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 :)