that, we mostly just play inside unless I have chores to do or errands to run that take us out of the house -but even that isn't PLAYING.

The weather is starting to warm up a little, and I know as soon as it does we'll start taking daily walks and rides in his wagon, going down to the park to play on the swings and the slides and climb and all that fun stuff. But in the mean time - WE. ARE. GOING. NUTS.

Today I tried to let him play with crayons and paper. He scribbled a little, but mostly wanted to eat the crayons and I got tired of telling him they were not for his mouth and put that away. I made him some playdough and that didn't interest him one bit. What did interest him was climbing up my leg and whining at me, which (surprisingly, I know) did NOT interest me.

I've emailed my brother & sister-in-law to see if Emma can come over once a week after kindergarden lets out to play with him for a few hours (Emma & Ben get on like white on rice) and if we're able to do that, that'll help. If she isn't able to come over, well, that's okay but.... I know I have a lot of stay at home mom friends or mom's that only work part time, okay even my full time working parent friends: what the crap do you DO to keep your babies entertained???? For free, I should add. For free. There are loads of indoor play places here but I'm not interested in paying to let him play.

Help a mama out.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


I read this in a magazine this evening and it really stuck out at me:

To make permanent change,s you need to commit to the long haul. If your resolve weakens, give yourself a boost. Changing bad habits takes discipline and work, and sometimes you might not feel up to it. The trick is to find healthy ways to treat yourself, whether that's splurging on a spa visit or new walking shoes.

That was from the January 21st issue of All You magazine - now in context they're talking about weight loss, but I really think that statement can be used for all areas of your life: if you want to quit smoking, stop drinking soda, improve your general outlook on life, be a nicer person, etc. Anything you want to change in your own life is going to take work and commitment - and duh... you're going to have days you don't feel like doing it. You may have weeks you don't feel like doing it. But I think we all owe it to ourselves to be committed to OURSELVES and strive for what makes us better people.

And that's really all I have to say about that (imagine that in your very best Forrest Gump voice)