Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy St Patrick's Day and MPM!

Hello All! Happy St Patrick's Day! I apologize for being absent this past week. At the beginning of the week, my oldest son was sick and then I fell ill too. I'm still not 100% (though thankfully my son is much better!), but I'm here! And with a menu too!

Monday (St Patrick's Day)-Corned beef, cabbage, mashed potatoes, grasshopper bars
Tuesday-Crunchy Ranch chicken, green beans, mashed potato patties
Wednesday-Salmon patties, rice, peas
Thursday-Pan fried pork chops, Parmesan potatoes, corn
Friday-date night
Sunday-Pot roast, mashed potatoes, green beans

Need more ideas? Head over to!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Don't forget to set your clocks an hour ahead! Daylight Savings Time begins Sunday, March 9!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Eating Well

Way back in December I decided to change my eating habits. I started on December 7th and I have to say, I did great. Even through the holidays I kept to my strict diet, no exercise (no time!) plan. All the way until the end of January. At that time I had lost a total of 20 pounds which, I think, is pretty awesome. But then my weight started "bouncing" and I started getting frustrated, like I always do. And like I always do, I started slipping right back into my old, bad habits. Luckily, not much damage has been done and I'm confident that when I go back to my strict plan on Monday, things will improve :)

In case you're interested, my plan is this:
(if you're not interested, scroll to the bottom for a recipe)

peanut butter
white flour
processed sugar
artificial sweetners
red meat

chicken (though I mainly ate fish)
most vegetables
coconut oil
natural sugar

potatoes (organic)

Now, I love vegetables and I prefer them raw over anything else. I've never been a big cabbage fan, mostly because when I've seen it prepared, it's been cooked. Ick. Something about coleslaw just doesn't sit with me, either. Well, today this recipe from Seventh Generation popped up into my Facebook feed and I have to say, it looks delicious. Very fresh. Very, dare I say, Spring-y. Since cabbage is so inexpensive right now, I think I may have to give this a try!

Cabbage Salad

4 cups shredded cabbage (or ½ small head)
3 tbs sunflower seeds
2 tbs chopped cilantro
3 tbs toasted sesame oil
2 tbs rice wine vinegar
1 tsp honey
pinch of salt

1. Toast sunflower seeds in a pan until golden brown (pay attention to avoid burning).
2. Make dressing by combining toasted sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, and honey.
3. Cut cabbage into thin slices or slice with a food processor.
4. Chop/cut cilantro and mix with cabbage in a bowl.
5. Pour dressing onto cabbage and cilantro, sprinkle a pinch of salt, and mix to evenly dress cabbage.

Serves 2

Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Reverse Lent Challenge

Yesterday I talked about giving things up for Lent. Today I came across this post from Karen Ehman (I blog I've never seen until today). She pretty much says what I was trying oh so un-eloquently (yes, I know that's not a real word!) to say yesterday. In a nutshell, she says instead of giving something up, take something on. Write a note to a different  person in your life every day. Call people you haven't talked to in awhile. That sort of thing. It's very inspiring and the ideas are simple. Why don't you give it a try?

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Giving Up

Today is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. For many religions, Lent is a period of prayer and fasting that leads up to Easter. Though the entire period is 46 days, the actual time is only 40, the same time frame that Jesus spent in the desert fasting and being tempted by Satan.

I grew up Catholic, though I am not a practicing Catholic now. I joined a different church that is classified as Christian and I love it. I guess though, that you can take the girl out of Catholicism but you can't take the Catholicism out of the girl :). It is customary to "give up" something you enjoy for Lent. One year I actually gave up chocolate! Wow! That was really, really hard. I admit it freely. My mom usually gives up wine. Several years ago I stopped giving *things* up and started fasting twice a week. I also try to be more receptive to other people. I'm not really putting that right, I'm just not sure how to word it! It's been a long day and I'm tired.

Good Night!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Shamrock Shakes

Is there anything better than a Shamrock Shake? No, don't answer that. I'm sure there is. In fact, I know there is. But, when it's March and the Golden Arches start producing those delicious, minty concoctions, there isn't much I'd rather have. I really do try and limit myself to one small shake a year, however I've had that one shake and today, well... my sweet children and MIL went out to get out of the house for a bit and they brought me back a large shake. Oh my was it good!

I have loved these since I was a little girl. Back then, of course, the cup wasn't clear, so you couldn't see the lovely green shade of the shake. And if I recall, it was a paler green. I guess the green is why it's only available around St Patrick's Day. Probably a good thing too, because it were available all the time I'd be in big trouble!

Do you remember Grimace or Uncle O'Grimacey? Grimace was the loveable purple milkshake stealing monster from the McDonaldland characters (I always liked Hamburgler!). Uncle O'Grimacey was a relative who would show up in March to herald the arrival of the Shamrock Shake.

I get that companies and corporations need to update their images and campaigns, but gosh! I really miss some of the things from my youth! How cute are these two?

If you don't live near a McDonald's or you're just trying to stay away from processed junk (believe me, I've been trying!), here are a few copy cat recipes. I've not tried any of them, but I'm very intrigued by the paleo version and plan on trying it soon (even though I don't like avocado)! Just click on the picture to be taken to the recipe.

Weight Watchers version
Paleo version
Top Secret Recipe version

Monday, March 3, 2014

Menu Plan Monday March 3-9

The weather has been absolutely crazy here lately, but what else should I expect, living on the East Coast? It was a beautiful, gorgeous, sunny 74 degrees yesterday. And today? It's snowing. Seriously. So over the cold already. Come on, Spring!

Monday-Creamy Chicken Soup (oldest son wants to cook!)

Tuesday (Fat Tuesday or Shrove Tuesday)-Pancakes, sausage, bacon

Wednesday-Potato soup, biscuits

Thursday-Steak bites, creamed spinach, Alfredo noodles

Friday-Date Night


Sunday-Braised pork, mashed potatoes, green beans

For more menu ideas, head over to!

P.S. In case you're wondering why I am using the Spring MPM banner while it is snowing, I'll tell you. In my mind, March means Spring, even if the weather doesn't think so!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Happy Birthday, Dr Seuss!

As most any parent with a child in public school knows, today is Dr Seuss' birthday. I have always loved Dr Seuss, especially The Cat in the Hat. I love when he turns the bathwater pink and then puts pink polka dots on the Mother's dress. I love the fish too :) And how could I forget Thing One and Thing Two? The whole book makes me smile!

Several, several years ago, we started celebrating Dr Seuss' birthday by having green eggs and ham. Now, I don't actually make the ham green (I think it just looks too weird!), but I do make green eggs. Usually we have them for breakfast, but today we had them for supper. Last year I also made Cat in the Hat biscuits. I just took biscuit dough, tinted half of it red, and then alternated red and white layers before baking. The kids loved them! I ran out of time to make them today though.

 And yes, I know they look gross, but they taste awesome! They didn't even leave a crumb of them, they enjoyed them so much! If you decide you want to make green eggs, here's a tip: use blue food coloring in your yellow eggs. Using green food color will make the eggs more of a yellow green. Just don't overdo the blue coloring or you'll have teal eggs!

Last week, my two elementary children celebrated at school all week, culminating in dressing as your favorite book character. My two (2nd grade and 3rd grade) decided they needed to dress up as Dr Seuss characters and went with Thing One and Thing Two. I have to admit, they were pretty adorable!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Welcome March!

Well! Hello there! I know, I know. I disappeared again. Eventually I will get the hang of this blogging thing. At least, I hope so. I thought I had figured out how to schedule the posts so that they would automatically post, but it didn't work. Can anyone help me out there?

I am so happy it is March! March with its promise of Spring, slightly warmer days, and St Patrick's Day. And this year we have Fat Tuesday/Mardi Gras too!

Looking at my calendar, it is shaping up to be a busy month as well. There's Dr. Seuss' Birthday, Sunday School, working on the new house, Scout projects, and everything else I do on a daily basis. Oh, and starting the garden! It's not going to be much this year, just peas, potatoes, herbs, maybe some carrots, and definitely strawberries. Most of those things are getting planted this month, so I really need some nice days to prepare the beds.

In other news, DH says that perhaps next year we can look at getting chickens! I've been wanting chickens for ages now and I'm very excited! I just hope I can convince him over the year that we can do it!

As always, I'm going to attempt to be part of NaBlopomo. We'll see if March will be any better :)

Monday, February 17, 2014

Menu Plan Menu: February 17-23

Time for another menu plan :) I find that having a plan makes things so much easier, don't you? If I find myself not in the mood for what's on the menu on a given day, it's fairly easy to substitute another meal from the week. I don't feel committed at all. We have a Scout event on Saturday, so that's one less meal I need to worry about!

Pan fried pork chops
Creamed spinach
Crushed potatoes

Country fried steak
Mashed potatoes

Mashed potato patties
Scalloped corn

Some kind of chicken
Green beans

Date Night

Blue and Gold Banquet
Italian bread with butter


Braised pork shoulder
Cottage potatoes

Visit for even more ideas about what to have for supper!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Pinewood Derby

A few weeks ago my younger sons Cub Scout Pack had their Pinewood Derby. For those not in the know, the Pinewood Derby is a racing event that the majority of Scouts participate in. They are given (or purchase) a wooden car kit that consists of a wooden block, axles, and wheels. Older boys may cut their cars out with some assistance while younger cubs are usually guided. Once cut, cars are sanded and painted, wheels are attached, and then they are weighted.

The Derby is an all day event, starting in the morning with the younger ranks. At least, that's how our Pack does it. Dens race against each other on a special track in several heats. At the end of the day there is an open category for anyone that might want to race their own car (parents, den leaders, siblings, ect).

The top two winners from each den move on to Districts, but there are three overall winners for each den, plus a winner for most original car. In the case that one of the top winners can not attend districts, the third place moves up. There is also a first, second, and third place for the open category.

It's a fun day, though long, and the kids always have a blast! This year, my youngest daughter decided she wanted to enter into the open category and made "Cheese on Wheels" with the help of her Grandpa. My Bear Cub also made a car that he dubbed "The Rapid Rider". Both did an excellent job with Sugar Booger (my cub) coming in third overall for the Bears and Princess (youngest daughter) coming in first for the open category. She was over the moon!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Snow Day

Not too long ago we got some snow. Now usually our weather isn't too bad. Especially in the winter. Fairly mild most of the time, maybe some rain. We have a few days of frigid temperatures in early February before it starts warming up and we're usually in the 60's by March.

This year, however, has been the exception. We've had colder than normal weather and snow more than once! Mind you, it's only been a few inches, but when you're not used to it, a few inches is pretty fun to play in! And play they did, with the exception of my oldest girl who thought it was much better to stay inside in her comfy pj's!

Even the cat enjoyed it!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Valentine's Day

Hello! Long time, no post, I know! I'm determined to better! Really. There's just a little thing called life that keeps getting in the way. I know part of it is that I need to manage my time better, but there are other factors involved. I am trying to do better. Slowly, slowly. Thank you to all that have stopped by little corner of the world. I hope to get to regular posting soon!

To be honest, Valentine's Day is my least favorite holiday out of everything. However, I do love to give gifts and make holidays fun for my kids, so I put my disdain aside and try my best for them :)

This year we kick off the day with Love Boxes:

Each box contains a balloon, chocolate, lollipop, puzzle, pencil, and scratch n'see ornament (robots for the boys and hearts for the girls). Everything came from the dollar store or my least favorite store (Walmart), so they were fairly inexpensive to put together)

To put them in a loving mood for school I made Chocolate Pancakes (served with whipped cream and Valentine sprinkles) and hot chocolate topped with pink, heart shaped marshmallows for breakfast.

The love theme continued at lunchtime with a heart shaped sandwich, red apple, white cheddar crackers, and a heart shaped brownie.

They eating supper with my in laws while DH and I go out to dinner, so I'm not making anything special for that, but I am picking up some mini cupcakes for them to have for dessert. No picture as I haven't bought them yet!

DH is getting homemade spiced nuts with a handmade card that says I'm nuts about you!

Do you celebrate Valentine's Day?

Monday, January 6, 2014

It's been forever since I've posted a menu here, but rest assured I've been planning every week. It makes everything so much easier when there's a plan in place. Occasionally I have to be flexible (especially if I go to the store and find an awesome deal on something), but for the most part I'm able to keep pretty close to what I've planned. Lately though, I have strayed from more vintage menus and I'm trying to work on getting back on track with them. I think they allow for a nice variety, plus open us up to trying new foods. Here's this week's menu, slightly adapted from my Modern Family Cookbook (1943).

Monday-Corned beef hash, eggs, baked squash, bread and butter, whipped gelatine

Tuesday-Indian butter chicken, baked potatoes, carrots

Wednesday-Pan fried pork chops, mashed potatoes, peas, butterscotch pudding

Thursday-Scalloped potatoes and ham, butter beans, carrots, apple dumplings

Friday-Chicken a la king, cottage potatoes, spinach

Saturday-Date Night

Sunday-Chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, cocoa puff

Do you menu plan? For loads of menu ideas, visit!

Edit-I could have sworn I posted this yesterday!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

A Christmas Wish Come True

As I've mentioned previously, my camera is not the best. I was really hoping for a new, better one for Christmas and I got one! I love it, though I'm still getting used to all the things it does. Here are a few of the fun things I can now do:

 This one is "toy camera" and is supposed to give the illusion of being taken with a toy camera.

 This one is supposed to make it look like the subject is miniature. I really like it!

 I forget the name of this one, but it's supposed to give a fairy tale quality to the picture.
 This one is soft focus. Obviously, it gives a fuzzy quality to the picture!

 This one is really cool. I have it for red, yellow, blue, orange, green, and purple. It picks up whatever color you choose and the rest is black and white. Neat, huh?

And the last is a panoramic view. Looking forward to using this one when we go to Disney again.

So happy to have a camera that actually takes a decent picture the very first time I try and take one! I will definitely be taking and posting more pictures!

Friday, January 3, 2014

A Fun Friday

According to several weather reports, we were supposed to have some nasty, rainy weather last night and then freezing temperatures. We were also supposed to have a dusting of snow. All we got was rain. However, since I didn't know what the weather was going to be like and it was supposed to be bitterly cold today with high winds (which it was), I decided to let the kids stay home. Boy were they happy!

They slept in, lounged around in their pj's all day, and just generally had a nice, lazy day at home. As an added bonus, I made a fun breakfast for them: pancake muffins. Now, I had seen this idea on facebook (which I think came from Pinterest), and I was intrigued by it. It looked like something they would enjoy. But when I made them, they puffed up like muffins (like these) instead of sinking into cups. The kids loved them, though next time they request that the chocolate chips be stirred into the batter. Here's how I made them:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease your muffin tin (I used spray)
2. Make your pancake batter (I use the Trader Joe's mix)
3. Scoop into your prepared pan and sprinkle on toppings
4. Bake 15-20 minutes

 Before baking
After baking

Thursday, January 2, 2014

New Year...New Goals

I don't usually make New Year resolutions. I make New Year goals. I think that sounds so much better, don't you? It makes me feel better, too, if I can at least make an effort in obtaining my goals than making a half hearted attempt at keeping resolutions. Here are my goals for this year:

Build a better wardrobe
Knit more
Lose weight (I've become very serious about my weight loss. I've lost 12 pounds since December 9!)
Make a detailed cleaning routine and *stick with it*
Finally make a household binder
Do regular blogging
Purchase gifts throughout the year so I'm not spending too much at Christmastime
Have raised beds in place in time to plant a fall garden
Take better care of myself (i.e. dress better, regularly do hair and make up)
Start the dollar a week plus savings plan
Give at least one homemade gift per gift giving occasion
Craft more

Some of these go hand in hand. The building a better wardrobe goes with knit more (and I should have put down sew more). I have finally decided on core colors for, navy, and grey. 

The regular blogging...hoping to really stick with that. It's a fresh month so I hope I can continue to post every day.

The cleaning routine and household binder more or less go together, too. I've been scouring my 1940's Homekeeping Book in an effort to find the best cleaning routine for our new house. It's slowly coming together.

I have already started a gift for a friend's birthday this month.

I will try and remember to update as things are done!

Do you make resolutions or goals? What are they?

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year!

So, the house has been eating up quite a bit of time. However, a lot has been accomplished and I anticipate having more time to blog. To that end, I have joined Nablopomo for January, committing myself to posting every day. The theme for January is Pressure which immediately made me think of my pressure cooker. My husband uses it more than I, but I think that will have to change. I will have to drag it out and see what I can do with it!

Back tomorrow with my list of New Year's Goals!