Monday, August 25, 2014

Meal Plan Monday again

It's Monday, so here is what I am cooking this week.  Once again note 6 meals for about 7-8 days.  We plan on trying a new restaurant that opened in town and more than likely we will have leftovers.




I decided to use some online recipes from some fabulous gals and the recipes can be found there.

Chicken tortilla soup - I will double this recipe and leave out the tortillas.  That way I can freeze the majority to use later.  To reheat I put the frozen container in the fridge over night then warm it up on the stove.  Once its heated I add the tortillas and extra fresh toppings.

Sausage and Mushroom Rigatoni

Spicy Chicken and Sausage Soup


What are you all cooking this week?

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

I'm not sorry AKA #guiltytotalsocial

Since I have nothing planned today that is ready to post I will join in with Helen and Sarah for




This months topic is Guilty Pleasures.  Hmmm.... this should get interesting, or maybe just embarrassing either way here goes nothing.


  1. Crappy TV - Keeping up with the Kardashians, Dance Moms, the bachelor,the bachelorette, love in paradise, and 19 kids and counting are among the shows that are filling up my DVR.  Its terrible but who doesn't love sitting back watching a great train wreck of a tv show?
  2. Pop Tarts - The commissary had the big lots sale and I couldn't help myself.  I walked out the door with this baby.   There goes my healthy eating.
  3. Online shopping - This has been a real problem in this duty station seeing as we don't like driving the hour in either direction to go the stores.  So as a result I shop online way, way too much. When FedEx guy knows your name it could be a problem.  
  4. Kitchen gadgets/tools - When your hallway linen closet is filled with your overflowing amount of kitchen things you know there could be a problem.  In our own defense we cook a lot.  However half of this stuff rarely see the light of day yet we always want to buy more kitchen things.  Seriously If we ever buy a house the kitchen will need to be huge.  
    This pic sadly doesn't show just how deep and wide this linen closet really is.  Eek.  
  5. Disney Movies - and kid movies for that matter.  I could honestly sit down and watch Frozen with some popcorn and would consider it a good evening.  
    This is a pic of our dvd holder for just Disney and kid movies.  It's a 336 holder and I would guess we have about 200 in there.  Did I mention Bear is only 13mo and we had these long before getting pregnant.  
  6. Instagram-ing pictures of food - yup I'm that person.  I make everyone wait to eat so I can snap a pic of it.  I also take a but longer when cooking a meal to snap pics along the way.  Some make it on the feed and others don't but they sadly remain on the phone or camera until I run out if space.  
  7. Video baby monitor creeper - Bear has a video monitor in his room and I don't see it coming out any time soon.  I will also sit there and watch him sleep for a couple of minutes in the morning.  Hubby thinks this is weird but I think I'm just watching my peaceful little boy sleep.  Ok maybe it's a bit creeper because if someone did that to me I would think they were weird.
  8. Cheesy books - well I'll read just about anything except for romance novels.  Hey a girls got to have standards right?  I am a sucker for teen novels and beach books.  You know the ones with the standard plot line that you see from miles away.
  9. Country music or specifically me horribly singing along to the radio while cooking dinner ever night.  Poor Bears will grow up with this horrible memory.  Oh well.
  10. And sadly I have become one of those yoga pant wearing moms who practically live in them.  To be fair I don't wear them out of the house unless I am in fact working out.  If I've learned anything from Stacey and Clinton it is that.  

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

That's it, I have had it!!!

Today while trying to put together a toy for Bear I needed the simplest of tools; a screw driver.  It took my husband no less than 45 minutes to find one I could use.  I would like to chalk this up to the fact that we move a lot and things get disorganized or that we are still (ugh will it ever end?!?!) unpacking.  However it really just is that his tools are everywhere.  Hang a picture above the sofa table and the hammer, hooks, leveler and whatever else he used will likely sit right there on the sofa table until he needs them again. Well really until I get sick of looking at them and toss them in the box labeled "hubby's tools that were left around the house". No really there is a box labeled that.  It's that's bad.  In his defense he is working on becoming more organized in this area.  Specifically my goal is to get him to organize his tools before we move next year.  I am willing I buy him whatever he needs to achieve this because frankly it's driving me bonkers.  But he is working on it so I need to just grin and bare it.

Well after today's debacle I couldn't take I anymore.  I told him I wanted my own tool box with the basics that he would not be allowed to touch.  To keep him out of it I wanted the tools to be pink or some other girl color so that it would insure that he would in fact not lose, misplace, or even be tempted to borrow it.  This way when I wanted to open a toy or whatever I could without spending half the day looking for the simplest of tools.

Thankfully he didn't put up much of an argument.  He even went online and looked up what they had to offer in the way of pink tool sets. We quickly found one I liked.  Since we were headed their today anyway we checked it out in person at target.  $15 later I am the proud new owner of this Apollo pink tool set.  


It has all the basics that a girl could need to open toys, hang a picture, or whatever.  With that, my sanity is partially restored.  Honestly, I'm just happy that when one of the batteries inevitably dies on Bears toy it won't take me an hour to find the tool and fix it.  I wish I had asked demanded one sooner.

If only my NY friends could see me now.  My oh my how far I fallen down the rabbit hole.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Meal Plan Monday + freezer meals

Mrs Ma'am from "Life as a Cajun Bombshell" talked about restarting a Meal Plan Monday.  It sounded like a good idea so I'm joining in.   In addition I had to rewrite the post that was supposed to go up last week to work for this week. Blogger apparently hates me and never posted it.  I added in my freezer meals post that I wanted to do for this week.

This is my meal plan for the last two weeks...



I like to keep my meal planning relatively flexible.  I will make a note what food will spoil quickly and those meals will get eaten first.  Aside from that, it is mostly a "what are you feeling like tonight ?" kinda thing.  I realize this menu looks sparse.  Six meals planned but two weeks worth of dinners.  Crazy I know.  However for us this works right now.  With Hubby's crazy schedule I try not to plan meals by the day.  It just wouldn't work for us.  However, I can supplement meals with what I have in the freezer or with salads.  We always have salad supplies on hand.

_______________________________________________

The number one most asked question I get is about my freezer meals.  I plan to do a more in depth post about it but here is a peek at my deep freezer.  It's why I can get away with the such a short meal plan for the week.

We have a deep freezer which obviously helps but you can do this on a smaller scale to work with what you have.  Here is a peek inside my deep freezer.

As you can see there is a bit of stuff in there.  I keep frozen veggies on top which because of the light was washed out in the pictures.  This is just stuff from the store but if we every got the garden going again the overflow would be kept there as well.  The next shelf down is kind of a catch all.  Things that need to freeze or have no where else to go.  Shelves 3 and 4 are for Reheat freezer meals.  The basket is for meats in food saver bags.  The next shelf is for uncooked or prep meals which I don't currently have so its over flow.  Finally the last basket is for food saver meats that have a marinade included in them and the extra crawfish tails from the boils we have had throughout the year.   The door has butter, ice packs and fruit pops.






You can see I use 1 quart and 1/2 quart Tupperware containers.  I label everything but there is nothing worse than finding a random unidentifiable meal.

For the most part I keep the basics in there all the time unless we are getting close to a PCS.

Green Soup
Chili
Chicken Tortilla Soup (Minus tortillas)
Red Beans and rice (Minus the rice)
Sauce and/or Gravy (depending on how Italian you are)
Italian chicken lentil soup
Spinach stuffed shells (raw)
Meatballs
chicken breast (a variety of chopped, in strips, whole, and marinated that I make myself using the food saver)

I try to double recipes that freeze well and can have a fresh component added to them. I like freezer meals to not feel like you are eating leftovers and the fresh components helps do that.  cooking rice or adding some fresh toppings livens it up a bit.

Bear is waking up from his nap so I need to get a move on.  If you have any question let me know!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Dear Bear: 13 Months

Every Month I am amazed with how much you have grown and changed.  From that tiny bitty baby into an active toddler.  You go, go, go, until you hit that wall and crash hard.

Weight: 18lbs, 11oz

Likes:
  • Poor Coco.  You say her name on repeat all day long.  As frustrating as it can get for us adults it is sweet to see your love for your favorite dog.  
  • "Doco" or "DuDu"or Duke as you are trying to say is often shouted when he comes over and sits waiting to be pet by you.  You rarely indulge him.
  • You are always babbling.  I'm hoping more coherent words start coming out soon.
  • You love the mega bloks dump truck, the little people tractor that sings, and most of all the VTech sit to stand walker.  You will spend hours holding the phone on it and pushing the buttons to make noise.
  • Since you are so little and we are trying to push you to gain weight your life revolves around food.  Luckily you aren't picky.  You will happily eat anything we put in front of you.
  • Bath time is your single favorite time of the day.  Between the toys and the splashing you are in heaven.  I hope this never changes.  Just wait until we get you into an actual pool!
  • You like being on the move.  If one toy doesn't seem interesting enough you will get up and walk over to something else.  Yup that's right walk!  You have confidently began to walk independently.  You do still love to hold one of our hands and zoom around the house.  


Dislikes:
  • You hate nap time because it means that you have to stop playing.  This is a battle quickly lost as you let a few cries in protest but then drift off to sleep.
  • Not getting your way.  Not that anyone in this house likes that but you are one strong willed child.  I foresee some tough 

Friday, August 1, 2014

101 in 1001

I decided to join in and do my own Day Zero Project or 101 in 1001.  You set measurable goals, 101 of them, to be completed in 1001 day (roughly 2.75 years).  

image from google image search

Start Date:  August 1, 2014
End Date:  April 28, 2017

I have tried to somewhat organize them, but it is what it is.  Tell me what you think in the comments below and if you have a list of your own I'd love to check it out.

Completed
In Progress
Failed


Family

1.  Have another baby
2.  Have wedding dress make into a Baptismal Gown (if we ever have a daughter. If not get it cleaned and preserved)
3.  Develop three new family traditions (2/3) 
4.  Cut down our own Christmas tree
5.  Move Bear out of his crib
6.  Renew our passports and get Bear one
7.  Get professional family photos taken (even if it's just of the kids)
8.  Go on an actual family vacation (hotel and long drive/flight is needed)
9.  Make a picture book of Bear's first year



Crafts

10.  Crochet a stuffed animal for the kids
11.  Make a table runner for at least one holiday
12.  Make two handmade things for Bear (decor, toys, bedding) (2/2) 
13.  Learn and use 5 new crocheting stitches (6/5)
14.  Do five craft Pinterest inspired pins (5/5)
15.  Make or purchase a new Christmas ornament for the tree each year (3/3)
16.  Make a felt playhouse "sheet" for Bear's new bed - bought material, but need to change the idea because of the new bed he got.
17.  Grow a herb garden from scratch and keep it alive for one year



Kitchen/Food

18.  Try five new to me ingredients (fruit, vegetable, spice, etc.) (5/5)
19.  Eat twenty Vegetarian meals throughout this project (20/20)
20.  Bake thirty new dishes throughout the course of this project. (Sweet or Savory) (30/30)
21.  Use the fondue pot two times (1/2)
22.  Cook ten dishes spread out between breakfast (3/3), lunch(3/3), and dinner(4/4)
23.  Cook two different types of cupcakes from scratch (2/2)
24.  Do ten food related Pinterest pins (10/10)
25.  Try a new cocktail
26.  Buy a pastry cutter or pasta maker and make homemade ravioli
27.  Try an ethnic food I have not tried before
28.  Find and make a good devil dog knockoff recipe
29.  Eat bacon in something it really doesn't belong in (ie. cookies)
30.  Get an ice cream maker and make 2 different types of ice cream or sherbet (2/2) 
31.  Learn to use one of our kitchen "gadgets" to our fullest extent
32.  Use fine china at least once! (....even if it's just for our anniversary)
33.  Bring or send Christmas cookies to at least three different people (4/3)
34.  Give up sugary desserts for one month (fresh fruit does not count)
35.  No eating out for one month
36.  No eating at the same restaurant twice in one month
37.  Order different things at restaurants we normally frequent 5 different times (5/5)



Fitness

38.  Document fifty heart rate monitor workouts (50/50)
39.  Run with Bear twice (2/2)
40.  Complete fifty miles in one month (outside or treadmill)
41.  Drop below my pre-pregnancy weight
42.  Take three fitness classes on post or in town (2/3)
43.  Do yoga 40 times in 2 months (42/40)


Entertainment

44.  Have a dinner party
45.  Host a wine and cheese/dessert party
46.  Buy three new board games and actually use them (4/3)
47.  Go on a wine tasting
48.  Attend a food festival
49.  Go to a drive-in movie or movie at a park (if available, if not then an at home alternative)
50.  Have an old fashioned family movie night three times (3/3)
51.  Play mini golf/putt putt twice (2/2)
52.  See a cirque show, Play, or some other theatrical show
53.  Learn to play Mahjong with the set we got as a gift
54.  Go fishing Again
55.  Go camping or backyard camping with Bear
56.  Find and teach a new card game or board game to hubby's family
57.  Watch twenty-five movies that hubby recommends that I have not seen (25/25)



Writing/Blog/IG

58.  Write ten makeup related posts (10/10)
59.  Participate in ten OOTD (Outfit of The Day) posts (0/10)
60.  Post twenty different food related blog posts (20/20) (Meal Plan Mondays, wordless Wednesday)
61.  Take, upload and post 250 pictures from my DSLR to the blog (250/250)


Finances

62.  Pay off 4Runner early
63.  Remain debt free for the course of this project (not to include car/home/student loans)
64.  Start a college fund for kids


Purchase

65.  Buy fresh flowers twice for myself for no reason (2/2)
66.  Pickup four reusable grocery bags (0/4) and two cold reusable bags(0/2); actually use them
67.  Buy an old map to frame as a picture - I haven't found the right map just yet
68.  Buy or make new pillows for the couches - waiting until after we buy new couches
69.  Get an Alabama and Louisiana state magnets for my father
70.  Buy something designer
71.  Buy a photo converter and transfer all family photos on to digital media or back up all digital photos
72.  Own a coffee table book
73.  Find Christmas Stockings and get names embroidered on them
74.  Surprise hubby with a gift I know he wants but will not get himself



Knowledge

75.  Set aside thirty minutes a day to read for sixty consecutive days (60/60)
76.  Read twenty-five books (fifteen of which must be eBooks) (13/25)
77.  Read all the books on our bookshelf within the next two duty stations (12/ ? )
78.  Get better at cutting men's hair
79.  Learn one hundred signs and be able to use them with Bear and/or Baby Girl (110/100)
80.  Get better at French - not better but not any worse
81.  Teach Bear at least ten words in at least two different languages (English and ASL do not count) (0/10) he has enough trouble with speech so this isn't happening any time soon
82.  Collect five Newbery(5/5) and five Caldecott (5/5) award winning books
83.  Get three children's books in another language for Bear (3/3)


Beauty

84.  Buy a piece of clothing out of my comfort zone
85.  Buy five new Lush bath bombs to enjoy in a relaxing bath (12/5)
86.  Buy eight classic wardrobe pieces (8/8)
87.  Learn twenty new beauty tricks (hair, makeup, nails, fashion) (20/20)
88.  Share five of the beauty tricks I learned with my friends and/or family (5/5)
89.  Do not purchase any makeup (unless that item is completely used up)
90.  Buy an expensive outfit upon reaching my goal weight
91.  Find a purse I love and use it until it for the duration of this project 
92.  Maintain painted nails/toenails for two consecutive months (8/8 weeks)
93.  Wear my hair down fourteen times within a thirty day period (14/14)
94.  Purchase fifteen pieces of jewelry (costume jewelry counts) (20/15)



Organization

95.  Get a stack-able jewelry holder that will fit what I currently have with extra available space or something else comparable 
96.  Properly store all of our Disney movies
97.  Organize my craft closet and sell/donate anything I won't use
98.  Add our favorite recipes to our recipe box
99.  Keep the kitchen/coffee/end tables all clear of clutter for at least one full month - neat but not clear
100.  Donate or sell any unread books near the end of the project
101.  Go through all my clothing, donate any unwanted usable clothing (we do this yearly)