Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas Eve

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

What am I missing

I must be missing one key component in my kids diet because both of them love to eat snow.

I took them out tonight for a Snow Night, I find it so relaxing to be out in the dark playing in the snow. Maybe it the almost silence and the deserted feeling that I love. Or maybe its because the only thing getting destroyed is the snow and not even I have the OCD needed to keep that clean. Unless its on my driveway, front deck or garage - hmm, maybe I do have a problem!

We made super fancy Salt Dough Ornaments and repainted a couple of my rooms when I wasn't looking.

Santa has to go figure out her game plan for getting all this crap wrapped!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Did I miss something?

I made the brilliant remark about 2 weeks ago that I couldn't do real trees because I was positive the dogs would pee on them. Not long after those words left my lips one of the dogs pee'd on the ARTIFICIAL tree in the bonus room. I mean really who is dumb enough to mistake a fake plastic tree for a real one? And no I don't use any evergreen room fresheners. Then it happens again today, we are up to add another ornament to the tree and I notice a streak of yellow across the tree skirt and carpet.

The worst part is I can't figure out who did it. Milo lifts his leg so I would assume that mixed with the fact that most door knobs are smarter than him would make him the responsible party. Juno is young only 1 and was hard to potty train but she doesn't have accidents at all now but she squats to pee so that would make it easier to get the angle that I witnessed.

I suppose unless I catch someone in the act it may go unpunished!

Here's a but of background before we get into the next story - roughly 6 months ago I stopped doing husbands laundry. It started first with just not putting away the clean stuff and then moved to his dry cleaning and now I really don't touch any of it. The reason being the guy simply cannot pick up after himself so he takes off lovely dress shirts and dress pants and just rolls them into a ball and leaves them in various places around the house. NOT ACCEPTABLE!

Here's a pile that hasn't even made it to the huge walk in closet.

So we are waiting for husband so we can leave for the kids Christmas Program last night, I loaded everyone into the truck and we sat in the driveway watching for his truck. It took a solid hour to wash the kids up and get them slicked up and dressed. I actually showered, put on a nice black dress/boots, dried my hair and curled it so by many accounts I looked HOT! Husband arrives home and jumps in the car in jeans and a flannel looking shirt. My mouth fell to the ground, who goes to work in an office building dressed like a lumberjack? Who goes to their kids Christmas Program dressed like a lumberjack when their wife looks hot? Only my husband and only he thinks its hilarious that he has been wearing jeans to work everyday because his 6 week supply of dress shirts and pants is laying in a pile in our closet!

The kids did a great job at their one and only dual Christmas Program performance.

On a brighter note I made Oreo Truffles (or Santa Balls as I called them) this week. I just ate another one when I hit a piece of something that was unchewable. Upon further examination this piece was wood and its from my wooden spoon which I kept sticking into the blender while I attempted to get the mixture to blend. I'm out one wooden spoon and perhaps a bit of embarrassment if any of the truffles that the kids gifted their teachers with have any extra parts present. Here's the recipe and a pic of the creation (I did let the kids do the chocolate dipping)

Oreo Truffles

Prep Time:
30 min
Total Time:
1 hr 30 min
3-1/2 doz. or 42 servings, one truffle each
What You Need

1 pkg. (1 lb. 2 oz.) OREO Cookies, finely crushed, divided
1 pkg. (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
2 pkg. (8 squares each) BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate, melted
Make It

MIX 3 cups of the cookie crumbs and the cream cheese until well blended. Shape into 42 (1-inch) balls. Refrigerate for 1 hr.

DIP balls in melted chocolate; place on waxed paper-covered baking sheet. (Any leftover melted chocolate can be stored in tightly covered container at room temperature and saved for another use.) Sprinkle with remaining cookie crumbs.

REFRIGERATE 1 hour or until firm. Store any leftover truffles in tightly covered container in refrigerator.

Remember, don't stick wooden spoons into an operating blender!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Fire Alarms & Pizza

This project was originally to use my pizza dough recipe (usually made in the summer on the grill) to make breadsticks and calzones and test the pizza water inside in my oven.

2 fire alarms and a bunch of smoke later, which clouded my whole first floor. WE HAVE PIZZA! I made a few breadsticks, they are fine just like the grill ones. I made one calzone and feed it to GR so not sure how that worked out. I focused on my obsessions - THE PIZZA!

I made one for the kids at 500 in a convection oven (which is actually 525 in my oven) and it turned out fine if you like normal pizza. I like thin, crispy yet chewy pizza so I researched. My oven temp was right but I was seeing many people say they pre-cook the crust, so I gave that a whirl. You really have to watch for crust bubbles because it ain't folklore they happen and big time. It worked, I had a crisp yet chewy crust and perfect toppings just melted with a slight brown. Yes, I ate a piece before I took the picture, shoot me I was starving!

The downside is I feel like I have burnt cornmeal poisoning and the kids keep asking when the smoke will clear. I think its the high heat and cornmeal (which helps the pizza slide off the stone) that caused so much smoke. I actually used my fan (which I hate) and it scared poor Juno the husky all the way to the kids bathroom. I had to go drag her out and put her in the basement to watch football.

I just ventured to the basement to bring the kids more pizza and the calzone was gone so I'm assuming that is a good sign. While this appears to be a relatively cheap dinner it did take me a bottle of wine to get through preparation and serving.

man, I'm tired. You can find me on the couch now which is few and far between.

Summer Food Memories

I don't really miss summer because I prefer cool days and time spent bundled up in the house. I do miss the pizza we would make on the grill several times a week. In order to try and pull it off I'm having GR grill out today since it's a balmy -10 with windchill around -35 below.

I'm kidding on making him stand outside so instead I used my standard dough recipe and will try making breadsticks, mini pizzas and calzones in the oven using my pizza stone. If the mini pizzas turn out ok then sometime this week I will try our standard pizza.

I'm actually not kidding about him standing outside but A) He would never do anything I asked and B) I'm not sure the grill could even heat enough to cook a pizza anyway but C) it sure would do him good to suffer just a tad bit!

Here's my famous dough recipe, you simply can't go wrong with this one! I tend to not measure and just gauge things so you might have to work with it a bit your first time.

5 cups flour
1-2 T Active yeast
1-2 T Brown Sugar
2 Cups Hot water
dashes of salt

Mix your dry ingredients together and add the water, mix it all and the knead the dough around so you have all your parts incorporated. Cover and let rise for 1 hr. Punch down and let rise for an additional hour and then start cooking.

This dough is impacted by room temp and humidity so if you don't get a perfect rise don't worry. I will have pics of my creations later.

We took the kids ice skating today and both of them loved it (still). I had planned to get them out on the pond also but we had 14 warms hours (mid 30's) before this cold front hit so the pond was a bit slushy. I don't teach swimming lessons in the winter!

The kids just have school this week and then they are off for 2 solid weeks. I have a couple at home activities planned - Cookie Baking for Santa, Wine Drinking Contest for Mom, Ornament Making (salt dough) and our standard things like play doh, art time, Mom locked in the bathroom alone, and music practice. It should buy me about 37 minutes to try and get my work done!

I can't believe we are 10 days away, my shopping has been done since the summer so I just need to wrap but honestly I don't see that happening anytime soon. It's the 2 kids glued to me constantly that might prohibit. I really wonder if all the crap wasn't wrapped but rather tossed under the tree haphazardly if they would even care. I think that a few less sheets of paper in between the kid and the dream gift might be a good thing.

I will admit even with 1 less week between T-Day and Christmas I'm not sure I can handle anymore Christmas music, we literally have it on 24/7 and its making me a tad bit crazy! When I say crazy I mean I actually wanted a drink about 2 pm today, it's 3:30 and I'm still holding strong but I'm not sure how much longer I can last!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

O, Christmas Tree

Here's our trees for this year

Kids tree - A collection of their annual ornaments, ornaments they made or received

Man tree - Need I say more, its full of beer

My tree - Crystals and snowflakes and icicles

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Santa please bring me a chainsaw

Preston wanted to ask Santa for a chainsaw because he just bought his Secret Santa one and he fell hard for it. I helped him write his wish list and we put the chainsaw at number five behind the safer presents (blocks, books, video game and art supplies).

The visit to Santa was a huge success and although its down right chilly here the sleigh ride was fun.

For those of you that asked, her is my Citrus Peeler getting ready for action and here is the link so you can get your own!

Friday, December 5, 2008

So much to say

I have been severely lacking on the blogging time dept, must be the season.

Anyway its hard to follow up my previous post so I will start with the simply fact that it was not staged! That is truly Maren, I came around the corner one quite Monday afternoon and saw "it" so I quickly and quietly retreated to grab my camera and nabbed the shot. Although I was caught in the act, it was well worth it.

On another random note, I just used my Citrus Peeler from Pampered Chef (just bought it at a neighborhood home party a few moths ago) and I'm not sure what rocked more the amazing Satsumas from my CSA or the freaking Citrus Peeler!

Just a quick PSA on CSA's - if you don't know what one is or what is means or don't care - LEARN, FIGURE IT OUT & NEVER LOOK BACK. You get organic fruits and veggies for a very reasonable price and you help support local farming. Can you imagine being a farmer right now! Check it out!

QOTD: Is it a reasonable for a 4 yr old to buy is secret Santa 5 yr old neighbor a fake bosch chainsaw that seems pretty real. I let each of the kids pick out their gift for their secret Santa - Maren picks a paint your own cup/dish set which is very cute and very girly! Preston picks a Bosch (done by Target) chainsaw and the big problem is he thinks this is the best GIFT EVER. So much he hardly wants to give it away!

It's time here for 09/10 school year sign up which means I have to commit to what school we are sending Preston too and what schedule I want Maren on so I can get work done. I researched for an entire year and stumbled across the perfect Kindergarten to send P to, it has everything - full day, music, art, small class size, bus service etc etc but its in the next town over which is a BIG bus ride for me! I think it will do wonders for him and I'm so excited to see him turn 5, it feels like just this week he has come home and started talking storybooks about his life.

I'm waiting to hear from BFF Cousin about her "Philosophy" use, I started today with the gift set for my face and the Amazing Grace line and so far so good. I need something to make my barely showered, non makeup face look somewhat put together. Plus I need to smell good since showers are apparently optional for me, not my choice but simply by lack of time.

I leave you with my picture of the day. Can you guess the item? It should be easy as my good flash needs batteries and its pitch black in my house.

Monday, December 1, 2008

A quick thought

When life gives you lemons, give them right back! Take that lemons!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Where were you?

First off, I heart Edward! He is the guy most men want to be but don't know how to be.

Second, This song pulls together a year of waiting, wondering and wishing for me. It's brand new from The Fray.

Third, because I'm a music lover here are the words
You Found Me
By Isaac Slade/Joe King/The Fray

//Verse 1//
I found God
On the corner of First and Amistad
Where the west
Was all but won
All alone
Smoking his last cigarette
I said, “Where you been?”
He said, “Ask anything.”

//Verse 2//
Where were you
When everything was falling apart?
All my days
Were spent by the telephone
That never rang
And all I needed was a call
It never came
To the corner of First and Amistad

//Chorus 1//
Lost and insecure
You found me, you found me
Lying on the floor
Surrounded, surrounded
Why’d you have to wait?
Where were you, where were you?
Just a little late
You found me, You found me

//Verse 3//
In the end
Everyone ends up alone
Losing her
The only one who’s ever known
Who I am
Who I’m not, and who I want to be
No way to know
How long she will be next to me

//Chorus 2//
Lost and insecure
You found me, you found me
Lying on the floor
Surrounded, surrounded
Why’d you have to wait?
Where were you, where were you?
Just a little late
You found me, You found me

Early morning
The city breaks
I’ve been calling
For years and years and years and years
And you never left me no messages
You never sent me no letters
You got some kind of nerve
Taking all I want

//Chorus 3 and outro//
Lost and insecure
You found me, you found me
Lying on the floor
Where were you, where were you?

Lost and insecure
You found me, you found me
Lying on the floor
Surrounded, surrounded
Why’d you have to wait?
Where were you, where were you?
Just a little late
You found me, You found me

Why’d you have to wait
To find me, to find me?

This is a blurb from The Fray about the meaning of the song.
“You Found Me is a tough song for me. Its about the disappointment, the heart ache, the let down that comes with life. Sometimes you’re let down, sometimes you’re the one who lets someone else down. It gets hard to know who you can trust, who you can count on. This song came out of a tough time, and I’m still right in the thick of it. There’s some difficult circumstances my family and friends have been going through over the past year or so and can be overwhelming. It wears on me. It demands so much of my faith to keep believing, keep hoping in the unseen. Sometimes the tunnel has a light at the end, but usually they just look black as night. This song is about that feeling, and the hope that I still have, buried deep in my chest."

Arizona, baby!!!

I haven't heard it since then....

Sunday, November 16, 2008

GNO - Holiday Prep

BFF's & I went to a GNO shin dig at which you design your own outdoor holiday baskets, buckets, tubs, stands etc. IT ROCKED!!!

First of all it was very thrifty, I did 2 large planters and a small bucket for $22 and all the greens are fresh and the selection was top notch - Spruce tips, juniper swags, pine branches etc.

Second of all it was fun, just a relaxed evening of girl talk and holiday prep. This of course occurred after it took us 45 minutes to get out of the Mall of America parking lots! Once we got away from MOA we spent a couple hours designing our planters (in my case I just bought the goodies and brought them home because I had not cleared the dead mums/kale from my planters). At this point a drink and food is needed so we wrapped up the evening with a quick bit to eat.

I just put together my planter this morning and I love them, they need a splash of red from some berries but are otherwise set. I also managed to get the 2 outdoor Christmas trees staged, the white lights on my evergreen up and my other holiday/winter stuff out. I also had to erase the last bit of fall by pulling up all my mums and kale from FROZEN soil. It has been cold but I didn't expect it to be so much work to get them extracted.

I'm off to make a hearty vegetarian chili in the crockpot.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Making a play for it!

I have been working on my own, for my own company since I had Preston. I kinda dabbled and never really got serious but lately I have had great luck finding clients so I have decided to jump in with both feet!

I want to work and for the sake of me doing less house projects need to work! Having my own company and working virtually should be the best of both worlds, I can be here for the kids, work and still manage stuff around here. It's amazing how much time you pick up when you don't have a commute or lunch hour etc etc.

I made a free site and if business continues to boom I will upgrade to a fancy site. I also widened my scope of offerings. I'm a top notch project manager and lately I have mastered the virtual admin asst jobs but I threw in some of the fun things I like to do - photography, event planning and organized effectiveness. Here it is:
PG Star Consulting
(its migrating right now but should be up later).

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Not my husband but my new range, there is a new man in my life and he has 3 racks and a steam wash. While I care deeply about my range and its convection love and hot warming drawer it just isn't enough anymore.

Excuse my dirty dishes but it is a dishwasher!

Throw it Together Tuesday

About once a week I'm stumped for dinner and I just throw about of random, leftover type stuff in a pot or dish and cook it. Last night we had Tomato Basil Bake. Anytime I cook I hardly measure so you just have to go with my flow.

1 Box of Barilla Plus Rotini (cooked)
1 can of Organic Garbanzo beans
1 can of Diced tomatoes with Italian spices
1/2 jar of Pasta sauce
a bit of extra pizza sauce
fresh chopped basil
some shredded mozzarella cheese
some slices of Swiss cheese

I cooked the noodles and drained, while they cooked I threw everything else into a casserole dish. Mixed the noodles in and covered with a couple slices of good Swiss cheese. Baked at 350 for 30 min.

I thought it was yummy, Preston ate is entire serving and Maren ate half. You could easily add any type of veggie but I really wanted to concentrate on the fresh basil and tomato mix.

Monday, November 10, 2008


I love my new range, I want to marry it! I just stand in front of it in awe of the pretty lights and strange controls. Then I open it and I'm blinded by 2 oven lights, blind or not I love it! I have yet to cook anything in it but I'm using the warming drawer to keep delivery pizza warm right now. I LOVE IT!

I figured out today when the temp has plummeted that my heated seats don't work, I peruse the manual positive that its just a blown fuse. I feel confident of that once I find that the rear heated seats are run by a fuse but I cannot locate the info for front seats. I open the hood, dig around and cannot figure it out. I call the dealership and after a vote they decide its not a fuse (I'm not really buying this vote but I'm also not buying the Nov 4th vote so...) and since my car is warrantied who the heck cares. It goes in Thursday so hopefully I can warm my large bum at that point.

I'm having a very OFF day, not sure the problem just having a hard time focusing on work and life in general. I did manage to get some catch up things done yesterday. I keep a Birthday Book (pictures of the kids on their birthday) and I write an annual letter to each kid, well it hadn't been finished so I crossed that off my list. I also went through all the toys and donated anything that wasn't being used so we can prepare for the holidays.

I still need to fix a couple of paint chips and hang the window scarves in my bathroom but I'm making progress. I also need to put away the 1000's of pictures that are sitting on my desk, it might be fun to actually SEE my desk!

Maybe its the impending holidays, it will be our first officially alone. I had a major falling out in the spring with our closest family member so we won't be attending any events with them and it just feels weird to be that OUT.

I don't really know how these fit in right now but its one of my favorite songs currently.

How many times can I break till I shatter?
Over the line can't define what I'm after
I always turn the car around
Give me a break let me make my own pattern
All that it takes is some time but I'm shattered
I always turn the car around

This also doesn't fit but its been on my mind since 2 close friends are preggo. I would love to have another because kids are so magical but I want a tiny bit of my life back, which I have now and I have this unnatural fear of bad things. I know with only 2 kids I can easily pick them both up and run but anymore than 2 and I would have to make a choice - I could never make that kind of choice.

On a more positive note I'm looking forward to a GNO on Friday November 21st to see Twilight. I heart Edward!
Edward Cullen Pictures, Images and Photos

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Thanksgiving Menu

In the making, here are my thoughts for the big day.

Creamy Mashed Potatoes

Whiskey Glazed Carrots

Fresh Corn with Wild Rice

Pumpkin Cake

Pecan Topped Sweet Potatoes

Green Bean Casserole


Cranberry Relish

Chocolate Cheesecake

Cheesy Potato Casserole

I don't think I'm missing anything or at least I hope I'm not. I will get some yummy fresh baked rolls from the co-op. I usually keep my appetizers simple so I can focus on the main stuff so apps are cheese and crackers, spinach dip, pesto torte and hummus and veggies.

Friday, November 7, 2008

What a difference a few days makes

This is the view from my kitchen window just a few short days after the last picture.

SNOW!!! Can you believe it, the kids can't wait to get outside and have spent most the morning just staring out into the cold wetness. The dogs won't come in and just keep running circles in it. Which makes me think I had better get them in or they will "run down" all the snow and the kids will have mush!

In order to enjoy our first snow fall I think we will do Fondue Friday and make a bunch of different dippables that the kids can dip veggies, fruits, grains and sweets in!

I'm thinking a Spinach Dip, something with hummus and perhaps this tasty treat. To be honest with no range my options are quite limited but the wait will be worth it when a new one is delivered to me on Monday! I plan my inaugural dish to be lasagna, now what we will eat for the next 3 days I'm really not so sure.

So I hung some curtains in the bonus room yesterday, spent at least 30 minutes attempting to figure out why they didn't look even. Only when I pulled out the tape measure did I realize that one of my 84 in curtains was 82 inches. What a relief that I didn't install the rod totally whacked. In the policy of full discloser it is partially whacked, it just was not my day for this project!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

How soon you forget

I can't believe its that time of year when its necessary to have lights on midday so you can see in your own house. We have had 1 run of cool weather (40s) but now the gloom has set in and it comes with flurries tomorrow. and yes I'm excited!

I don't know how I manage to forget that we spend a good 7 months in the freezing cold and black dark! Don't get me wrong I LOVE IT!! I enjoy having a few lights on during the gloomy days to create warmth, I love cooking warm hearty soups and wearing multiple layers because I'm too cheap to turn the heat up past 65. I'm just simply amazed that I forget its like this every year and then surprised when its 1 pm and pitch black in my house.

On a brighter note I opened a bottle of wine tonight that was a screw off Merlot, you gotta love the simplicity of that! I remember buying a case of this stuff because the picture on the label was pretty. I had no idea it was a screw off top but it worked for me tonight. It paired lovely with a Gerard's Spinach salad, cheesy garlic bread and Pasta Figioli soup. I used the recipe from A Year of Crockpotting and it was very good. Let me be the first to say when Stephanie is done with her year of crockpotting I will be very sad, I hope she goes for another year.

Speaking of crock pots, I need a soup recipe that is good for 3-5 yrs old. The kids Harvest Festival is the week of Turkey Day at school and I'm not really sure what a bunch of 3-5 yr old will eat from a crock pot. So let me know your ideas.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Don't forget

to vote!

united states Pictures, Images and Photos

I will be taking the kids with me when they are out of school so they have a chance to see the process in action.

Monday, November 3, 2008

The View

This is the view from my kitchen window, it's just a warm glow of gold!

This is the birch tree providing the lovely fall colors, it has always been my favorite but now it makes me smile every time I walk into the kitchen.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Best Day Ever!!

It was the best day ever!! Actually it was the best weekend ever although it didn't start out that way. My Grandma arrived Thursday evening as I was dealing with a major case of party set-up ADD, I just could not get focused enough to decide what I should do. I left to go make the kids food and my Grandma arrived with a massive black eye and hurt arm/knee. After some discovery I found out she had fallen that morning so off to urgent care were we learned she had a small fracture in her hand and general bumps in bruises. All in all very lucky it was nothing worse.

I came home to disaster so I had a bottle of wine and chatted to pregnant friend #2 until almost midnight. Important lesson in party planning - night before party drinks lots as it really helps you be productive. I did manage to pull out of my ADD long enough to get the party setup and I think between the work (majority) that 3 friends did while I was at urgent care and what I pulled together we looked PRETTY DAMN GOOD!

We did food and the crafts (make your own pumpkin and ghouly gloves) in the basement and also had a small scary room (spooky lights, skeleton and music). Outside we hung thick black plastic from the underside of the deck to create a room. We did pin the tail on the cat and had tables for them to eat at, that room we kept good and fogged! We also had Pumpkin Bowling, Pass the Bone and Find the bones.

The time was perfect, plenty of food and all the parents enjoyed drinks and appetizers. Can't wait to start planning for the 2nd annual next year. In fact we hit Target up the day after for all the necessary items so all we have to worry about next year is food!

Although the party success was because of the hard work and dedication of all 4 friends the weather certainly helped. We haven't had a warm Halloween (50's) for at least 5 yrs so it really helped to set the stage. Plus I love throwing parties with 4 brains instead of just my wimpy-wine-impaired one because you really come up with the best ideas!

We sent the kids out to ToT and I proceeded to drink wine I mean hand out candy on the front porch. Then everyone came back and the kids ate candy and I drank wine. We PJ'd the kids and set them up with high quality educational movies (Spongebob Halloween) and drank some more wine and ate. All things said it was a lovely Halloween and great weekend.

It really did help having my Grandma here, it was fun for the kids and allowed me to get the house cleaned up. I always function much better when my house is somewhat clean so at some point I must head back to the kitchen and clean up the pre-football nacho mess.

I honestly have no plans this week other than to veg-out but then I need to quickly turn my mind to Turkey Day and work on my menu and start shopping for it. I was able to pull down Halloween decor yesterday and get Thanksgiving up so at least I look festive.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Fall & Apples

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Someone else I know

is with child!!!!

I'm so excited and they so deserve this magic!! Congrats and happy and healthy 9 months.

In fact H & H 9 months to all my many pregnant friends!

better you than me - chuckle.....

Cheap and then some

I'm one of those odd freaks who is so incredibly cheap in some ways yet all together the opposite in others. One of my ultra cheap ways is controlling the heat & AC so we have no heat right now and won't until November 1st which is my turn on date! Well it has been mighty chilly here so the house has been down to 58 and warms up to about 62 during the course of the day.

I'm thinking due to that I will make something in the oven for dinner. If you remember my oven door doesn't latch properly so it does a nice job of heating the house. Although then it doesn't do a great job of cooking the food but honestly you can't have everything.

Here's to hoping the oven problem gets worked out on Thursday when the repair guy comes and also that he can make my dishwasher decide to start washing the dishes again. I have much faith in a guy I have never met!

Hours have past and I have done very little but sit outside and chat with friend and drink wine (me not her as she is with child). Gotta love 2x for Tuesday at Dominoes. I know have both kids asleep because I fear we are battling another cold off.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Croc Sale

In case you hadn't noticed I'm a fan. Today I was lucky enough to stumble upon the outlet sale at and picked up 2 pairs of chutes for the kids next summer and a pr of crocs boots for P all for $49 with free shipping (crocsavp08).

Don't knock 'em till you tried 'em and better to try 'em on sale.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Pair it with Gerard

I figured Pasta would be a perfect pairing for my Champagne Salad so I whipped up this quick and yummy and healthy pasta dish.

Chickpea Pasta

Saute a red pepper, white onion with some fresh garlic, OO and any spices (if the kids weren't eating I would have done Red Pepper Flakes). Cook your choice of pasta, I did Penne but this would be perfect with a fun shape. Add 1 can rinsed chickpeas and 1 can petite diced tomatoes to the saute pan, warm. Then add to your drained noodles and mix. Dump into a nice bowl and add some fresh chopped basil and some fresh Parmesan.


Both kids gobbled (subtle reference that its almost time to talk Turkey Day) it down and spent a good 5 minutes coming up with different variations of Chickpea - ChickPete, ChickPeep, ChickPip etc.

I'm smitten

I can't get enough of it, I figure you can eat it on salads, pastas, sandwiches or really anything! I can't get enough of Gerard's Light Champagne Dressing.

It all started last night with an impromptu get together of homemade pizzas and a salad (brought by a friend). The salad itself was perfect - greens, onions, hearts of palm, artichokes, blue cheese - yum! But then the dressing was added and its safe to say that 4 grown women stood around a bowl of salad and devoured it!

I do feel better knowing that I have friends with the same addiction as me.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Holiday Cards in the Making

It's always something

I made mini-thanksgiving last night and it took forever since my oven hardly heats and then I put everything in the dishwasher and its washing for a 2nd time because it doesn't wash. It's hard to put into words how much I hate my appliances and they are only 5 yrs old. Be warned DO NOT buy Whirpool Gold. I can't vouch for the cheaper parts of the Whirlpool brand, hell they probably work great. Gold sucks Pez!

To further enlighten you on my non-dishwasher, I ran it twice and now have a sink full of dishes to scrub - can you say pissed!

Do you think its a problem that I'm blogging and my kids are playing puppy with an actual dog collar and leash?

Have you wondered about my choice in music on the blog? If you subtract Jason Mraz the other songs are the ones I picked for our family DVD that I'm having made. This will be our big gift to most the family this year, it will be 99.9% pics of the kids with a couple of us. I used Smiling Snaps and so far her service has been perfect. I look forward to seeing the final version and of course that my Christmas shopping is done!

On a different note, I'm not much of a sweet person but my kids and GR are responsible for eating half the Halloween candy in the last couple weeks. I did just try a Butterfinger and I must say it was yummy.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Cheap Date

For $24.95 + s/h I have bought myself peace from one of my kids.

This little beauty has kept Preston occupied for solid hours since its arrival on Tuesday. I feel like one of these times I will look over and he will have written a novel, which if he shares some $$$ with my meager retirement account that would be even better.

The best toy in the world is from Toys to Grow On which was the catalog that they picked most of their Christmas gifts from. I also ordered the Math Tables which I thought would be an instant hit because Preston is a huge number freak, instead he won't leave his writing table long enough to eat. But Maren does enjoy pushing all the buttons up and then all the buttons down.

Either way I'm happy and my kid is smart!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Girls Weekend

I know its the same post title as a few days ago but its the same topic! Girls Weekend was perfect and I mean totally perfect - perfect weather perfect activities, perfect food and no drama. It was lovely and relaxing, calm and peaceful and fun and memorable.

The weather was mid 90s during the day and probably low 60s at night. We had great meals cooked at home and one good lunch (right before we left) at a brewery, a tiny bit of shopping, a great hike and just time to chat and read. Nothing was ever forced, it was all perfectly natural.

I admit I was scared about going someplace so freaking hot but it was great. I was scared about going someplace with all girls but I love and respect their company even more now. I was scared to leave my kids but they did great and although I have to repaint 2 rooms my house is still standing.

A cactus on our hike, not sure if its a Saguaro but I can tell you how to pronounce it

We hiked Pinnacle Peak and these are some of the rock formations that look like they could topple at any moment

I consider it a perfect success! Now onto to making the same happen with our large Halloween party.

I'm waiting patiently for the Twilight movie to come out, yesterday I heard Bella's Lullaby and fell head over heels for it.

I managed to get my house put back together yesterday and even my fridge cleaned out (we had pizza for dinner) so today I can touch up paint a few of my chipped rooms and finish up some work then organize my desk. It is piled with 2 kids worth of preschool activities, crafts and misc.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Girls Weekend

I have waited until I was practically out the door to tell the kids I was leaving for the weekend. I will be honest, I have hardly been away from them since they were born. Technically I have never been away from Maren and Preston I was gone 1 night while I had Maren!

When I told Preston he said "If you are gone the whole weekend, I will miss you so much!". "Will you miss me that much?" he asks with tears welling up. I automatically start crying (heck I'm crying typing it) but I managed to tell him I would miss him more.

Of course my missing the kids will come in between a spa day, days at the pool, shopping, eating good food uninterrupted, drinking lots of wine and just laying around doing nothing. but I will miss them both! I'm not sure what I will do when I use the bathroom and don't have an audience, perhaps one of my 3 girlfriends coming with can be the audience.

Did I mention we have perfect fall weather here - 50, sunny and leaves changing. Did I mention I heart fall the most! Did I mention we are going to Arizona and its 90! Did I mention I'm not a fan of heat, summer or boob sweat! Did I mention I don't care because I have managed to do my nails, toes, brows, hair and I look somewhat put together (this is a change see unrelated comment below).

In regards to me never looking put together, Maren's teacher told me I looked "stunning" at church on Sunday. Keep in mind this is the one who sees me un-showered 98% of the time and in sweats. I had managed to get a simple black dress on with tall black boots and my hair brushed (it did need to be washed since I was going on day 4 but...) and apparently it was enough. You know what I will take the compliment, heck it made my freaking week!

Off to the official Girls Weekend 2008 Arizona. I love my kids and will miss them terrible (probably miss GR also)!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

5 things you might not have known about me

  1. I don't really like sweets and if I do have it would be fancy dessert with strong black coffee.
  2. I have no real clue how to style my hair or apply make-up.
  3. I swam competitively all the way through college (or the 2 years I attended).
  4. I moved to MN when I was 21 so I never really drank in any bars in CO.
  5. I had 2 dogs growing up - Lady & Tramp

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Check it out...

Don't forget to check out Little Bits of Something they have much cuter pictures!

10 Things that make me smile

  1. Smell of a campfire or bonfire (on a crisp fall night)
  2. Watching the leaves change
  3. Listening to my kids giggle (or even play nice together)
  4. A good glass of wine (or the whole bottle)
  5. Cooking dinner for my friends
  6. A book I can't put down (vampires, anyone??)
  7. A rainy day
  8. Pretty flowers (even better if I grew them)
  9. Taking a perfect picture (love it even more if it's of my kids)
  10. Crocs (ok, that is a tad pathetic)

Speaking of Crocs I highly recommend the new Croc boots. I bought a pair for both Maren and I and they are so cute and should handle the snow and cold nicely (former Ugg lover on a budget now).


I had planned on trying once again to make mini-thanksgiving but it didn't work out so I converted a recipe that I usually do in the crock pot to a quick stove one (we shall see how it turns out).

Monterey Spaghetti - today I used some cooked noodles, can of Cannellini Beans, can of diced tomatoes, spinach, a bit of mayo, a bit of soy milk,an egg (powdered) and some cheese and dried onions. Cooking on 350 for 1 hr with a bit of time after to brown the top.

So I hadn't planned on posting again today but for the 3rd time in a week I managed to burn my hand cooking - 1st on steam from a micro veggie bag, 2nd lasagna on Sunday and third just FREAKIN now!!

But I have the magic cure - a bit of Calendula and kids bandage and it's like it never happened. I swear that stuff is magic I would post before and after pics but you can't even tell I was burned.

Off to figure out if dinner is edible....

Lazy Monday

I'm not one for laying around during the day, in fact in my 4.5 years of being a SAHM I'm pretty sure I have never done it. Just not my style, I'm an up early go-go-go until about 10 pm type of person.

Yesterday was the exception, Preston came home from school with a headache and took a nap by himself. I was in the middle of making a mini-thanksgiving so I shelved that idea and ordered pizza because the neediness was coming. I then spent most of the rest of the evening laying in someones bed watching Spongebob. The bonus was the world premier of "Who Bob What Pants" was on!

A bit of Chinese herbs, some immune vitamins and a good night sleep and I think I have my normal kids back. I do think it helped we at just been to the chiropractor on Friday so both kids were in good aligned shape. I will also admit that laying around watching cartoons with your kids isn't such a bad deal.

My Fav Chinese Herb - kids can take 1 a day (you could add 1 more 12 hrs from the first if needed) adults take 3-6 pills 2-3 times per day right at first onset of symptoms.

That does leave me with a long list of To Do's for today and tomorrow: p/u pants, Target Grocery Shopping, Brow Wax, finish work project/get paid, clean house and spend quality time with the kids before I leave.

Monday, October 13, 2008

weight loss

My summer was very emotional on one hand and on the other very much like a college frat party. My kids were finally old enough to play on their own with supervision which allowed me to have an actual conversation with adults. We did many laid back evenings of drinks and food. Let's just be honest when you are 5' 3.75" you can't really afford to over indulge often.

I lost all my pregnancy weight after Maren was born and was back down to 127/28 (I was about 120 when I meet GR and 127 when I got married). When I stopped nursing I gained about 10 lbs pretty easily, it's safe to say I made good use of the 500 calories I was burning making milk. Then over the summer I plowed all the way to 163.

I'm proud to say as of yesterday I was back to 144 and back into about 1/2 my clothes! I can tell that putting on that kind of weight when not pregnant ravaged my already ravaged body but what is done is done. and only 14 more lbs to go.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

over myself

ok, I know my last post was so self-centered, selfish and all about me! I just want to make it clear I'm over myself and in my defense all this happened when I had massive crying PMS. I love my dear friend and am nothing but thrilled and excited and can't wait to hold the wee one (wee in more ways than one)!

Busy weekend - we did the Apple Orchard/Pumpkins on Saturday and the kids had a blast. Went to Dianna's Saturday night for drinks and bonfire, Preston came with me and played and Maren stayed home because she was a bit worn out.

The kids sang in church this morning as part of the Preschool Singers, both were nervous but Preston came through. He held Maren's hand and went up and for the first time in his preschool career sang!! He looked like he wanted to throw up but he did it and Maren even sang a bit so I deem it a complete success and am incredibly proud of them. So proud my weepy PMS self all but practically cried like a baby!

Not much else planned for the day, very busy week of errands and prep because I leave Thursday night for a girls weekend in AZ. This will be my first time away from the kids, I mean I only spent about 14 hrs in the hospital partly because I didn't want to be away from P (and partly because I hate hospitals).

Friday, October 10, 2008

Working through it

With a complete sprinkle of luck I found out one of my closest friends is pregnant. She had planned to tell us at the airport as we flew to our girls weekend in Arizona. Now you wouldn't think this would do anything but make me thrilled beyond belief but it stirred up so many emotions that I was stunned.

First and most important she is my cul de sac drinking partner, now of course she can continue to "hold and dump" like she has done the past 4 wks (aren't I observant) but that isn't right of me to ask. So I have to come to terms with the fact that she is out of the game for a minimum of 9 months (slightly less but lets just stick with that for ease) and perhaps a restricted schedule after that.

Then I suffered through that we no longer had matching families - 1 boy and 1 girl and what should I do about it - get pregnant to keep up with them, come to terms that we are different or just drink a bottle of wine and forget about it (I chose the later).

Then it occurred to me (because I think clearly when drinking just don't remember most of it) that it changes our summer plans - pools, hanging out not watching our kids, 5 o'clock somewhere parties etc and for that matter it just changes everything in general.

What is even stranger is I went through these same emotions when I found out my kinda-cousin wanted to have a baby - come on people why mess with something good! You think I would have come to terms that people change, lives change and I cannot forever stay in one moment just being happy!

So once I was done being selfish I realized what she must be going through (possibly all of the above) and more - bigger car, bigger house, less work, less money, less time to herself, more happiness, more unforgettable moments and more memories of her kids growing up as a family.

I guess my problem is I would have a shoe-full of kids if I wasn't worried about everything and trying to plan everything. I'm always concerned with not enough money, time, patience, space and how it changes the future. I will focus on the happiness of my 2 kids and reveal in the joy that will happen when they have 3 kids.

I'm so incredibly excited to be a part of my already pregnant friends life and pregnancy and can't wait for not quite yet pregnant kinda-cousin to get pregnant so I can live vicariously through her life also.

Congrats banner Pictures, Images and Photos

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

and it broke

It took a few days but I had quite possibly the worst day ever - on the phone dealing with a bank issue, crabby kids, basement dishwasher backs up and spills all over the workshop floor, my drill breaks when I'm trying to hang my new curtains, the dogs are constantly wet and muddy since it has rained the ENTIRE FREAKING DAY!

ok, I must stop focusing on the negative and start on the positive - I ordered pizza for the 2nd night in a row and had several glasses of wine, I skipped the kids bath, I borrowed Rachael's drill and wet vac (I'm pretty sure I'm getting married to that drill) and ultimately I accomplished nothing which is always a good end to the day.

I can actually say that the kids weren't too bad except for the pen on the couch and the huge mess in the bonus room (which is kinda normal so why complain).

Wednesday was better and it ended with a bang but before I get to that I must wrap the day up. And find a large bandage to wrap my completely steam burned pointer finger (yep, they put the STEAM EXITS HERE - HOT for a reason on micro vegetables). And yes dinner was not delivery pizza but grilled cheese and micro corn!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Fairly Uneventful

Today was fairly uneventful from the start which I can only assume means all heck will break lose later in the day for me. At this moment (after dropping the kids at school) I should be working on an Internet shopping cart project but instead I'm focused on the front door waiting for the UPS guy.

We are having our first ever Halloween party so I ordered some "sale" stuff for PBK and some decorative branches from Nettleton Hollow (I haven't seen it in person yet but the website is FAB!!!) I'm planing and plotting how to set up everything on the front porch. Here's a couple things I did inside (a mix of Etsy and Target stuff).



As I said it was a nice morning - did some laundry, continually cleaned up after the kids and managed to put on clean underwear. I even have dinner started, 3 days of crockpot glory this week (veggie soup - tonight, monterey spaghetti - monday night and last night roasted potatoes (sweet/regular).

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


This actually happened last week but I still chuckle and !@??!!@#$ a bit everytime I open the fridge.

Ok, here’s the story, try and keep up…

I noticed when I got up yesterday at 6 AM that I had water running down the fridge, I assumed GR did it during the night and didn’t think anything of it. Until it started to pool up around the fridge and was a constant stream of water. I checked out under the sink and thought I found the turn off valve for the on-the-door water. I conferenced with Ryan Rice because guys are always right and they know this s*it!

So I turn the water off (and test, its OFF) and I’m leaking so I continue switching off towel to soak up the mess. I had called BBY who does our maintenance and the soonest was Tuesday so I scheduled that. I get up this morning (after changing towels out overnight) and it’s a mess, water everywhere and its warping my wood floors so I find someone (who I have to pay as BBY is free) to come look at it this morning.

The guy was here for 3.5 minutes, he explained that the tiny bit of plastic bag on the bread (you know the part that is leftover after you twist it shut) was covering my cool air vents. In turn this was making my ice melt (which sits in the door) hence water pouring out the front of my fridge from my NEVERENDING SUPPLY OF MELTING ICE CUBES !@#@!@###%$$$!!!!!!!

$59 bucks, one less loaf of bread and 16 soaking wets towels my fridge is fixed – IDIOT!!!!

The bright spot is it gives me a reason to drink tonight.

partial shot of the fridge in question (I actually love that fridge!!!)


Why Another?

I have many things to say that might not be appropriate for some to hear....Little Bits of Something can keep family and friends updated on the happy-go-lucky trivial stuff that everyone cares about and Plenty of Not Much will help put you to sleep at night.

I can rant endlessly about my house, cooking, kids, Mr. Jen, the damn dogs and anything else that I feel like blabbering about. Good luck to those reading!