Friday, January 31, 2014

Recipe Friday: Soups And Beer Bread

I love soup!  I'm a fan of hot or cold soups, although I never make cold soups because no one else in my family likes them.  I love creamy pureed soups for my little ones (Olivia)  that I can put in a zippy cup and she can drink it on her own, with minimal mess.   With the weather so cold lately, soup has been on my mind.  I wanted to give you a great soup recipe, but all the soup recipes that I REALLY love, I think I've blogged before.  I'm always on the look-out for new, great soups, but I seem to find a lot more blah than fab.  So here's a link to a soup recipe I've posted in the past.   Make a warm loaf of bread (beer bread is SUPER easy and oh so yummy!) and some soothing, soup and gear up for the cold weather ahead.  (Not you, Cecilie.  You just keep enjoying your 61 and sunny--ya, I looked up the weather in LA before I wrote that!)

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Getting a cold--naturally

Well, we got it.  The first cold of winter in our house.  The culprit--not one of the kids, actually.  It was Evan.  He got it and gave it to me.  The kids have managed to escape it so far, but I know their time is coming.  So, in preparing for that, I decided to do a post about natural cold remedies.  I know I've posted about this before, but like the snow ice cream, if you haven't thought about it in awhile it's out of your mind.
 Because Olivia's still nursing, I'm limited to the over the counter cold medications I can take.  This makes natural remedies much more important to me.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Recipe Friday: Cinnamon Maple Roast Butternut Squash

I'm borrowing my recipe today from Weelicious--I know, you're sick of hearing about it.  Sorry.  This was one of the recipes from my menu for this past week that I really liked and so did Vince and Olivia. It was pretty easy prep and it's seasonal--which I always like.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Pepsi One

Today's post comes from my husband, who sent me the link via email with the subject line "well that's disturbing…"  Well said, Evan, well said.  (I suggest clicking on the link--the comments are interesting. )

Pepsi One Won't Give You Cancer as Long as You Don't Drink a Whole Can

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Weelicious Menus: A Keeper

I blogged a few days ago about Weelicous Menus.  It was a free 7 day sample of a weeks worth of meals, plus a shopping list, plus tips on how to get your kids involved in the kitchen as you prepare.  I was a little unsure how it would work for our family, but after my trial week, I'm going to keep it.  I was very pleased to see that almost all entrees had a variation to make them vegetarian--very helpful in a house where we have some meat eaters and some not.

I ended up getting two weeks worth of meals, I think it was the day I signed up for the trial.  I got the previous week's menu as well as the upcoming week's.  So I had 10 dinners to choose from.  Some I knew wouldn't go over well so I ruled the out right away, but there were quite a few that I was excited to try.  I really liked how everything was set up, very easy-to-follow directions as well as

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Recipe Thursday: Snow Ice Cream

I didn't do a recipe last week and the big kids are off school until next Wednesday so I won't be blogging.  I figured I owe you a recipe.  I'm giving you one that I already posted, maybe even twice, but it's one that you need reminded of because there's one special ingredient you can't buy in a store--snow.  My family LOVES this recipe and I always forget about it when we have a big snowfall.  I need to buy some heavy team to keep in the fridge so when a snowstorm hits, I'm ready.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Simple Pleasures

There's something infinitely rewarding to me about accomplishing a task.  It's why I make a To-Do list every day and put the same things on it--I know I have to do them, but finishing them and crossing them off gives me a sense of completion and accomplishment.  Watching the pile of boxes and the stack of pictures to hang in this new house has given me the same sense of completion.  Now that our faces are on the wall, it's starting to feel more like home and less like the vacation house at the end of a week's vacation. (You know where everything is, you're starting to settle in, it's homey, but not quite home.)  So yesterday when I was down in the boiler room packing away a renegade Christmas decoration, I spied my strands of heart-shaped lights.  I used to hand one strand in the boys room and one in the girls, but this year I decided to put them in a place where we could all  enjoy them.  We have a funky light fixture in the living room and it had drapes, which we aren't using, so there's this long bar and brackets that are hidden--perfect for draping lights!  I draped them above the couch last night and was just so pleased with myself.  It was just one of those simple pleasures that seem silly, but give us a warm feeling.  So now I feel like we're FINALLY moved in.  Just this little bit of decorating for Valentine's Day, a holiday I'm not really that into (probably because it's 4 days before the REALLY big celebration of the year) brightened my mood.  Another simple pleasure, that's REALLY simple, was that for some reason the living room is wired kind of funky.  The top outlets are normal, but all the bottom outlets are connected to this switch in the hallway.  The thinking was that you would plug your lamps into the bottom and then just have to flip the switch to turn them all on or off.  Great if you have lamps, not so great if you're using them for other things.  I got to plug my heart lights into the outlets that are connected to the switch, so I don't have to rummage around behind Jack's crate when I want to turn them on or off.  Simple Pleasure.  

Just a little twinkle from the outside too!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Weelicious Menus

I've blogged about Weelicious before.  It's a great resource for healthy, creative foods that are kid and family friendly.  I LOVE the cookbook and I've subscribed to her daily email list, but lately, I've been too busy to really look at any of them.  A few have peaked my interest, but I've just been in too big of a hurry to really check them out.  So today, in an attempt to slow down and actually live my life, instead of crossing it off my to do list, I read my Weelicious email.  And I'm glad I did!  It's a free trial of Weelicous Menus for one week.  I was aware that Weelicous Menus were coming, but I didn't realize they were here yet.  What is it?  Here's the link to her (Catherine McCord) video explaining it.  Basically, it's an $8 a month subscription and you get:

  • Weekly meal plan for 5 dinner menus
  • One trip shopping list for the week
  • Time saving tips and videos to make your mealtimes easier.
  • Mobile access for smartphone and tablets
  • Access to Weelicious Menus online community
It's free for the first week and you can cancel--risk free--why not try it?  I'm going to sign up and give it a whirl.  The biggest issue I have with Weelicious is that most of her recipes contain meat, which isn't a big deal for most people--most people in my family even--but that simplicity she's selling ceases to apply when I have to plan a meatless option for me and the Livster.  Eh, one good recipe will make it worth it.  And $8 a month is reasonable.  If you're not familiar with Weelicious's webpage or even the app, check it out here.  I've posted a few of her recipes for past recipe Fridays so some might look familiar.  Happy cooking!  

Monday, January 13, 2014

ADA--Not What You Think

I recently learned that ADA is now in bread.  Right?!?  ADA--they think they can tell you which kind of gum to chew, how often to brush your teeth, which mouthwash is the best--ooohhhh!  We're the American Dental Association, we're sooo smart!  Now you're in my bread?  We'll I've had it!  Back off ADA!  Oh, wait.  Sorry about that.  Wrong ADA.  Turns out ADA actually stands for Azodicarbonamide, which IS in bread, but it totally unrelated to the American Dental Association.  Oops, my bad!  I'm still going to rant though--you're welcome!  So what is Azodicarbonamide?  (ADA for short) I'm sure you'll be surprised to learn it's bad stuff.  It's used to make rubber.  And plastic.  And bread.  Those three go together, right?  It's been know to cause asthma, as well as be a carcinogen (cancer causer).  It's been banned in Europe, Singapore and Australia.  AND it's in our bread.  This is so tiring.  I feel like I could write a generic blog, then just insert the given chemical and food product.  Why is there so much CRAP in our food?!?!  Just keep reading those labels!  Or, better yet, make your own bread!  Here's "my" bread recipe.  So good and you know what's in it!  
**Thanks to Vince's teacher for telling me about this!  Kudos to you for hearing about it, but even better, for sharing that information and doing something about it!  Way to be an activist!  

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Gleen Cloths- My new Best Friend

I'm not sure what it is.  I never felt compelled to clean like this in the other house.  I think it's because I was in the cleaning mode for so long every time I set foot in this house and it still hasn't gone away.  I scrubbed the front of Ellie's dresser yesterday.  Don't get me wrong--it needed it, but this is something that I never did at the old house--never THOUGHT to do at the old house.  I'm cleaning windows and around door frames (which at my height is a challenge--obtainable, but a challenge none the less.) every time I clean a room, instead of just every once in awhile.  It's great!  I love living in a house I feel is really clean. I'm just hoping I can keep it up.  It's all new and fun.  5 years from now it probably won't be so much fun to wipe down the walls in the downstairs entry way each week.

Anyhoo, Gleen cloths.  I've talked about these guys before.  My mom got me one a few years ago.  It's supposed to be a greener cleaning method than using chemical cleaning products.  I was skeptical, so I checked out their website.  They're just a cloth--nothing chemical about them.  They're an "As Seen On TV" product, which was also a little fishy in my book, but after years of using my one Gleen Cloth, and after getting a new one for Christmas (thanks Mom!) I'm a HUGE fan!  All this cleaning I'm doing here made me think again about how much I LOVE this product!  Sometimes you get something, think it's great, then down the road--ehh, not so much.  But I'm still using my Gleen Cloth ALL the time.  My mom got me a stainless steel gleen cloth for my new house and I LOVE it for my cooktop.  It's black and shows EVERYTHING!  I was using a soapy rag to clean off oil splatter the other night and all it did was smear the residue around.  One swipe with my Gleen cloth--sparkling!  So cool!  I keep the stainless one in the kitchen and the others with my cleaning supplies.  I know it's machine washable, but I don't want to use anything to clean my kitchen that was also used to clean bathrooms.

Here's the commercial for them.  I'm just like the lady in the video--smiling the whole time I clean!  And my widows actually sparkle with the little stars like in the video!!  (No they don't.)  

Actually, one of the best things about them is they're great for kids.  Not just to clean up after my kids, but for my kids to use.  On the rare occasion when one of the wants to help me clean I can dampen a Gleen cloth and let them go at it.  They're can dust and wipe windows and it's all streak free.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The New Normal and a New Tree

Well, we're all moved in.  It's been a busy few months for us--hence the lack of posts, but I'm hoping that things will settle down now and we can begin our new, normal, routine.  It's already a huge difference living in the new house.  We all have space.  I didn't really realize before how we were all on top of each other.  The kids are still asking, "Where's the sun room?"  "Where's my play room?"  and the other day, after about a week of living in this new house, we had to tell Ellie that there was a bathroom downstairs.  I made her shower in it last night, just to cement the fact that it does, in fact, exist.

As a welcoming present, my Honest Company order was on the doorstep the day after we moved in.  In it was my usual bundle order (this time I got two hair and body washes, one body lotion, a laundry detergent and conditioner) but I also got a bonus gift--a fir tree.  I'm so excited!  It came with directions for planting the little guy and it looks like he's going to be living in my sun room for awhile until the weather warms up.  I can them move the pot he'll be in outside and after about two years I can transplant him into the ground.  I thought the kids, or Ellie at least, would also think this was cool, and enjoy being part of planting a tree.  They were less than enthused.  Vince was totally confused, because it's clearly a Christmas tree, and Christmas is over.  Good point, Vince.  But I'm excited to get this little guy right when we move in.  I'm so sad we had to leave the Linden tree Aunt Janet gave Vince when he was born and I'm glad that I now have another tree that I can use to mark time.  If you live in the Canton area, the pines that are in front of Avondale Elementary, across from Trinity United Church of Christ (where Evan and I got married) were planted by my first grade class when I went there.  It's amazing to me to see how big those trees have gotten, since they were REALLY tiny when we put them in the ground.    So on my next trip to Lowe's, I feel like I'm there ALL THE TIME!, I'm going to get some potting soil and give my little pine a home, in our new home.  Fitting, n'est pas?