Saturday, August 2, 2008
The best and easiest peanut butter cookie ever!
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup brown sugar
Opt. As many chocolate chips you need to get through your day :)
Combine ingredients and bake on ungreased cookie sheet at 350 for 12 minutes. Let stand on sheet for 2 minutes and then remove to wire rack to cool. Enjoy!
That is why I think we get so burnt out so often as mamas. In a job outside of the home at least we get performance evaluations. We get told that we are meeting or even exceeding our goals. We receive raises and pats on the back. From our babies we get spit up on, poo'd on and now we tinkle when we sneeze or laugh too hard. :)
I am only speaking for myself here but a kind word from our spouse, mother or friend can renew your energy and inspire you. Save the flowers and gifts. I just want to hear that I am a good mama and that my hubby thinks I am doing a good job. I guess its because I value my job so much that I care how I am doing. I don't mean to sound whiny. I am pretty confident in the choices that I am making. I just think that some little words from someone that I care about can really make my day!
I have been relying on my hubby to make these comments but we all know that men do not think along the same lines as women. When I mentioned this to him the other day, he looked at me with a blank stare. He said I was good mom and did a great job so what's there to say? DUH! Recently a friend of mine made the comment that I did a good job with my kids and it made me feel so good! It just reminded me that I need to tell my friends more that I understand when they are having a bad day and that they are doing a good job. As Martha would say ... Its a good thing...... he he he
Boy oh boy how times have changed. I have had the flu for a couple of days now but somehow moms are expected to keep on doing everything they usually do. The kids still have to eat, get diapers changed and entertained. Add a sick infant with the same thing that wants to nurse all the time and a toddler who is jealous of all the attention his sister is getting........ ahhhhhhhhhh! My hubby took most the slack yesterday- thank the Lord! Today however I am on my own.
I guess I am kind of complaining.... I just think that moms need sick days.
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Grill baskets are awesome and you don't have one they are all on clearance right now. I got mine at Kroger.
4 Zucchini cut diagonally into 1/2- inch- thick slices
3 each: red and yellow peppers, cut into 1/2- inch- wide strips
1/4 cup zesty Italian dressing
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat grill to medium heat. Place veggies in grill basket.
Grill 10 minutes or until crisp-tender, turning occasionally. Place in large bowl.
Add dressing: toss to coat. Sprinkle with cheese. Makes 8 servings.
I know that the restaurants are smart in doing this. They send one free entree per household thinking that you will bring the whole family. You spend more money, get to taste their food and hopefully come back. Now with the fancy restaurant... well lets just say that $25 would be about 20 % of your bill.
My girlfriends and have decided to use these cards for a great girlfriends night out..... for no more than the gas it takes to get there! We all get together and meet at the restaurant that has sent out the card and enjoy a much needed moms night out. The only thing you have to pay for is your beverage.
Tonight the girlfriends are going to meet at the fancy restaurant at 7:00 for a decadent dessert. No bibs, spit up, cutting up little bites of foods or laughing at toots. WOOHOO!!
So hubby, son and my big pregnant belly and went to Lowe's. We went there to buy paint and we found some pretty cool stuff ! Did you know that they have chalkboard paint, whiteboard paint and magnetic paint? The possibilities are overwhelming!!! You could paint a square, oval or rectangle of anyone of these paints and put a colorful frame around it ! Or you could paint a large square where your children study and you now have an instant chalkboard.
What I choose to do is to paint a little road going around my entire sons room to match the one on his comforter. My hubby taped it off and painted two coats of magnetic paint. He then painted the bottom red and the road a dark grey. The finishing touch was a little sponge with some yellow paint and you have a road.
I could not find any car magnets that were not bulky so I decided I would make my own. I found those 3D scrap booking stickers in cars, motorcycles and tractors. ( I also found cute stop signs, lights and cautions) I used the magnetic sheets and cut the magnets around the shapes of the cars and signs. My friend later found emergency vehicle and construction truck magnets at Target for $2.50.
My son can now play with cars along his magnetic road and we even hang special pictures of loved ones or his artwork in his room! When he gets older we can simply paint one more coat of grey to cover the yellow slashes and he has a scarlet and grey room. ( Go Ohio Sate Buckeyes!!! ) He can then use the magnetic paint to show concert tickets and whatever else I can't stand. :)
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
In actuality what I get is a load of laundry that contains the following. A couple white fuzzy towels, a navy blue towel, a pair of nice khaki slacks, a red polo shirt, my linen skirt, a very shrinkable black baby doll top and a rag that I used to clean the oven. Can you hear me growling from where you are??
What I get from my hubby's good efforts is alot of shrunken clothes. I find the dryer does more damage than the washer does. I can't put all of the blame on my husband. I get in a hurry to get laundry done and forget that I have non dryables in the washer. I don't have to tell you ladies that money spent to re buy clothing is frustrating!!
What I have come up with is a way to hopefully save clothes and money. I went to a craft store and bought flat magnet squares that you can cut as needed. I then took my label maker and made a big fat label that said "NON DRYABLE ITEM". (You can just write it on some neon or colorful paper if you don't want to use a label maker or need to get someones attention. :) ) I then attach the label to the sticky side of the magnet sheet and wah lah!
After I throw a load in the wash with a non dryable item I will put my magnet over the lid. It has saved me so much frustration! I have asked my husband to only wash his clothes so that has also saved me some hassle. If he goes to throw a load in the wash and sees the magnet he slowly backs away from the washer..... and this works for me!
For more helpful hints check out http://rocksinmydryer.typepad.com/
Coke introduced a new "improved" coke several years back. ( I remember but I was young) It took them a total of 79 days to realize that the better formula, the one that worked the best, was the original formula.
This Sunday he wrapped up the series by doing something really cool! We all had a blank envelope and a piece of paper that said " What do I want to change in 79 days?" He asked us to really think about something we not only wanted to change but really needed to change in our lives. He said that it may be that we needed heal a riff in a long standing feud or to finally own up to some things we have been neglecting.
He then asked us to put down what we wanted to work on and then seal the envelope and address it to our self. The leadership team would pray for these things for 79 days and then mail them back to us. We in return were to pray about it and really work on those goals.
He then had everyone come up to the front of the church and get a bottle of coke. He asked that we all keep our bottle of coke where we could see it everyday to remind us of those things we needed to change in our life. More than that we could remember what we could accomplish in just 79 days!
I am sharing this b/c that one bottle of coke on my counter has been a powerful reminder of the things I am working on. As mothers we have a thousand things going on and can lose sight of our personal goals or needs. Its easy to help everyone else with their problems but just as important to work on us.
What can you change in 79 days???
I once heard someone say that when you have a child, your heart is now outside of your body. I now totally get that. If I think my child's feelings are hurt, I actually ache. Don't even get me started about thinking someone abusing my child in way, shape or form.
I have been having one of those days today. Both kids are sick, men are beating on my roof and little men are pounding away in my head. If this was any job I would be ready to quit. Its sheer love that keeps me coming back for more.... can I get an amen? :)
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
His cooking is AWESOME! I thought I would feature one of his recipes per week.
For the first week I am going to share his angel hair pasta with shrimp recipe. It sounds expensive but I usually wait until Shrimp goes on sale by the bag and it is really reasonable. This dish is very light...perfect for summertime. My two year old loves it!
Angel Hair Pasta with Shrimp
1 lb angel hair pasta
Kosher salt, to taste
6 TBS of butter ( can use unsalted)
2 TBS of minced garlic
24 shrimp, peeled, deveined
1/2 cup cut sun-dried tomatoes.
3/4 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup white wine
Ground white pepper to taste
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
Dried red chili flakes (optional)
Grated Parmesan cheese
Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender, but still firm to bite.
Meanwhile, melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, shrimp and sun dried tomatoes. Saute one minute. Add stock and wine. Season with salt and pepper. When shrimp are cooked through, add the hot, cooked angel hair pasta and toss thoroughly. Add extra virgin olive oil and chopped parsley. Add chili flakes or Parmesan cheese as desired. Serve immediately.
So I have been making stretchy bands with these big Sarah Jessica Parker hair bows that clip on. I am getting tired of them piling up on the shelf so I decided to make a hair bow holder.
It was so easy to make, cute and CHEAP!! You can make it under $5 and makes an awesome personalized gift.
All I did was get a wood plaque from a craft store. I then used some craft paint that I had around the house for the base color. I also grabbed some cute wooden accents and some ribbon from the same craft store. ( I can also make some hair bows with the ribbon ) Some super glue later and I had my cute bow holder. Even though it was all so cheap to purchase, I saved even more with the coupon from the Sunday paper to Michaels or JoAnnes.
I have 2 kids, 14 nieces and nephews, a husband, and 14 other people to buy for. ( This does not include little gifts for my kids friends) So this year I rolled up my sleeves and decided that I would not only start early but also try to get the best deals possible. Since I have so many nephews and nieces to buy for I have decided that our budget for each child would be a measly $10. I took a deep breath and jumped in and you would not believe what I have found !!
First I discovered that MANY stores are marking down their toys right now. A sales clerk told me it was to get the new fall toys in. (My friends and I have also noticed that toys seem to suddenly get marked up in the fall and then go back down after Christmas. ) I also really concentrate on the ads in the Sunday paper. For example, I wanted to get my son a play dough kit that I have not found cheaper than $10. I found a add last week that had their play dough 25% off. It may not seem like much but it really adds up after a while.
I went to Target and found a HUGE Nerf iron man gun with a giant target that was over $20 and I got it for $9.00.
I also got a pair of power ranger walkie talkies that was also over $20 and got those for $9 as well.
For the girls, I got a strawberry shortcake pony doll that was over $10 for $6.
I also found a make your own body shimmer kit for a mere $3 in the clearance isle.
I won't bore you with any more details but I can tell you that I have not gone over my budget and I am totally done shopping for 12 people!
Monday, July 28, 2008
It is a company that tests products for different companies and pays cash to their testers. I taste test quite often for a fast food chain. I go to their corporate headquarters and sit at a little cubicle. The slide out some fries, a milkshake or other treat. I sit their and eat or drink my free food and revel in the glorious silence. Whats even more great is that I get to eat my food while its hot!!! ( No cutting it is little pieces or my toddler telling me he poo'd in the middle of dinner ) I then answer some questions, give my opinion and get paid $25.
The research company also has me come into their facility and test some other things. I usually get paid $25 for about 15 minutes of my time. I have tested coffee creamer and baby formula. ( No I didn't have to taste it just mix it and tell them how I thought it mixed. ) This week they are paying me $5 to come and pick up a frozen family meal and then will pay me $10 more dollars when I return the survey. You can't beat that !!
I just thought it might be worth sharing so you can check into some companies around you! Us stay at home mamas could always use some mad money for ourselves.
I really love looking at peoples menu planning for inspiration. I don't know about you but I feel like I am in a rut all too often when it comes to feeding my family. Add in a picky toddler who changes his mind on what he likes and its a "recipe" for disaster. So here is my first menu plan.
It is a boring week this week. Daddy works two nights this week so we are on our own. We usually do very low key dinners when he works. I hope to have some yummy recipes next week!
Monday: Crunchy tacos and Spanish rice
Tuesday: Grilled steak, zucchini and pepper stir fry, baked potatoes and salad
Wednesday: Freezer meal from research company ( I love getting paid to eat ! )
Thursday: Asian marinated chicken, rice, broccoli, salad
Friday: Pizza night!!!
Saturday: Hot dogs and fries
Sunday: BBQ pork chops, homemade mac and cheese (see recipe link below), green beans and salad
Check out I'm an Organizing Junkie for more menu planning!
At first I was horrified but then I started to really think about it. Can a 2 year old really understand much less implement sharing? Now my son has no older siblings and his sister is a baby so he doesn't have much practice in sharing. He does play with his friends however and goes to open gym. We do tell him that he needs to be nice and share. We do correct him when we think its appropriate. My son is a "go getter" and certainly not shy so its hard to tell him to sit and play with the toy he has in hand. (His competitiveness and strong will may be great in the future but right now it makes me beat my head on the wall. )
From everything I have read and experienced, I think toddlers are little cavemen. They grunt and fling their arms around and want what they want when they want it. Now as parents I agree that its our job to teach them otherwise..... but at what age do you expect more? Maybe I am living in la la land but almost every 2 year old I have run across tends to take things or freak out when a toy is taken from them. Isn't it normal?
So for now I guess all I can do is keep telling my son that he should share with others because its the nice thing to do. I, however, will not lose sleep over it right now. :)
Sunday, July 27, 2008
I have been wanting to start a mom blog for a while now. So I am just going to jump right in! I love being a mama and hope to share some tips and tricks I have learned. ( And to learn some from you guys !! ) I am really into planning and organizing and have found that it really helps to save money and time!
I also have a friend who is a money saving queen so I hope to get some of her insights to help us all out in the tough economic time.....
Happy blogging everyone!