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Showing posts from September, 2011

End of September Book Reviews!

In Praise of Stay at Home Moms by Dr. Laura Schlessinger

This book came highly recommended by a friend (in fact she let me borrow it -thanks a million)!  Let me preface this by saying that I am familiar with Dr. Laura as my dad listened to her when I was growing up and also during the years I worked with him.  This book was a great (and quick read) - it is definitely for anyone having trouble with being a stay at home mom.  Whether you are the one staying home and just need a little reminder or if you are the person bashing stay at home moms.  There is so much we do and she is quick to point it all out and have you feeling very much proud of your decision.  My favorite part are her comebacks for people's rude comments about us stay at home moms not being successful or "important" - this book definitely reaffirms most of my feelings about stay at home moms.  Another key factor is her opinion (which I also happen to hold) of:  Let's not get into a debate about which is…

To Die For Chive Mashed Potatoes

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I LOVE potatoes - just so you know where we are starting off from.  The hubby, he loves potatoes too - if they are mashed, fried, twice baked, or in a stew - his words not mine.  Mashed potatoes are heavenly however plain old mashed potatoes must have gravy and well gravy can be a pain to make - especially when you always forget about it until oh I don't know when dinner is already on the table!  So one day I made up these potatoes (and maybe everyone already does this but I hadn't heard of them)!

Take about 5 potatoes (out of the 10 lb bag - if you buy the BIG individual baking ones you probably need 2-3)

Peel your potatoes - then give them a good wash!
Chop them up (the smaller the pieces the quicker to cook).
Place in a pot and cover with water (just so they are covered - again less water means faster cooking)
Bring to a boil.
Cover and cook on Medium Low Heat about 10 mins for small chunks But basically until you can break them apart (easily) with a fork.
You will need a …

Welcoming Fall!

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Good morning everyone!  So my hubby surprised me this weekend with a wonderfully amazing present:

Yep a Cricut Expression!  (it was over half off and comes with 3 cartridges - amazing deal - way to go Hubs) of course once he told me I had to call around trying to find it since everyone is pretty much sold out. Alas I found one and drove like a maniac to pick it up (yes those of you who know me know that means I went the speed limit!)  As soon as I got home I had to try it right away and got to work on this project:
Making our hall closet door more festive!
This is the door before I got a hold of it!

I started by cutting out the letters in size 11.5 This much larger cutting size is why I wanted an Expression over the Cricut Create I currently share with my sister.  But oh goodness there are about 90 unique features I love which are new for this version of the Cricut!  Me and this baby we are going to be working up a storm with the holidays coming!

Then I scrounged up a bag of .99 silk…

Tomato Worm Invasion, Pumpkins, & More!

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This is a tomato worm. We were invaded this weekend by a dozen tomato worms. Thankfully only two tomatoes got eaten - the rest was plants. He is a mighty looking "worm".
On the other front - our pumpkins are growing - yahoo! This one is actually twice as big today as yesterday. We decided to pinch off all flowers and buds on this vine in hopes of quickening his growth - so far so good! 


.828 lbs!
.703 lbs!
.734 lbs!
.75 lbs. Too bad he didn't taste good - at all!
.094 lbs!
1.22 lbs!
.422 lbs
.74 lbs! We let him get a little too big and he wasn't as juicy as he could  have been but still great for our first ever cucumber!
1.04 lbs!

Weekly Total: 6.53 lbs!
Annual Total: 119.281 lbs of produce!

Fallish Foods - Meal Plan Week of Aug 26th

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The cake my sister and I made and decorated last week!

Welcome to fall everyone!  My husband's favorite season is now upon us - next week's menus and going forward will probably include some soups and stews with warm baked breads.  We are loving the warm days and cool nights plus we have planted a bunch of new fall crops.  Baking is what we are most excited for around this house especially since we can do it without running the air too much! 


The corn dogs we made this weekend!

Here is our menu for the week:
Monday:

Breakfast: French Toast, Yogurt, Plums
Lunch: Egg Salad Sandwiches, Peas, Apples
Dinner: Gumbo from California Cookbook (one of my favorites), Garlic Bread sticks

Tuesday:

Breakfast: Granola Bars, Yogurt, Blueberries
Lunch: Bologna Sandwiches, Carrot Sticks, Applesauce
Dinner: Tostadas, Corn, Spanish Rice in our rice cooker

Wednesday:

Breakfast: Banana Nut Muffins, Scrambled Egg
Lunch: Baked Potatoes with Toppings, Grapes
Dinner: Justin's Chicken & Pasta Dis…

Garden Update!

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Well hello there again folks - would you look at the beauty above!  We finally have a cucumber growing!  This is our second year trying to grow cucumbers and we have several of these deformed looking things on the plant - we are hoping they still taste fine which we have heard they will.  Any who the garden is thriving and loving these hot days and cool nights - about half of my fall crops sprouted this week and we have pumpkin flowers!  We probably won't have pumpkins ripe by Halloween (bummer) but hopefully shortly thereafter!  So here is our weekly weigh in:
.593 lbs of tomatillos 
 .91 lbs of cherry tomatoes
.297 lbs of cherry tomatoes
.266 lbs of produce
Our larger tomatoes are finally coming in! 1.5 lbs of tomatoes!
1.19 lbs of zucchini
.89 lbs of cherry tomatoes
.94 lbs of tomatoes
.04 lbs of thyme

.34 lbs of chiles Yes the habeneros are in!
Total for the week: 6.97
Annual Total: 112.75 lbs!

Food Week of September 19th

Monday:

Breakfast: Chocolate Chip Pancakes, Blueberries, Peanut Butter
Lunch: Egg Salad, Crackers, Grapes
Dinner: Italian Sausage and Zucchini, Pasta, Salad

Tuesday:

Breakfast: Granola Bars, Clementine Oranges, Yogurt
Lunch: Black Bean Burritos, Corn
Dinner: Chow Mein, Egg Drop Soup

Wednesday:

Breakfast: Cereal, Clementine Oranges
Lunch: Soup & Grilled Cheese, Plums
Dinner: Steak Pasta Salad, Garlic Bread sticks

Thursday:

Breakfast: Granola Bars, Grapes, Yogurt
Lunch: Chicken Nuggets, Carrot Sticks, Blueberries
Dinner: Southwest Salad (from Family Circle magazine Oct. '11 issue)

Friday:

Breakfast:  French Toast, Eggs, Peaches
Lunch: Peanut Butter Sandwiches, Plums, Carrot Sticks
Dinner: Breaded Tilapia and Breaded Chicken, Salad, Chive Potatoes

Saturday:

Breakfast: Banana Muffins, Yogurt, Eggs
Lunch: Hot Dogs, Chips, Carrot Sticks, Grapes
Dinner: Justin's Chicken, Parmesan Rice, Zucchini Salad

Sunday:

Breakfast: Cereal, Plums
Lunch: Egg Salad Sandwiches, Goldfish Crackers, Fruit…

Book Reviews

For the first time in ages I have a TON of books lined up to read - and not just books that appeared but books I absolutely positively am dying to read.  Now some of you have been asking: How in the world do you find time to read?  My answer is three fold

1. I read fast.  As in 75+ pages per hour (ok a boring book might be 45 pages per hour but only because I keep falling asleep).  Seriously I can read three books per one my husband reads.  I can tell you what happened in the book - he can tell you what page that happened on the book and recite quotes from it.

2. We *try* to have quiet reading time each day (or at least a couple of times a week) where we all read books together.  I want to be a great role model and showing them how much I love to read is the best method I could think of.  If I only read at night after they are in bed how are they ever going to know I love to read.  (Plus it is adorable that Big C now laughs while "reading" and otherwise mimics my responses …

Planting For Fall

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Howdy folks - are you enjoying this Southern California semblance of Fall?  Warm days, cool evenings, an earthquake or so...yep we had an earthquake this morning...4.2 magnitude pretty close to our home!  We have been enjoying the cool down with nightly walks and the harvest of our squash and zucchini slowing down (seriously we had over 50 of each).  Plus this cooler weather means we are excited to get our fall crops planted (well we actually started planting last weekend)!
Here is a list of what we are growing this fall and how many we planted in  each square of the square foot garden:

Carrots (16 per square)
Kale (1 per square)
Garlic (9 per square)
onions (9 per square)
Lettuce (4 per square)
Snap Peas (4 per square)
Broccoli (1 per square)
Cauliflower (1 per square)
No pictures available here.  Spinach (1 per square)    Green Onion (16 per square)    Cilantro (4 per square)
Now we don't particularly eat winter squash or radishes but we may try brussels sprouts.  What are you growing t…