One Beer Bread at a Time.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

I'm on my lunch right now at work. How do I like working on a Sunday? Well I don't care for it. I like to sleep late on Sundays and not leave the house.

Did u have a nice Christmas? Mine was OK. The boys were disappointed with the amount of presents the received. Anna had more items to open, and that was a big problem. Of course the money spent was the same for each kid. *Sigh*

Moneywise there was no use of credit cards, and I had mypoints and debit card points I was able to use which stretched the funds--good thing imagine what the disappointment would have been w/o the freebies.

I think I am going to make a quiche with the leftover ham tonight...no idea on the recipe yet for that.

Friday, December 17, 2010

I ordered this book from me to me for Christmas.  I would also like cute shoes, a gift card for Modcloth.com and a necklace from Tiffanys.  Yes, I know I could purchase knock off Tiffanys.  Shrug, don't know why but I like to keep dreaming about the real thing.

News from first grade class Room 8. 
The whole class was on yellow.  The teacher 'thought' they were all talking in the hallway.  Hmm she just though it, really?  really Anna?  I guess they are all giddy with anticipation of next weeks 3 day week.  Listen to this, Monday Gingerbread houses, Tues Class Party, Wed hot cocoa and the Polar Express. How fun is that.  I want hot cocoa at work on Wed, I don't even need the movie..

Are you done Xmas shopping?  Ya?  Not me.  Though I don't know if I am going to shop much more.  I'm done shopping for Tom, as I mentioned he wants nothing, so that is very easy shopping. Anna wants everything she sees, Bryce just wants legos, and Patrick would be happy with a box of Andes Mints.

I'd like to just give out cash, well if I had some to give out, because I really really really am not a wrapper.  I don't like wrapping presents and it shows.  My wrapping looks like a 6 year old has done it.  Actually Anna is better at wrapping presents.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Its like a heat wave

The high for today is 31 F.  After the coldness this past week, 31 is a heat wave.  Warm enough I am going to go run today.  I don't like running in the winter.  Given a choice of going out to run and braving the cold, unshoveled sidewalks and patches of ice OR running on a tredmill, I'll take the elements. 

Being that it is Thursday, I was getting all giddy about tomorrow being Friday and the whole weekend coming up. And then I remembered, I'm working Saturday.  Actually Im done with work 2morrow night at 7:30 and then will be back at work by 7am on Sat.  I like the actual work I do, it's interesting and challenging.  I personally am just not a fan of leaving my house and going into work.  I could take a pass on all that.  I think the office we have in the basement is more posh for sure than my cubicle.  And the commute would be much better.  Overall, it would be better for the Environment, if I could work from home.  Really me going to work is a disservice to Mother Earth.

I wonder if I could get Michele Obama to push for more people to work from home, like she is working on childhood obesity?  We could have tax incentives for employers and all the work at home people could pledge to snack on healthy fruits and veggies from their kitchens.  I think I am on to something here.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Best Cookies Ever

Got the most lovely of gifts recently...Cheryls Cookies.  Man they are just the best cookies every. And it's really good that they come individually packaged.  That way they are very portable and its much easier for me to not accidently each a bunch at one time. The frosted sugar cookes are my faves...Oh they are so good.  You have to try them.  There is a link to get a sample pack of 6 for just the shipping of $6.95

Cheryls free sample

Speaking of gifts once again this year Tom has said that he doesn't want me or the kids to get him anything for Christmas because if he wants anything he just goes and buys it.  This is such a pain, and no fun.  Christmas is about giving and I'd just like to be able to get him a few things for Xmas.  I guess he is trying to be helpful, but it's just a killjoy. Maybe I should wrap up some of his existing stuff so he has stuff to open on Christmas.  Yep That's what I am going to do!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Look Mom Zombie Intestines!

I know it's been ridiculously long since I posted.  I meanted to post about 500x in the  past 2 months. I even downloaded an app to do blogging via my phone but I can't get it to work w/blogger so much for that.

Yesterday in the wind and snow it was time for my holiday work party.  The party is geared toward kids so not only was there a visit from Santa but also a wandering Magician (actually 2) and a balloon lady.  While I was getting a  plate of food from the buffet.  I love brunch, esp where there is bacon and chocolate upon it--while I was off grabbing food the Balloon lady visited the kids. 

I sat down to eat my food and Anna was quick to show off her balloon Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.  "Look it's Rudolph!  Rudolph really looks like a poodle, should I show him to Santa?  Sure Anna, you can show him to Santa.  No you can't  have my bacon...

And then there was much eating, kids playing, raffle prizes and even a DJ.  Anna and Bryce were tearing up the dance floor.  They also played very nicely with a couple of younger girls that were at our table, which was nice to see them being so well behaved as to be mini babysitters.  Gave me warm fuzzies.

And then as we drove out of sight, due to low visibility based on the snow and wind, Patrick pipes up from the back seat.  "Okay I still have 10 math problems to do...and my Art Project, "  Bryce chimed in with dibs on the Nintendo DS, and Anna had the last word with...

Look Mom my Rudolph came apart! Now it's Zombie Intestines!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Running Running Running

I picked up this book from a used bookstore because I thought Patrick might like to read it. The main character is a girl, and so he has no interest in reading it.  So I'm going to take it to work and read it at lunch. This weekend we didn't have any big plans so I caught up on some work around the house and spent this evening cooking.  I made chili, as I like to do on Sundays during football season.  Now I'd like to share my recipe; however, I make it differently each week--depending on what I have on hand.  For example today it has Peppy Papaya Salsa in it, Wahoo Chili (the only staple in each batch) and some of the Flavors of India Seasoning Salt.  Then I chopped up an onion, three stalks of celery, added a lb of ground turkey, one big can of Red Gold Diced Tomatoes and 1 can of great northern beans because that is all I had besides garbonza beans.  Next week it may very well be totally different. 

Then again no chili next week, as next Sunday is 10/10/10 and that means I'm gonna go run the Chicago Marathon.  Now between not having the kids in day camp this summer and going back to work 9/1 I haven't been able to run as much in preparation as I would like for the marathon.  Therefore my only goal is to finish the marathon before they close down the race.  ( that would be after 6 1/2 hours).   My other goal is to be able to walk the next day w/o crying.  I can't wind up all super sore for a few days, so if anyone has any advice on how to avoid being sore after the marathon, PLEASE let me know! 

I can't believe it is almost time for the marathon, well actually, I can I signed up to run it ages ago. 

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

End of September Already

Went right from work to get Anna from Daisy Scouts then home and then we went over to the Family Night at Bryce school.  It was Book Fair night so the library was crowded with lots of kids looking for books.  And a few parents.  I picked up Ruined: A Novel.  It takes place in New Orleans and I love reading stories set in New Orleans. 

Im going to say that I think in general, reading is better than doing dishes.  So that is why my sink is full of dishes right now.  It's a statement not sloth. :-D 

It's been really bad allergy weather for me the last few days, but today I 'gutted it out' and didn't take a Zyrtec, it helps with the symptoms but man does it make me spacey.  I really should get around to going to an allergist one of these days, right. 

Anyway, here is my thought for the day.  $100 bucks is the new $20. 

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Still looing for 8 days a week.

Yes wouldn't that be nice?  work 5 off 3 still have 52 wks in the year, we'd all be younger.  Heck it could probably save Social Security, b/cause it would be longer b/4 we hit our 60s, 40s would be the new 60s LOL.

This month has been major time juggling, and I am still waayyy off.  I know this will come as no suprise but working out of the house really takes up a lot of time. LOL.  And the house doesn't clean itself, much to my dismay neither does the laundry.  So really I think I need a wife.

This week I started my getting up early and running plan only to be twarted by Tom's work on day 2 of my getting up early and running.  I decided that the best thing to do was to get up and run anyway.  So I got up at 530 and ran 3 miles instead of getting up at 530 and running the nice 6 to 8 miles I planned on running. 

Basically this week I discovered I have to get up before the dawn, which I am not a fan of, in order to get anything done.  This is why women are tired and cranky and have to invest in lots of undereye coverup!

K gotta run off to work now!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Golden Winter Soup

Saw Butternut squash at the grocery store and thought that soon it will be time to make my favorite soup ever. I was sure I blogged about it, but I just ran thru my posts and darn it if I couldn't find it. So I looked it up on-line and there is the link for it above. It's super super good. You must try it! From Cooking Light magazine!


I have the ingredients to try some new recipes I took from Food Network Magazine and some old Women's Day and Rachel Ray magazines. Here is the problem, I took out the recipes and put them in a blue file folder. And now I can't find it anywhere. Tom swears he's seen it, but tis no where to be found. Grr. I need the recipes to go with my ingredients! They were all new recipes and I have no clue how to make them w/o the recipes! Ack!

So tomorrow I am going for a long run, I need to get in 10-12 miles for sure, I haven't run since Tues! Good thing I ran 15 miles on Mon and 5 on Tues, never the less, not enough running. It's totally Tom's fault he golfed alllllllllllll day on Sat and golfed until 5pm today.

So then tomorrow much running, some BBQ and then everyone needs to get to bed early b/cause we all have work or school in the AM! I'll be starting week 2 at my new full time job where it is very quiet. And they pay me for my time. Quite different than my time at home rearing children. When you are raising your kids, it's very loud and you don't get paid. You don't get any vacation time either. Oh sure, your spouse may think when the family takes a vacation that you the mother is also having a vacation, but we know better don't we stay at home parents? Yes, a family vacation should be paid at time and a half and you should get PTO (paid time off) for every hour of the vacation!

Never the less, the kids are adjusting well to me working, and they only started crying when I answered the question, so will you be at my halloween party?

No, I won't.

But considering there is 1 of me and 3 of them at 3 different schools all of which have their halloween parties on the same day and time--two of them would be losing out anyway, so at least now they don't have hurt feelings that I didn't 'chose' to come to their party.

Golden Winter Soup Frm Cooking Light Magazine
Ingredients


2 tablespoons butter

5 cups (1/2-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash (about 1 1/2 pounds)

2 cups (1/2-inch) cubed peeled russet potato (about 12 ounces)

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 cups sliced leek (about 2 medium)

4 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth

1 cup half-and-half

12 ounces baguette, cut into 16 slices

3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded Gruyère cheese

3 tablespoons chopped chives

Freshly ground black pepper (optional)

Preparation

Preheat broiler.



Melt butter in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add squash, potato, salt, and pepper to pan; sauté 3 minutes. Add leek; sauté 1 minute. Stir in broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until potato is tender, stirring occasionally. Place half of potato mixture in a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters). Blend until smooth. Pour into a large bowl. Repeat procedure with remaining potato mixture. Stir in half-and-half. Cover and keep warm.


Arrange bread slices in a single layer on a baking sheet; sprinkle evenly with cheese. Broil bread slices 2 minutes or until golden. Ladle 1 cup soup into each of 8 bowls; top each serving with about 1 teaspoon chives. Serve 2 bread slices with each serving. Garnish with freshly ground black pepper, if desired.

Wine note: This is one vegetable soup that can easily handle a lighter red wine. Stick with the French theme and look for bargains from Burgundy, like Louis Jadot Pinot Noir 2005 ($20). This wine has pretty red berry fruit, great balance, and gentle tannins that make it ideal for lower-fat dishes. The underlying earthy, leathery flavors bring out the rustic nuances of the potatoes and squash. —Jeffery

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Anniversaries and Birthdays and Weddings

Happy Belated Anniversary to my Parents! They got to celebrate this year in their scenic new hometown of Blairsville, GA. 

And Tomorrow is my Favorite Virgo's Bday! 

Oh Ah! Such a Handsome Viking Vampire!
Wait, I just remembered Tom is a Virgo...So Happy Birthday to my second favorite Virgo! 
Snap, our friend Rocci's bday makes him a Virgo too.

Alright, Happy Birthday To My Third Favorite Virgo! *chuckle*

**************************
Late Yesterday I received my Fall/Winter Catalogs and the first bottle of Wahoo! Chili I've had in two years.  I wept with joy.  While it is still August--and def. not Chili Weather, I couldn't help myself and I made Wahoo! Chili in the crockpot. :-D

What I did:
2 tbsp Onion Onion
2 tbsp wahoo chili
1 tsp Garlic Garlic
about 2/3 lb of ground beef cooked and drained
1/2 a big green bell pepper chopped
3 stalks celery chopped
1 28 oz can of stewed plum tomatoes, which I had to chop up b/cause I thought I had diced tomatoes and it turned out I sure didn't!

Put all that in the crockpot til dinner time.  Now I like my chili over macaroni noodles and I also love shredded cheddar cheese, but alas, there is no cheese in our house. 

There is no cheese, no wine and no chocolate.  I know!  How am I surviving?  Am I dieting?  Nope Just need to get to the grocery store.

Here it is simmering in the crockpot


As for Weddings, next Friday Tom and I are invited to an engagment party, downtown somewhere, with Club in the title of the place.  So we need to bring a gift, yes?  And what is a good engagement party gift?

Shameless Plug, by my Bro's album!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Dinner Talk

Now that school has resumed I'm making more of an effort to have family dinners because they say that family dinners help kids to get better grades and avoid drugs. And because I want a good routine with kids who get enough sleep to learn and behave at school. 

Tonights dinner was very interesting.  I say how was school today Anna.  Anna says, I saw K. on the playground and she said her little brother said the A word. 
Patrick says what's the A word? 
Anna replies "A*^h(le. "
I foolishly say: what did you say?
Anna says "A*&h)le.
Patrick says what is an A**h*le?
I explain and tell them it is a swear word and a very mean thing to call someone.

Then Anna says and then K. said her sister said the S word.
Bryce says oh I know what that word is, "Stupid" I say that is not a nice word.  That isn't the swear word though, if you listen carefully your dad says it too much.
Patrick: "oh you mean Shut it."
Me: No that's just rude, it's not a swear word.
Anna (did I mention this is her 2nd day in 1st grade)says: the s-word is Sh*t.
Patrick, age 10 and a fifth grader says: What is sh*t?
Me: Pooh
Bryce: LOL
And then Bryce said what is a swear word?
I elaborated on inappropriate words and how they shouldn't be used and how grownup say them but they shouldn't. So on and so forth.

Then Anna says the Fword is really bad. And I say yes it's really important not to say that one. 
Patrick: what's the Fword?  Fart?
Me: no, not that.
Anna: F&*K that's the Fword. Reem said I am a F*&K. 
Me; that is extremely rude and not true and it's not appropriate for Reem (also a 1st grader) to say.
Patrick: F*&k, F(*k
Bryce: F*&k, ?
Anna: F(*k, Like you know you say: "I hit my head on the door, I'm such a f*&k. 
Me;  Anna don't ever call yourself that, don't be mean to yourself.
Patrick: What does f*&k mean?
Me; You guys have to stop saying that word it's really inappropriate and not something kids should say.
Patrick: Well what does it mean?
Me: Sex, it's a rude way people use to say sex.
Bryce: That's when a boy is naked and the girl has their clothes on and they kiss and stuff.
Me: Well the girl would probably be naked too. Sex is something you want to wait on till your older.
Bryce: If you have Sex, you do it to have a baby, so if you want to have 3 kids, then you have sex 3 times.
Me. Some people have sex because they want to have a baby and some don't want to have a baby they just like it.
Bryce: ohhh
Patrick: how do they have sex and not get pregnant.
Me; well a girl can take a pill
Bryce: you have to be careful because you could have a baby if you have sex right? 
Patrick: gross eww gross eww
Me: Yes
Anna: sometimes girls like girls.
Me: Yes
Patrick: so if a girl was in love with a girl then how can they have a baby.
Me: They could use artificial insemination or a girl could have sex with a boy.
Patrick: Then when the baby is born, she could say to the boy, OK leave now, I love the girl and we'll take care of the baby.
Me; Well I suppose but that wouldn't be a very nice thing to do to the boy right?
Bryce: what about if 2 boys have sex where does the sperm go?
Patrick: maybe one of the boys would turn into the other boy?
Me: No, nothing happens you have to have a sperm and an egg.
Anna: what if a girl didn't have eggs and she had sperm.
Me: No, girls have girl parts and eggs and boys have boy parts and sperm that's what makes girls girls and boys boys.
Patrick: gross, ewwww, gross
Bryce: So if you and Dad have sex then we could have a baby?
Me: no your dad had an operation he doesn't have any sperm anymore.
Bryce (looking worried) does that happen a lot?
Me; No, it's up to the man.  You can have sperm your whole life.
Bryce: phew.
Anna: Can I be excused ? Can I watch Zoey 101 now?
Yes go ahead.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Pizza

So today is my birthday and I'm waiting on some pizza and red wine.  That's all I want, well actually I would like a couple say 2 or maybe 6 cupcakes devils food with white buttercream frosting and some sprinkles.  But the cupcakes aren't happenning because I didn't feel like going to the store today and getting any.  Plus it's only Tuesday and Jewel's Crazy Cupcakes is on Friday.  On Friday the cupcakes are $2.22.  On a Tuesday I think they are $3.99 or more. They are $2.22 good not $3.99 good.

For several hours today the boys got along famously and were talking and talking about the E-rated video game they are going to create that involves, Patrick Starfish becoming a werewolf, Zombie Sea Bears, Plankton having radioactive powers and minions and much much more. That was a nice bday surprise a few hours w/o kids fighting.

Okay don't tell anyone--but frankly I'm more excited about Wed 8/18 than I am about my birthday.  You know why? 
Nod.  You guessed it, First.Day.of.School!!!!!!!!!! Wooo Hooooo!!!!!

Coinciding with Anna's first year of full-time school is that Tom and I decided it would be a good idea for me to find a full-time job and then maybe in a few years --if he didn't get laid off like so many others out there--we would be able to save enough $$ to move down South, where it is beautiful and the winters aren't so dismal.

For the last month I've been submitting resumes and doing phone interviews and personal interviews and getting "Thanks but we've decided to go in another direction" emails from said interviews.  Looking for a job for lack of a better term, blows.  I've gotten many phone calls from companies looking for 'employees' to work 100% commission--who can do that? Thank goodness for the internet and sites like jobvent.com, turns out several of the companies I interviewed with are shady and their treatment of employees makes Wal-Mart look like employee of the year.  All of you out there looking for a job, I totally feel your pain!  It's brutal out there!

Right now I'm backing away from this whole "work full-time do Tastefully Simple on the weekends".  It makes much more sense for me to take the extra time the school year will afford me and rededicate myself to my Tastefully Simple business.  No cubical, no boss, no madatory overtime and I don't have to ask for time off to chaparone a field trip. I've learned I really really have it good, I can work on my own terms. I don't think I appreciated what a life sucking entity a job in 'corporate america' can be these days. I tell you, if I could hug my business I would.  Maybe I'll hug a beer bread?  Or my team members...Look out Team hugs coming your way! I'm very excited approach my business this fall with this new point of view

And I'm excited to share our new Cinnamon Syrup and Flavors of India Seasoned Salt with my friends, why?  Because they are all natural.  And different and fun to play with in the kitchen! I had the Cinnamon Syrup on a Fit N Active multigrain waffle from Aldi this AM.  I gourmet'd up frozen waffles!

Im working on reading a fun book for my next review on thesookieverse.com  Carpe Demon: Adventures of a Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom.  AND I'm looking to have an epic fall!  Lots of TS parties, the Chicago Marathon and I signed up for National Novel Writing Month :-D

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Exciting News!

Now when you see that, does it make you think Im gonna have another 1/2 demon child? 
Nooooo. Tho, I do love babies and dont mind newborns.

The exciting news is that I was asked to write book reviews for a blog!  I'm a contributing writer.

  I review Urban Fantasy, Paranormal stuff.  The fun books I love to read. My Book Review

Kewl, huh?  And I have 96 followers on twitter, which I am actually managing to use more frequently, not as much as Ashton Kutcher, of course. 

Today I made my favorite under $5 bucks dinner. Cheese and Bean Enchiladas.
1 can Enchilada sauce, red.
1 can fat free refried beans
1 package of tortillas
1 can of mexi blend corn
1/2 cup of the new Tastefully Simple  Peppy Papaya Salsa
1 tbsp TS Fiesta Party Dip
1/2 to 1 cup shredded cheese

I mix the beans, corn, salsa, and fiesta party dip together put it in the tortillas, drizzle on some enchilada sauce, sprinkle some cheese  then roll up the tortillas put them in a a stoneware baker then pour the rest of the sauce over all the enchiladas.  Lastly I sprinkle cheese on the top and bake it in the over for about 40 minutes at 375.

My future home.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

August begins.

Right now I am biding my time waiting for the golf lover AKA my hubby and Patrick to return from a trip to best buy and the golf store.  It is probably more like they will be going to a few golf stores until Patrick gets whiny and Tom decides to come home.  Once they do I'm hitting the road and going for a run.  A long run.  Time will pass quickly today on my run as I'll be listening to Midnight's Daughter by Karen Chance.  Midnight's Daughter is about a Dhampir which is a 1/2 human and 1/2 vampire individual.  I know very odd.  How would a dead person procreate?  Maybe that will be covered in the book.

Today I realized that if I had $1.00 for everytime I thought, I should go blog, I should really try and blog everyday if I am going to have a blog, then I could hire a maid.  Ahh how nice that would be for me!

I have a little confession, I accidently bought a Calvin Klien dress off ebay.  See it was my size, looked cute, and was NWT (new with tags).  You could have knocked me over with a feather this AM when I won the dress for $15.51.

On the food front, Friday I made the new Tastefully Simple Homestyle Beef Noodle Soup, or at least I think that is what it is called, I'm not looking at the box.  Anywho , the directions call for 1 lb of sirloin cut into bite sized pieces and water.  For me, I thought that was too much sirloin.  So I went to Jewel and they had 2 6oz Filet Mignon (sp?) for $7.00.  So I got that and used one of the filets and I added about 1.5 cups of frozen peas.  I also added 1 extra cup of water and 1 beef bullion cubes to stretch the meal out more.  IMO, the soup worked out very well.  The 6 oz of filet was the perfect amount and the noodles didn't overcook and get mushy.  Today (Sunday) I had a bowl of the soup and by gosh, it tastes even better as a leftover!  Yum.  I think I'll be making this when the weather cools off this fall.

Now Tom has arrived home and I am off for a run!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Much going on

Went to a baby shower today, it seems like all of a sudden a plethora of people I know are having babies or getting married.  Such fun times, tho in this weather it's a tough time to be in the last trimester of pregnancy for sure. It's been now 6 years since Anna was born and I am amazed at all the new stuff they have for babies, all kinds of gadgets and gizmos.  And along with that I rec'd an email today from an author who wrote a set of books called The No Cry Solution as in The No Cry Sleep Solution and the No Cry Potty Training Solution.  Her name is Elizabeth Pantley and you can go to her website to find out if the books are for you, and find out how to enter her book give away as well as a chance to win a $500 gift certificate to Babies R Us, you can get a lot of gizmos (or one fancy stroller) with that!

We were able to go down to visit my brother and his wife and children including the cutest baby ever, my nephew B.  We also made our first visit to my parents new home. had german food in Helen, GA, climbed Brasstown Bald, swam in Lake Chatuge (sp?) and visited the lovely Ridges Resort . At the Ridges they have a wonderful chef AKA my bro. :-D
See some pics below!
 


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Free Ice Cream!

Saw this in an email, wanted to share w/anyone who might be in downtown Chicago:

Stop by the Tribune Tower next to WGN Radio's Showcase Studio (435 N. Michigan Avenue) for free Carvel Ice Cream Cake cups at 12:00 Noon on the following Friday's throughout the summer. Quantities are limited, so be sure to get there before they run out!




July 2, 2010

July 23, 2010

August 6, 2010

August 20, 2010

I have been working on writing fiction, so I have sorely neglected my blog.  I shall endeavor to post more tout suite. :-D

What I am reading now: The Cassie Palmer Series by Karen Chance.  It's great fun!  I am super glad that I downloaded the 3rd books as an audio otherwise I'd never know the correct pronunciation for one of the main characters.  Mircea.  It's supposed to be pronouncec:  Meer-cha.  I was thinking it was: M-er-so. 

One of those priceless things, 190 mycokereward points= one free game rental from Blockbuster=kids playing Toy Story 3 on the Wii and getting along! 

Monday, May 31, 2010

Summer, how I love you!

"Then followed that beautiful season...Summer....


Filled was the air with a dreamy and magical light; and the landscape

Lay as if new created in all the freshness of childhood."

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


One of the best things about Summer is a nice breeze and a book at the beach.  While I haven't made it to the beach yet, since it is Memorial Day weekend and you know with it being hot yesterday 90s and humid today, the beaches are packed.  We are going to wait for a weekday.  The beaches are pretty empty during the week.  Wahoo!

I have found time to read, and am currently just starting book 6 of the Black Dagger Brotherhood.  Now it is not my fault I am in the midst of reading an action packed series of books w/Vampires and what not.  It is the fault of the girl I have been emailing with in Austrailia.  She said I would love the series, so it's all her fault. LOL   Most of the books I have been able to p/u at the library, which is great b/cause it is free and books 3 and 4 I *had* to download onto my phone. 

The bummer part of the kindle app for iphone is 1. having to pay for books that I can't trade w/anyone.  the big plus is when I read on the phone I can read in the dark.  No book light needed.

When I picked up the black dagger brotherhood book from the library, I also grabbed a bunch of movies, cause again, FREE to borrow!  So far with it being a much nicer than typical Memorial Day weekend, we haven't watched much TV.  Tonight Tom will be all about the Blackhawks.  He needs to wear a heart monitor when he watches the games.  He is a high-strung mess!

I'm looking to make another run to Jewel today as they have this crazy good deal on Coke Products. 4 12 packs for 8 bucks plus then they have a coupon for a free pack of Hillshire Farms brats and polish sausage (value $.350)  So I am stocking up on the diet pop that I love, as well as Minute Maid Light Lemonade.  Plus I collect mycokerewards points, so every 12 pack is 10 points for free stuff like movies tix.

The other crazy good deal is I have a coupon for by 2 pkgs of Lays Potato chips and get $3 off produce.  And now thru Wed the Lays chips are BOGO for $3.99, so I grab 2 bags of chips 1 plain and one bbq and get some produce (like yesterday I got potatoes and today I am going to get a watermelon --watermelon is on sale for 3.48.  So that means:
4 12 packs of pop $8.00
1 pkage of cheddar wurst sausages free
2 bags of chips $3.99
1 watermelon $.48
So all that for $12.47 and I have a $5.00 off your next order coupon so my out of pocket for this stuff is:
$7.47 plus tx.
:-D  Love the Memorial Day sales at grocery stores!!!

Well I am just waiting for the storm that is coming our way to hurry up and rain on us and move on so I can go for a long run since Tom is home! 

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

House in Ogden Dunes, Indiana

House in Ogden Dunes, Indiana

how awesome is this vacation home. Anyone want to start a collection for me? I'd love to stay there!!! I will need a vacation soon, school is just about out for the summer. Yikes! On the plus side the weather around here has taken a turn for the summer, which I am all about. Love summer. I also love the Indiana Dunes. wink wink. LOL

Today Anna informed me that yesterday her teacher Mrs. Z was scratched in the eye by her dog and had to go to the ER where they took out her eyeball and gave her a new eyeball. Hmmm, are you sure Anna?

Wide-eyed she nods her head, "ah, yah."

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Man I feel like Crap on Toast

I feel like crap on toast.  I woke up this morning with a pounding headache and a stuffy nose.  Either I have what Anna had, which I don't think I do b/cause she had a sore throat and a fever OR it's the cursed cottonwood trees that are spewing all over around here. 

A nap is about all I want to do at this point, and if I am going to take one I really need to get on that, as I am taking the children to Bryce's Cub Scout Crossover picnic thingy.  This AM even though I don't feel good, I made Bryce's little sailboat for the Rain Gutter Regatta.  Are you thinking, why did you make it, why not Bryce? My answer is, you are right he should have made it, but I wasn't in the mood to work with him, and Tom was going golfing, so I slapped it together and told him to decorate it with a permanent marker, by all appearances it looks like an 8 year-old made it.

The house is feeling very quite since Patrick's 3 overnight guests have left.  Now if it was clean in addition to being quiet that would be a little slice of heaven.  I should not complain. Life is short and one day I'll be whining about how my house is always too quiet and how I miss when the kids were little and liked being around me.

Ooo, I thought of something very positive.  There is food at the Crossover thingy, so I don't have to cook dinner.  I will have to force the children to sit down and actually eat instead of run around playing the whole time (it's like a picnic=y kind of event); because if I have to hear children asking me what we are having for dinner when we leave the Crossover, my head just might explode. 

Because of some really good cereal deals we have 8 boxes of Kellogs cereals in our pantry, so if they do start asking for food,  I have my answer ready: Cereal.  Cereal. Cereal.

There is a change in the background an a few words highlighted in this post, but I am too lazy to fix it.  Off to nap!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Anna is quiet today

Hotel for Dogs (Full Screen Edition)She has a sore throat, otherwise she'd be her usual loud and rambunctious self. Right now we are watching Hotel for Dogs, she says it is the Best Movie Ever!   I'm not paying attention so I don't know what is going on only that Emma Roberts is in it.

This morning when I walked into our pantry, I got a most wonderful surprise, Tom had clean and organized it.  Circle today on the calendar, that doesn't happen every day, every week, every month or even every year!


It's so clean I can share a picture:

And I am almost caught up on the Laundry, and basically that is an oxymoron.  Is anyone ever really caught up on laundry. I got a new/old washer on Mothers Day that I bought with part of my pay from my Tastefully Simple party the night before.  I love it.  It is about 8x as old as the one we had, It has about 1/3 the capacity and no electronic panel.  What it does have is all your basic washing machine parts that work and have worked for a long time.  While our 'old' washing machine:The Kenmore Oasis with Canyon something and a whisper package and no agitator, that is only 3 years old is broke again. 
Sears would like $75 to come out and more to fix it again, or we can buy a repair package that is good for a year for $225.  Ya sounds great, We did that when it stopped working about 16 months ago.  So I went on Craigslist last week, looked up garage sales and called around until this nice lady in Alsip said  she had a washer that worked but was nothing to look at and she'd take $75 for it.

On Sunday we picked it up.  It was my Mother's Day gift to me from me.  Then Tom and I tried to move it into the basement by ourselves and I had visions of the washer sliding down the stairs and landing on Tom.  The washer is just too heavy for me, I called Tom's brother and let them move it down the steps. 

Other exciting news around here is that our strawberry patch is bursting with strawberries.  They are not red as of yet, but when they are, fresh organic strawberries are the best!
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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

So tired!

It's been one super busy day.  First off, I didn't sleep well last night, and then Patrick woke up with a fever and a sore throat.  Again.  This seems to be happening every few weeks.  I've got to call the doctor, maybe he had some kind of strep thingy, ugh.  Or it's the power of mind over matter, and his desire to stay home from school.  As he tells me all the time and usually in tears on Monday mornings, he hates school. 

Why does he hate school? He can't do what he wants.  What does he want to do?  Oh you know watch TV, play video games, write stories, eat a lunch at home. 
Only 17 more days of school and he'll be one step closer to being done with school.  I'm going to have to try that one on him.  He's already logged just about 5 years of school, might as well finish it up ( in 7 more years plus college-but who's counting!)


Tomorrow morning is the Teacher Appreciation Breakfast at Patrick's school.  I have been coordinating it with help of the PTA Pres, and this will be my first assignment as the new Hospitality PTA person.  I hope it goes well, of course my biggest worry is:
1. not enough food
2. not enough coffee.

I was cooking all day to complement the items that are being donated by parents and a few businesses.  I used a couple recipes from pillsbury.com because I needed breakfast-y caserole type options  and then I found a recipe in the coupon section of the paper from sunday for a Cheesy Bacon Egg Bake.  So I've got that along w/ Bacon and Cheese Tartlets (made with bacon bacon, so the muslim staff can eat it) and Bacon and Cheese Biscuit Quiche Type things.  (made with turkey bacon)  I also washed and cut up fruit, and made 3 different bagel spreads w/Tastefully Simple Products: 1. Bacon Bacon Spread 2. Sweet Strawberry Spread and for a veggie spread, Sweet Bell Pepper Spread.   And I went to the local Jewel a few time today to get additonal supplies. 

The exciting thing is that 1. all the stuff I made fit in the fridge and on one shelf, so everyone knew not to eat it tonight.  The neverwracking thing is getting 10 packages of turkey brown and serve sausages all heated up and in the crockpot w/o the middles being cold.

Wish me luck that is goes well and we have happy full teachers!  Don't tell anyone but I am hoping to get in a nap after the breakfast is over  :-D

Monday, May 3, 2010

Cancun Continued.

Black Magic Sanction (Rachel Morgan, Book 8) have to remember to go over to my library and pay the fine I owe for forgetting to return a kids cd-rom then I can finally get Black Magic Sanction book 8 in a series. This series of books rocks. I really love it, thax to Barbara who clued me into the series when she posted that the first book was free for kindle.


I'm also looking forward to the next book in the Mercy Thompson series. I love heroines!


Okay back to Cancun. The picture of me outside our room is right before we went to dinner on Friday night. We stood in line for the most popular/exclusive restaurant at the resort, which just means we had to wait in line, it wasn't like we couldn't get a table unless we knew someone. So we wound up have dinner with a bunch of other people at this restaurant that was called like Mo No Mama or something. The restaurant has Japanese/Asian Cuisine. They have chopsticks, if you want a fork, you've got to request it. Somewhat strangely in keeping with the Asian theme, the Mexican hostess has to wear a kimono. At least she doesn't have to bind her feet, she was pretty crabby already. I just looked at the chopsticks and tried to hold them like a couple pencils, and thought about trying to stab the maki rolls on the table. Lucky for me, my wonderful Tastefully Simple Sponsor, showed me how to hold the sticks and better yet explained to me how to hold them. So there I was grabbing sushi with my chopsticks, I am worldly now, I am wielding chopsticks. 

I took a second roll and popped into my mouth with out dropping it. Quite exciting. I held back from eating more sushi to make sure I had plenty of room for my entree, something that sounded like Beef Gideon. The waiter gave us our plates with some flourish and the entree sizes were reasonable vrs. the usual 4 servings on one plate you find at restaurant here in the States.  I even had a most yummy Mai Tai with my meal.  Then all of a sudden , I was done.  I couldn't take one more bit of my entree and I broke out in a sweat when asked about dessert.  I felt terrible.  So terrible I was afraid I'd puke on the way back to the room. I was in bed with the covers over my head by 930pm.

The next night we went back to the same restaurant because it was the best one at the resort, IMO, and Tom wanted to go back.  When we were seated Sat night, I looked at the maki rolls on the menu and realized why I was sick on Friday night.  All of the sushi rolls they serve, include avocados.  So the food their is great, it was me with the allergic reaction. Tom was relieved to find out it was me and not the food.

Actually on Saturday night we were supposed to eat with the same fantastic crowd as the night before, but we didn't make it to the restaurant to be seated with them because the door fell off our room.  The humidity had rotted the wood around the hinges and the door was almost completely off. It is the door's fault I fell for the second time.  With the door broken we could close our door and in between the time when the door broke and the maintenance guy showed up to fix it, which he couldn't, he thought it was a lock problem not a wood problem.  Whilst we were waiting for  him, every surface of our room became slick with moisture from all the humid air now streaming in to it.  This fact was made clear to us when I got off the bed, and on my second step to the dresser.  Splat on the floor goes me.  Tom was dumbfounded.  One second I was standing, the next I wiped out.  That is when we noticed our room floor had turned into a hockey rink.  This was completely apropos, as Tom was watching Blackhawks highlights on the laptop. Just in case you were wondering if it was the floor or mai tais, I don't need any drinks to fall, apparently I am super good at falling w/o any help.

They couldn't fix our door, so we moved down the hall to a new room, which was nice, the bellman moved our stuff and we got fresh towels and soap.  Because of the way the resort rooms angle out, maximizing any views for the guests, our room was just a bit different from the previous one.  You see each room had a big stone column, which gave a sense of separation between the bed and the bathroom.  In the middle of the night, I used the restroom and when I walked back to the bed I walked, wait for it,
yes! right into the column.  Can you believe it?  Tom is on his laptop right now taking out some additional life insurance on me. 

Sunday I was ready to come home, not because I wasn't having fun and memorable times, but because I missed the kids and home.  Being the incredibly caring wife that I am, I sat in the middle seat on the way home.  Fortunately I was able to fall asleep and not notice in was in the middle seat for most of the ride.

We arrived home to rain, temps in the 50s, but that was alright because I knew that we have the rest of spring and all of summer to enjoy. 

Now that it has been just over a week since our trip, the getting sick and injuring myself  parts of the trip are already fading in my memory into just a funny story and what remains is the first vacation Tom and I have had together in 11 years.  We spent more time together and talked to each other more than we have in a good 5 years. 

Now I have to do the mastercard thing.
Trip to Cancun: free cause I earned it, walking into a column: one knot on my forehead, finding out that I still like spending time with my husband: PRICELESS!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

No really it's true, I went to Cancun and I didn't come back with a tan or a lousy sunburn!

This picture is from Friday Night in Cancun right prior to us going to dinner.  behind me you can see ocean.  Ohh Ahh I love the ocean.

Many nice people have asked how was my trip to Cancun.  If I can be cliche in a word it was memorable.  We drove off with our minivan taxi driver at 5ish AM on Saturday morning, it was cold for sandals.  I wore them anyway, the minute we were out the door I was on vacation. 

When I travel, as I do about quarterly thanks to my super awesome part time job livng the life of a jet setting Tastefully Simple Lady,  I like a few things to go a certain way.  Just think of me as a female version of Ryan Bingham in Up In The Air, without 97% of the issues.  I had my pre-boarding Egg McMuffin and Venti Starbucks (black).  Can I just say, this is the perfect traveling breakfast, as long as you are not adverse to using the plane's bathroom. (Venti is a lot of coffee).  I like to sit in the back-ish of the plane and must have an aisle seat. Ah aisle seats how I love aisle seats.  "Up in the Air" was the movie for the flight, a movie that takes place in airports and on American Airlines-the same airline we were flying. 

Have you ever been to Cancun?  I really don't like wintertime and I am the one who says bring on the heat, I can handle the humidity.  righhhhttt.  Let me put it this way, people who live in Cancun like to travel to Florida to experience the dry heat.  When they visit Chicago in August and we are enjoying 90% humidity,  they bring a coat so they won't be chilly.  Walking from the plane to the baggage claim my hair went from straight-ish with some wave to boing!  Frizzy city.  The plus was I didn't spend any of my vacation on hair styling. 

Tom walked into the resort and looked around and his mouth dropped opened. He was impressed.  The resort is all tile and marble and has beautiful stainglass ceilings.  It reminded me of a Las Vegas Hotel big, sensory overload, and you have no reason to leave the place except to catch your plane home. When we arrived at the resort there was really really long lines for check in, which was bad because I was starving, and good because they had a cocktail bar and snacks next to the check in line.  Because I am almost 40 and wise in the ways of drinking alchohol, I grabbed a margarita, and no snacks.  I told Tom, I didn't want to waste my hunger on chips and salsa. 

Once we got to our room we checked out the minibar, which was included in the all-inclusiveness of the place so we opened the wine in our room, toasted to the view, took a picture of the liquor dispensers, checked out the robes and I made Tom get in the hammock for a picture. The courtyard our room overlooked had a bit of an ocean view, lots of palm trees and birds were singing.  I remarked to Tom that the birds reminded me of our honeymoon in Hawaii.

Clearly this picture isn't going to end up in the resort brochure touting how relaxing it is at their resort. 
We had a lovely room.  As we were starving we wanted to get right out there and enjoy the all-inclusivity, and I wanted to wear my most awesome shoes.  Micheal Kors sandals I got via mypoints.com daily deals.  Obviously the man didn't appreciate the awesomeness of the shoes.  Not only are they cute but also super comfy, except if you wear them for a night out then you might get a huge blister on your big toe like me!

I don't know if I have mentioned it before, but I am know for my falling.  I trip from time to time and fall and it is funny every time.  Something about seeing someone fall down is always funny. So there I was feeling stylish and trendy in my cute shoes and my casual dress walking around with my hubby with the ocean breeze.  A lovely stroll, and then I walk over to a bathroom over by one of the pools and whooops.  I slipped and fell right when another lady was walking out of the stall I fall smack on the floor on my knee.  The kind lovely lady says, "Are you OK?  I did the same thing!"  I laughed and made a mental note to text my good friend and let her know I had fallen again.  It's not a fun time til I fall down.  That lady probably didn't really even fall, she was just trying to make me feel better or she thought I was drunk and she wanted to humor the drunk lady.

In my defense of falling:
1. I don't fall that much, I just happen to fall around others.
2. I learned the hard way not to walk or run and look at my iphone.
3. I run 20-30 miles a week so on average I don't fall anymore than anyone else.
4. I didn't fall until I after I sprained my ankle really bad, I blame my bad ankle.

We had a really yummy dinner and I think I let the nice waiter give me a bit too many cervezas.  I mean the guy was taking my glass when it was 3/4 empty and giving me a fresh mug.  It was a fun night, Tom was Mr. Social and lucky for me I switched to water!

At the crack of dawn, the birds woke me up.  They were louder than my alarm clock and not welcome at all. Tom the morning person that he is, was up and working on a presentation for work and pre
paring for his conference call at 8am.  He was grumbling, and I dug thru my carry-on, found the ibuprophen and went back to bed.

On our walk to breakfast, we decided we aren't cut out for a vacation of drinking.  Tom said we should have been practicing by drinking frequently in the weeks leading up to our trip (tongue-in-cheek).
After breakfast Tom had more work to wrap up, so I took a nap, because I could.  Naps cannot be overrated. Tom's work was wrapped up and we finally got to check out the pools. When you have lots of freckles, such as I do, you learn how to put on loads of sunblock.  Much to the disappointment of Ms. Anna, we came back with no suntan. 

I have to share more of the trip, more falling, learning to use chopsticks, our door falling off our room. I'm going to try to tell the rest of the story tomorrow, but I might not get to it since at 7pm tonight (Thursday) I realized that Bryce's 1st communion is at 10AM on Saturday, and he doesn't have a suit to wear and I have to get an xray on my toe because it's probably broken.  Too funny!  Really I am organized, and in great health!  It just doesn't sound like it! 

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tis Tuesday!


It's Tuesday, that means in 48 hours will be in Cancun and my parents will be spending an afternoon with Anna.  Hopefully they won't try to go shopping after school with her, because she is the worst when you are trying to get a few things from the grocery store or to check your coupons to save a couple bucks.  How can that sweet Anna be a nightmare at the store?  Well lets see:
1. sitting in the toliet paper/paper towel aisle on the toliet paper.
2. picking up a cucumber after the mister mists the veggies and licking off water.
3. Opening the egg boxes and taking out eggs.
4. saying she is tired and sitting in the middle of an aisle
5. running off in the store then when you walk over and get her, she starts saying MAMA YOU ARE HURTING ME.
6. this one only happened once, wanting to know how babies come out of their mama's tummies. (the last one was pretty cute, 1-5 not so much)

In about 15 minutes I have to take her with me to the dentist.  :-(  I hope my phone is charged up so she can watch the zack and cody video on it.  I tell ya the iphone has paid for itself 50x over between the use as a distracting to keep a kiddo from being bored to death, directions to host's houses, and even blogging!

Friday, April 16, 2010

smile.ly—Be Heard. Be Happy.

smile.ly—Be Heard. Be Happy.

this is an opinion website that if you join you can get free samples, complete surveys for points/rewards cash. I like these sorts of things because I have opinions and I like to try new stuff. :-D So check it out!

I am typing today on my new Toshiba laptop from good old best buy (same as cash 18 months) my last laptop which I loved died a sudden death :-( a couple of weeks ago and so I was using Tom's laptop which he didn't like so now I have a new one. So there is a tax deduction for 2010. This one has a 10key pad on the right hand side of the key board andn I keep hitting those buttons when I am looking for the delete button. I guess I will so get used to it. This one also has skype built in, so if Oprah ever calls me and wants to skype me into her show, I'm all set!

Tomorrow I am going to be at the Relay for Life Oak Forest Craft Show at Kenootz Pizza, I have some really cute teacher's gifts that I'm sure people will grab, it's our Sweet Strawberry Cheese Ball and a bag of the twisty grahams in a nice white organza bag, it looks like you put thought into the gift, it's edible and shows you care all for only $16.00!

Tomorrow night I had a Tastefully Simple party scheduled but my host has mersa, poor thing! So we had to reschedule for the 2nd 1/2 of May. My May is getting really busy. Which is good, I am working on 1. saving $$ to send the kids to daycamp (a must for summer sanity --mine) and b. saving for our trip to my parents new home in Georgia (and to visit my bro and his family too).

And I'm closing in on earning the incentive trip to Disney, earning this trip is a must as I've already told the children we are going to go! I think next April will be a good time to go, Patrick will be 10, Bryce 9, and Anna 6.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Wicked wicked allergy week around here, I stocked up on some benadryl today, for me and Patrick and. Bryce. It's been fabulous outside though, which helps mitigate the allergy suffering.

Curently I am on a sandwich kick, for dinner I adapted a recipe for Brie and bacon panni that I found on the Trader Joes website http//traderjoes.com
So here is my interpretation of the panni

Take 2 slices of bread and brush one side of each with tastefully simple Roasted Garlic Infused oil
On the other side of the bread spread our new Bold &Bossy Honey Mustard
On the other slice layer thinly sliced apple (I used A fuji apple
Then on top of the mustard slice layer the ham of your choice, I used Hilshire Farm Brown Sugar Ham.
On top of the ham put slices of Brie cheese.
Pit the slices together to make your sandwich and grill in an iron skillet about two minutes on each side and then it is YUM!

All day today I thought it was thursday , I guess tomorrow will be Deja vu!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Facebook | Kraft Macaroni & Cheese

I have a soft spot in my heart for the mac and cheese in the blue box. It never disappoints. The only mac and cheese that could rival my love for Kraft Mac and Cheese was Annie's Homegrown Organice Mild Mexican Shells & Cheese. Which I have not seen  in a store for a few years.  :-(  Anyway back to the Kraft.  Not too long ago Jewel had a sale on the kraft and I stock up on 10 boxes at 79 cents a box.  This was quite the deal and we have just a couple left.  Now when I was a kid I swear there was a lot more in the box, but I do enjoy the noodle shapes that they have now.  We are big fans of the Spongebob and the Spiderman boxes.  Today I was checking out Rachel's mashup mom site and she had on there the scoop on how you can get a coupon for a free box of the new Cheese Explosion Kraft Mac and Cheese if you are Kraft  Mac and Cheese's facebook friend.  Obviously I friended the Kraft Mac and Cheese a long time ago and took this opportunity to make it facebook offical! I put a link to the Kraft Mach and Cheese facebook page on here as well as a look at my fav mac and cheese that they apparently don't make anymore.




Facebook Kraft Macaroni & Cheese

Friday, April 9, 2010

Upromise Guest Shopping for Victoria

Upromise Guest Shopping for Victoria

I went and checked my Upromise account balance today and found there is $45 in there. I guess each kid can purchase a notebook or 2 for college with that? Maybe a really cheap used book? Anna has informed me that when she grows up she wants to be an artist. So no need for college for that, she needs to leave home as soon as she turns 18, and find a muse. Or go stake out a spot at Navy Pier and paint pictures. Bryce wants to be a police officer, so I told him he can go to Moraine Valley Community College and live in the basement. Patrick wants to make video games. He told my friend that he wants to go to college via online classes so he doesn't have to leave home. I will have to remind him of that when he is a teenager, I have a sneakingsupicion that he will change his mind about not wanting to leave home.

Today I am making lunch for dinner. So we are having soup and sandwiches. I found this recipe in my Food Network Magazine Ham-Taleggio Grilled Cheese. Yum right? Now I noticed that the recipe called for Taleggio Cheese







And I said to myself, man that doesn't look like a cheese that they sell at Jewel or Aldi, I better go to Trader Joes since they have a more varied cheese selection and their cheese prices are lower than Jewel for the cheese in the cheese section.  Anna was even willing to go to Trader Joes and behave since they have mini shopping carts for the kids, they also always have a food demonstrator and she likes to try the samples. 
 
Well we went to Trader Joes and they didn't have any Taleggio Cheese.  I didn't know what would be a good substitute cheese, since I wasn't sure what kind of cheese Taleggio Cheese was (like hard, semi soft, soft) all I could determine from the name was that it originated in Italy.  Given that I bought Asiago Cheese, Brie Cheese and Guyere Cheese.  I skipped on getting gouda for some reason, I usually get gouda if I am buying cheese esp. if I am at Trader Joes.   Today I found a website that is my new favorite website it is called foodsubs.com and guess what, Taleggio Cheese is a semi-soft cheese not a hard cheese and so substitutes for it include Gouda and Fontina Cheese, not Asiago or Guyere Cheese.
 
Making an exectutive decision I am redoing the recipe as Ham-Guyere Grilled Cheese.
Ingredients
3 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
2 onions thinly sliced
8 thin slices white bread (Im using Trader Joes Italian Country Loaf)
10 oz of Guyere Cheese shredded
*note Tom won't eat Guyere Cheese so I am making his Ham-Swiss Grilled Cheese. The Swiss will be sliced
8 oz thinly sliced ham
1 green apple thinly sliced.
 
melt 1 tbsp butter with the olive oil in a large skillet over med-low heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and caramelized, about 20 minutes :-(  thats a long time.  For a short cut use onion marmalade in place of the caramelized onions.  *I wonder where one can purchase onion marmalade???
 
Lay out 4 slices of bread. Top w/ 1/2 the cheese, then 1/2 the ham, layer the onions and apple slices the the remaining ham and cheese on top, then the remaining bread slices.
 
Wipe out the skillet, melt 1 tbsp of butter over med-lowheat.  Add 2 sandwiches and cook, pressing gently with a spatula, until the bottom is golden and the cheese begins to melt, about 4 minutes.
Filp and cook until golden, about 4 more minutes.  Repeat.
 
We'll have the sandwiches, I am also making Lipton Soup because the kids probably won't go for the sandwiches and then baby carrots and Tastefully Simple Sun-dried Tomato Veggie Dip.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

I am testing to see if I can blog from my iPhone. Test one two
Today we are at baseball practice and it is cold and overcast so I am very glad I can stay in the car.

Patrick is bummed that fast food Thursdays have ended along with choir practice, but I distracted him with a snack of flaming hot cheetos. I don't know how he can do it but his fav snack is hot cheetos and claussen pickles. Only classen pickles for Patrick and if I don't watch him the pickles are gone in one day. I can relate , I completely agree that Claussen Pickles are far superior to all other pickles on the market, however eating a whole jar in one day is so not good.

Back to baseball, the dads that coach these teams must really like baseball, the boys are so squirrely, I can watch closely or I feel compelled to yell at Bryce : stop messing around and pay attention to the ball!

I am going to get back to my book: Abraham Lincoln, vampire hunter, Bryce is up to bat.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Free Comic Book Day

Free Comic Book Day

I found out through mashupmom.com that you can go to participating Comic Book Stores and get a free comic book on May 1st. That is Bryce's 1st communion so I don't think we'll be able to take advantage of the special.

It's all rainy today, and I think that soon Tom is going to have to mow the lawn. Probably that won't happen until April 30th (ie the day before Bryce's first communion--since we will have people over.) Yes I know I am perfectly capable of mowing the lawn myself.  Well mostly capable, I do tend to trip and fall a few times a year, so odds are good that I might trip in a gopher hole if there is one to be tripped upon in our back yard.  However, I am not going to go ahead and mow the grass because I'm always busy washing dishes, cooking food, folding laundry, yelling at small children and running a successful business from my home. :-D
*All* Tom does is go downtown to work all day in a small cubicle doing stuff for his company, so I leave the yard work to him. LOL

A bit late but on Monday I found the time to make Easter Bread, it was actually pretty easy. :-D

Here is the recipe I used:

Easter Bread

NOTE: I skipped the decorative eggs.


Original Recipe Yield 1 - 1 pound loaf


Ingredients

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided

1/4 cup white sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast

2/3 cup milk

2 tablespoons butter

2 eggs

5 whole eggs, dyed if desired

2 tablespoons butter, melted

Directions

1.In a large bowl, combine 1 cup flour, sugar, salt and yeast; stir well. Combine milk and butter in a small saucepan; heat until milk is warm and butter is softened but not melted.

2.Gradually add the milk and butter to the flour mixture; stirring constantly. Add two eggs and 1/2 cup flour; beat well. Add the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring well after each addition. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes.

3.Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.

4.Deflate the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into two equal size rounds; cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Roll each round into a long roll about 36 inches long and 1 1/2 inches thick. Using the two long pieces of dough, form a loosely braided ring, leaving spaces for the five colored eggs. Seal the ends of the ring together and use your fingers to slide the eggs between the braids of dough.

5.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Place loaf on a buttered baking sheet and cover loosely with a damp towel. Place loaf in a warm place and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes. Brush risen loaf with melted butter.

6.Bake in preheated oven for 50 to 55 minutes, or until golden.

Easter Bread

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Spring...


It's warm enough today to have a window cracked open in the kitchen and to force young children away from the TV and outdoors. Thank goodness because it has been wall to wall fighting here. Overall Anna instigated 83.6 percent of all the fights that happen.

Tomorrow is St. Patrick's day, so much to my dismay, I have been assigned the making of the layered Jello so Patrick can take it to school. Patrick considers St. Patrick's day his other birthday.

I had to end my boycott of Jewel because
1. It was a real pain not to be able to go to the closest store to me.
2. Fairplay's non sale prices are just as high as Jewel's no sale prices.
3. Jewel has a new savings program called your bucks where you get coupons for $ off your next order when you buy certain items and what is way better about this vrs. their other deals is it will say buy 2 Lean Cuisine get $2.50 on your next order instead of spend $20 and get $5 and then I have to figure out what the participated products are and make sure I have spent $20 blah blah.

So I am back going to Jewel, and I find that many of the cashiers make you feel like you are trying to pull the wool over their eyes when you hand them coupons, they don't just start scanning them, they read them and check to make sure you purchased the right items.

I'd try to shop Trader Joes more because they have good customer service, but a. it's further away and b. the last 3 times I went there, the cheese I purchased got moldy b/4 the sell by date. That's so not cool!
******
Today Anna came home from school and said that Mohammed's mom told him that if you tell a lie your tongue turns black. She told me a lie and I told her yes, her tongue did turn black. Then she said I am going to go in the bathroom and look in the mirror and lie to myself so I can see it.

Dang, she's too quick!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Coffee and Confession

I love Dunkin Donuts coffee. To be fair, I also enjoy Starbucks. You see I really like my coffe black, so Dunkin Donuts black coffee with Cinnamon flavor is my fave, a big cup is just under $2.00. When it comes to Starbucks, I really don't like to get their coffee black, it's too burnt in flavor, so when I go to starbucks I get the Skinny Cinnamon Dolce Tall, which means that it's all full of skim milk, which makes it,IMO, more of a dessert than a cup of coffee. Plus the Dunkin Donuts is closer to my house and they mail me coupons, so they get more of my business consistently.

When we drove down to my brother's last June I was super suprised to find that highways littered with Starbucks and completely devoid of the Dunkin Donuts! Who knew.

So I am a member of Starbucks Rewards and Dunkin Perks, I really really love coffee.

do you love coffee? Get a free Sample of Dunkin Donuts Turbo Coffee here:

Dunkin' Donuts. Dunkin' keeps me blogging. Try Dunkin' Donuts Coffee For Free. Get a Sample


Last night we went with Patrick to Reconciliation, which is what used to be called confession. It was a family Reconciliation so Tom and I had to reconcil with the priest as well as Patrick. The rest of the 4th grade ER class was there as well as the kids that go to school at OLOR, and we weren't free to leave after confessing, so we were sitting in the Church for about 1 hour waiting for our turn and then waiting for everyone to finish.

During all that waiting time, I was reminded that women can't be priests. And then that made me mad because IMO it's just stupid. Women would be great priests. Married Couples would be great pastors and pastresses. My mom has worked for the catholic church at the church level and the dioceases level (which I don't know how to spell, it's like the state or county level) and she has a masters from Notre Dame and she is always reading and philosophying about the scriptures and all that.

I think she should switch over and be a Lutheran and then she could be a pastor, but that isn't going to happen. Too bad Catholic Church, you are losing out great potential priests because you are ahh, narrow minded, too greedy with power, too antiwomen.

Okay I am done. Now I have to run off to Anna's school!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Food Holidays - National Food Celebrations

Food Holidays - National Food Celebrations A food for everyday, A food holiday for everyday! It's the little things that make me happy. I'm looking forward to so many! Like April 17th, National Cheeseball Day, that is like a Tastefully Simple Holy Day of Obligation. LOL Oh and April 23rd, National Cherry Cheesecake Day, y-u-m, and let's not forget, May 6th, International NO DIET Day!

Speaking of diets, I received the latest Weight Watchers Magazine in the mail yesterday, lots of stories, not enough recipes, IMO. I guess I am expecting it to be more like the Food Network Magazine which is chockful of recipes, and really WW magazine is supposed to be more inspirational and motivational than a recipe magazine.

Today Anna wanted Cheese and Crackers for lunch, and I gave her crackers and Dubliner Cheddar Cheese which is white. She didn't want to eat it because it wasn't orange, so I told her it was from Ireland (which is true) and that Leprechauns make it (which is highly debatable) and she ate it up, literally and figuratively.

Monday, February 22, 2010

I made a recipe and pretty much substituted everything in it.

With the arrival of Lent, I'm keeping my eyes out for new meatless or seafood recipes. So I found this recipe in the March Food Network Magazine and made it for Ash Wednesday because Tom likes shrimp and I was thinking he would have leftovers to take to work on Friday. I went to the store to buy ingredients for this recipes of which the store didn't seem to stock several so I started substituting and the next thing I knew I'd pretty much substituted everything in the recipe.

GRILLED SHRIMP AND NOODLE SALAD
14 OZ flat rice noodles. I couldn't find any flat rice noodles so I bought an 8oz package of really long thin rice noodles.

1/2 cup fresh lime juice, well patrick had gotten into the little plastic green lime I had and there was only 1/4 cup of fresh lime juice.

1/3 cup of fish sauce, I didn't have any of that, so I used Tastefully Simple Sesame Teriyaki Sauce.

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar, I had reg. brown sugar

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped. I used 2 tsp of Garlic Garlic

1-2 teaspoons Asian chili sauce, I didn't have that so I used 2 tsp of a ginger chili sauce I had from Aldi.

1 pound medium-large shrimp, peeled and deveined I had a bag of frozen shrimp I used that and left the tails on.

1 med. bunch of asparagus, trimmed I got this part right

5oz shiitake mushrooms, trimmed, I used sliced baby portabella mushrooms instead.

1 med carrot shredded, I thinly sliced some baby carrots.

1/2 cup fresh cilantro, I had this on hand, but Tom doesn't like cilantro, so I was going to put it on my plate, but I forgot.

1. Bring large pot of water to a boil. Add the noodles and cook as the label directs; drain and rinse with cold water.

2. Meanwhile, whisk the lime juice, fish sauce, brown sugar, garlic and chili sauce and 1/3 cup water in a medium bowl. Transfer 1/4 cup of the marinade to another bowl and toss with the shrimp. Toss another 1/4 cup marinade with the asparagus and mushrooms in a third bowl. Let the shrimp and vegetables marinate 10 minutes at room temperature. Toss the noodles with the remaining marinade.

Now at this point is where I realized that this recipe involved grilling. I know, I know, it is clearly stated in the title of the recipe GRILLED SHRIMP and Noodle Salad, but some how I missed that part! So I got out the wok pan and made it a stir fry.

Wubba's Nutty Rice Noodles on FoodistaWubba's Nutty Rice Noodles

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Golden Double Stuffed Oreos are soooooo Good!

It was an eventful day of little events. This morning we received no calls from the school district canceling school! So all the kids went to school! Yippee! Then I shoveled the driveway so I'd be able to back out of the driveway and go to the store.

I like shoveling, it's a good workout, burns lots of calories, you get to enjoy the results, the sun was shining I had my iphone it was all good. Then I had the car running, and I took out the scraper to scrap the windows, my purse and my 2 store returns were already in the car. I got the windows all cleared off and most of the top too so that the snow wouldn't slide down when I was driving. I grabbed the door handle and pulled.

And the car was locked! Running, my keys in the ignition and I was locked out! ARG! I called Tom to see if we had an extra key in the house and we don't. He suggested calling the local Hyundai dealership and I did, and the girl said to call the roadside assistance! I forgot we had roadside assistance from Hyundai. Call them, and they said it would be 3 hours because my area was so busy, will all the snow and all. But less than 45 minutes later and nice young fellow showed up and opened my car and told me that cars do that sometimes. Which was great because I was sure it wasn't me making the car lock...

I was finally off, I returned the stuff Tom bought for me last night to use for the Kindergarten Valentine's Day Ice Cream Social Craft. I got some better crafty stuff and got to use my FREE Golden Stuffed Oreo cookies coupon!!! The lady at WalMart cheerfully accepted it. Okay, well she wasn't cheery, but she took it w/o any problems and I got the $2.98 OREOs free. I noticed that their reg. price on Oreos was $1.00 cheaper than Jewel...

Then I had enough time to go to my new local grocery store Fairplay where I got 1 lb of Sara Lee Honey Turkey for about 1/2 of what it costs at Jewel which was nice. And a 1/2 lb of smoked Gouda YUM!

Tonight I made a recipe from my latest edition of Weight Watchers magazine. Either I added too much rosemary or it should be made w/o Rosemary in my opinion.

In any case, here is the recipe:
Filet Mignons with Creminis and Rosemary
4 1/4 lb Filets Mignons about 1/2 inch trimmed
1/4 tsp koser salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp canola oil
12 small cremini mushrooms, quartered (i used an 8oz package of mushrooms which was 15 mushrooms
1 med. red onion quartered, when making this again I am going to use shallots vrs the red onion, the red onion was a bit too sour. IMO
1 cup dry white wine or low sodium beef broth. I used a cup of chardonnay that I didn't taste b/4 using or I wouldn't have used it, it was a bit sweet.
2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary, this IMO over powered the dish,
1 tbsp chopped fresh flat parsley.
and I used Tastefully Simple Everyday Grilling Seasoning on the filets.

Sprinkle steaks with 1/8 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp pepper. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over med. high heat. Add steaks and cook until an instant-read thermometer insterted into side of each steak registers 135F for med. rare, about 2.5 min per side. Transfer to large plate; cover loosely with foil and keep warm.
2. Add onion to skillet and cook,stirring frequently, until browned, about 2 minutes. Add mushrooms and remaining 1/8 tsp salt and pepper; increase heat and cook, stirring frequently, until mushrooms release their liquid and begin soften about 3 minutes. Add wine and 1 tsp rosemary; bring to boil. Cook, scraping up browned bits from bottom of skillet, until liquid evaporates and mushrooms are lightly browned about 3 minutes. To serve, stir in parsley and remaining 1 tsp rosemary; pour over steaks.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Deals and the straw that broke the camel's back.

First the deal:

80% off Restaurant.com Certificates
Posted on February 09 at 08:42 PST

Restaurant.com takes 80% off all their dining certificates via code HEART. This means that $10 certificates, which normally sell on Restaurant.com for $4 are now just $0.80 and $25 certificates, normally $10 are just $2. This is a great way to save at your favorite restaurant. Obviously, not all restaurants participate, but there is definitely a good selection to choose from. Just be careful to read the fine print as many restaurants exclude alcoholic beverages, weekends and other things.

Enter code: HEART (80% off)

AND

Okay that is it, I am officially not going to Jewel anymore. As you know a couple weeks ago I complained about how they said I couldn't use my $1.00 off coupon for Orville Redenbacher popcorn and they said I couldn't use it because they had a store deal and I couldn't have a store deal and use a coupon. Well this week I had a couple coupons for items that they also had in store coupons for, and I used both, to see if it would work, and it did. So I should have been able to use the $1 Popcorn coupon, just like I thought!

But that's not why I am going to make sure to head over to Fairplay & Aldi for all my grocery shopping from now on. Here is the straw that broke the camel's back. Oreo Cookies had a special where if you became their friend on Facebook you could be one of 150,000 people to get in the mail a coupon for a free package of Double Stuffed Golden Oreos. Yum. I like the golden ones better than the regular. And yes I was one of the lucky 150,000 people and I rec'd a coupon in the mail last week for free Oreos. Now this paper has a coupon at the bottom and up at the top you can see the Oreo mailing address (return address) and my mail to address and the back of the paper says verified and is printed all over the back, much like a check might be printed on the back to avoid counterfeiting.

I took my coupon and tried to use it to purchase 1 package of Double Stuffed Golden Oreos this afternoon. The price was $3.99 (overpriced if you ask me.) and the coupon said good for free package up to $4.19 so I was in the limit. The cashier said I couldn't use my coupon because it was an Interent coupon.
I said. It's not an internet coupon, I rec'd it in the mail from Oreo.

So she went to the manager on duty and the mgr said, We don't take Internet coupons.

I said this isnt an internet coupon, Oreo mailed it to me, and I used coupons I printed from coupons.com a couple of weeks ago.

She said, we take internet coupons for cents off, but not for free items or anything over $5.00.

I said. I.Didn't.Print.This.Coupon.I.rec'd.it.in.the.mail.from.Oreo.

She said, we won't take it.

I said, if that is your policy maybe you should post it somewhere so people would know about it.

I said to the cashier, I don't want the cookies then take them off my order.

And that is the story of my last trip to Jewel. Fairplay here I come. You would think that because Jewel charges hirer prices for their food than other grocery stores that they would have great flexible coupon programs. No.

Okay I am done complaining. I am off to write a complaint letter to Jewel.