Monday, October 3, 2011

Monday Musings

A house is not a home until it has a dog.
             Gerald Durrell

Tok doing his E.T. impression

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Wow...what a weekend.

Mom, I am sorry, but I failed at the everyday blog.  I missed Friday and Saturday.  To make up for this error I am giving you this present.
Hugh Jackman on the beach

Now, for what we did this weekend.

Well, I committed to transforming my body into a bodacious body using the Beachbody system, mainly P90X.  That was Friday.

Saturday....yardwork and starting to decorate the outside for the Harvest party.

Riley changing lightbulbs

After mowing and some maintenance Cole and Jackie went to get the straw bales.  They are great, but they do leave a mess behind.  The bales--not the kids--well, on second thought, they do to sometimes.
Jackie sweeping out the car

Trying to vacuum it out now

Circled around the campfire

Waiting to get decorated
Starting to get decorated
We were able to get to the pumpkin patch today to start picking up some decorating items.  I couldn't help but come home and start the process.
For the adult dessert table  (a work in progress)
The mantel
Friday night I picked up my newest acquisition.  A three pot slow cooker from GE.  Between couponing this morning and the pumpkin patch I was able to throw in a vegan "unbeef" stew, a apple spice dump cake, and a beef stew.  It made the rest of the days projects sooo much easier.  I think I am in love.
 beef stew for some of the omnivores in the family
Why does it seem like there was so much work put into these projects than shows up in pictures?  I think I will have to start taking step-by-step photos.

Tomorrow is still in the planning stages, but I know there is a P90X workout and a dentist appointment waiting for me tomorrow.  Yikes.  Wish me luck!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

My sweet girls at Busch Gardens

Having fun at Busch Gardens
Ready for the scrambler
Escape from Pompeii--last row

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

What's on your nightstand?

I am a book club junkie.  For October I am reading "The Shack" for my local library book club, "The Imperfectionists" for the Real Simple No Obligation book club, and "What Women Fear" for the Dayspring (in)courage book club. Although, that one isn't pictured, because it is being mailed to me. You'll notice a few more titles.  I am doing a little study on efficiency and organization, and the other...well, I just love a good romance novel.

Jane Austen
“The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.”
― Jane AustenNorthanger Abbey

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Day 96-Food for All

It seems like food plays a vital role in my family.  Today's menu lineup consists of...

Autumn Applesauce Pumpkin Oatmeal
There is no firm recipe for this one and all measurements are an approximation.

2 1/2 C. old fashioned oatmeal
4 C almond milk
1 C apple cider
1 (14 oz) can of pumpkin
1 C chunky applesauce

Add all ingredients to the crockpot and cook on low 6-8 hours. Serve with maple syrup and chopped nuts.

Then it was time to start baking.  My first cookie of the fall season.
Iced Oatmeal-Applesauce Cookies It is a Martha Stewart recipe, of course.  You have to go to the expert when you first start.
Here is a picture of her cookies.

And now a pic of mine....
Not too bad.  I think professional lighting would have helped.  But most did they taste?
They are nice and chewy, but I like a cookie with a little more pizzazz.  I think some ginger or cinnamon would have been a great enhancer and will add those if I ever make the cookies again.
By now it's lunch...and leftovers.
That would be the insides of roasted vegetable enchiladas.  The main ingredients are mushrooms, butternut squash, peppers, onions, garlic and black beans all mixed with rice.  We had some leftover filling so we ate it for lunch today.

After working around the house for a little while it was time for dinner.
Egyptian Edamame Stew It is a recipe from Eating Well magazine.  I served it with slices of hot bread.
Egyptian Edamame Stew
We cleaned up dinner.  Next, time to make the lunches.  I forgot to take a pic of them, but it consisted of Thai peanut chicken wraps, oranges, milk or whatever, and an iced cookie.  There is no recipe for this, but my cheater version of this wrap is a store bought peanut sauce, grilled chicken, or in our house...Morningstar Chik'n.  Toss these together.  Then layer on a wrap, cole slaw mix, julienned carrots, bean sprouts, cilantro, and whatever veggies you like.  Top with the chicken and fold wrap tightly.  Voila another healthy and tasty lunch.  

I finished my day with two cookies.  Who wouldn't, right?

“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.”
- Virginia Woolf

This is soooo true in this humble foodies opinion.

PS--A shout out to yesterday's helpers.  Again, thanks ladies.
One of the best daughters in the world

And definitely the best sister in the world!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Day 97

I know it was Monday, but for some reason today had me and everyone else in the house moving.  I had a plan of attack and it was carried out.  The to-do list got done, well, most of it at least.  The important stuff.

I have been trying to deep clean the kitchen little by little.  Today's task...the cabinets.  Just the tops and fronts.  Cleaning them out comes tomorrow.  I had to enlist some help from my sister and daughter, because it was really a two person job.  They got the gross, but probably very satisfying job of cleaning the tops of the cabinets.  There was glitter and poinsettia leaves from Christmas pasts, a few spider webs, an elusive bug and lots of dust.  Red dust from many days of making Raspberry Ice Crystal Light. White/Gray dust from who knows what.  And the biggest pain of all, the layers of dust trapped in the cooking oils right above the stove and microwave.  Yuck!
But it is done now.  Thank you teammates.  I literally couldn't have done it without you.

We had another attack today, too.  It could have been fatal.  Aussie almost ate Riley's hamster.  He has been eyeing her for days, but has never made the move.  Until today that is.  With speed I didn't think he had, that hamster was in his mouth.  He dropped it immediately following the very girlie screams that erupted from Riley and me.  And although Aussie is usually guilt ridden about anything that he might have almost done wrong, today,  he almost looked proud of himself.  If not proud, definitely not sorry.

I am off to do a preventative attack now.  I creating a crockpot breakfast meal, so that no one starts their day on a bad note.  With fall in the air, and about a cup of leftover pumpkin in the fridge, I am creating my salute to autumn mornings--Pumpkin applesauce oatmeal. If it turns out well, I will post the recipe. If not, maybe I will post someone else's recipe.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Day 98 or an episode of hoarders

Wow-I thought writing everyday was going to be a breeze. But I hit my first obstacle.  It wasn't writer's block.  It wasn't a power outage.  It was being overwhelmed.  By what you may ask....a pic is worth a thousand words they say.  So here it goes...
Now, in her defense, I am the one that emptied three of the four drawers.  It truly was the only way to see into them.  I could hardly open a couple of the drawers as the clothes had somehow miraculously inflated themselves and took over every millimeter of available space and then some. After emptying them out and realizing more than half of them should be hung up, I assumed that there was just no room in the closet.  One side was pretty full, but the other side....

Well, I guess you can see how I spent some of my afternoon.  I helped with some of it, but then left my non-OCD child to finish up the task.  Who knows, you might even get an after pic tomorrow.  I can always pray that there is enough of a difference to warrant an after picture.

Since I started today's blog off on a sour note, I want to change the tone and give you what I am going to call a "Blog Bite".  This is a simple recipe or idea that may help you get through the holidays without breaking the bank or taking too much time.

Today's "Blog Bite" is a gift in a jar recipe I found at Organized Christmas.  It is for Cranberry Hootycreeks cookies. I think this is a great gift idea for hostesses, neighbors and folks who love to bake, but don't really have the time or tools to do it.  Enjoy.

Cranberry Hootycreeks Cookies In A Jar


Cranberry Hootycreeks in a JarPretty, festive and easy to make, Cranberry Hootycreeks make a welcome holiday cookie-in-a-jar gift.
Dried cranberries and white chocolate chips give a seasonal spin to these chunky oatmeal cookies.
To make, you'll layer flour mix with oats, dried cranberries, white chocolate chips and chopped nuts for a pretty jar gift; we make it easy with a free printable gift tag!


1/8cupflour, all-purpose
1/2teaspoonbaking soda
1/2cuprolled oats, uncooked
1/3cupgranulated sugar
1/3cupbrown sugar, packed
1cupdried cranberries
1/2cupwhite chocolate baking chips
1/2cupwalnuts or pecans, chopped


Sift flour before measuring.
In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt.
Layer 1/2 the flour mixture in the bottom of a 1-quart canning jar, then add oats to the jar. Continue layering the remaining ingredients: flour mixture, granulated sugar, brown sugar (tamp tightly), dried cranberries, white chocolate baking chips, and chopped nuts.
Seal the jar, print and attach a free printable gift tag.


Alternately, create your own gift tag with the recipe instructions below:
Cranberry Hootycreeks
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease cookie sheet or line with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, beat together 1/2 cup 
softened butter, 1 egg and 1 teaspoon vanilla 
until fluffy. Add contents of jar, and mix until 
well blended.

Drop rounded tablespoons onto the prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until 
edges start to brown.
Cool on wire rack. 

Makes 18-24 cookies.