Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Interview with a 3 year old

Wow has these last 3 years gone by in a flash.  It seems like just yesterday Miss Emma was born.


Now she is:

  • demanding and sweet
  • Smart and witty
  • A leader but loves to follow her big brother
  • Always there to help but very independent
  • A princess/diva and a tom boy
  • And Always surprising!!

More to come on her “Princess Picnic” later this week.  But I wanted to share my interview with my 3 year old.



Favorite Color: Pink and purple

Favorite Food to eat: Peanut butter {Mom note: I don’t know where she came up with that David and I agree it is pepperoni}

Favorite TV Show: Bubble guppies

Favorite Toy: princess stuff {mom note: whatever Tyler is playing with!!}179525_10150952782375847_880470574_n[1]

Favorite thing to do at Jody’s: play with jenna

What do you want to be when you grow up: a princess

Favorite thing to do: go to nanas pool and paint her nails

Favorite pair of shoes: Barn boots AND Princess shoes


Best friends: Griffin and Jenna {sorry Jecca!!}

As exhausting as she can be, she is very loving!  She regularly kisses all the other kids at daycare goodbye.  She is sweet, thanking you for the smallest thing.  And loves to cuddle! 

This is a big year for her, in September she starts preschool!!!

Interview with a Kindergarten Graduate

Okay I know I am very behind on my blog!!  there is just a lot going on!!

Let me tell you about Tyler’s moving up ceremony.  I can not believe he is going to start 1st grade in the fall.  On the eve of his last day of Kindergarten they held a cute little ceremony (in the air conditioned auditorium)!


After a few songs each student’s name was called and he or she crossed the stage to shake the principal's hand.  Then there was a cookie reception in another room.  Here are some photos of Tyler with his friends.

Tyler and autumn


With Lucas


With Jenna


A quick little family shot!!


Tyler and His teacher, Ms.Hecklau


I thought it would be fun to interview Tyler.  Its something I have wanted to do for a while I didn’t know weather to interview him at the start / end of school or on birthdays.  But now is a good time!!

What is your favorite color: brown

What is your favorite Food: Carrots {mom’s answer noodles and cereal}

What is your favorite TV show: Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitsu

What is your Favorite Toy: Lego

What is your Favorite Sports: Soccer and teeball

What do you want to be when you Grow up: Dentist

Favorite thing about kindergarten: art

What is your favorite thing to do? Swimming

Who is your BFF: Lucas

I was personally worried about the lunch situation when we started the school year { read here } .  The kid doesn’t like meat and is picky but in the end he took his lunch as much as he bought lunch.  And we found out that he like popcorn Shrimp!! 

Now for Summer, camping, vacations and more.  Then at some point {when I accept it }, in September we will start 1st grade and Miss Emma will start Preschool………………

Sunday, May 13, 2012

to my running friends–please help

Lately while running my left foot has began hurting about 4-3 miles into my run.  it feels like it’s a sleep you know that numb but hurts feeling.  Today it again did it but at the 3mile mark.  I stopped and completely loosened my shoes.  It did make it feel better but it didn’t go away.

So do I

1) try another run with my basically untied sneakers

2) buy another pair that are wider/or bigger (of course I would go to Fleet feet before buying a pair

3) try inserts??

Any tips or suggestions???

Monday, May 7, 2012

Taco Mac – Leftover magic!!!

This story starts with Cinco De Mayo, I wanted to make a theme dinner on Saturday that was quick and easy.  The weather was so amazing that we just spent the whole day outside.  I didn’t want to be in the kitchen at all. 


I made Tacos, yeah its so cliché – and probably completely off the mark.  Its not like I make a traditional tacos… the kids ate them with tortilla chips, I used lean ground chuck mixed with Salsa no seasoning.  {yes lean ground meat with chips, no taco seasoning because it has too much MSG,served with buttered corn on the cob and black olives – yes I am a hypocrite}.


Sunday after Soccer {Tyscored 2 goals!!} Emma and I hit up the Westmoreland Farmers Market.  It was the first weekend for this seasons Market (here’s their FB page).  There are some new vendors and some returning favorites.  Yes that is right we have favorites – Emma wouldn’t even talk to Grandma because she was focused on visiting the “Cookie Lady” (AKA JCookies).  I purchased some Apple Jack Goat Cheese from Cranberry Ridge Farm among other things!!

So cut to today!  The forecast calls for rain starting around 6pm the same time as the 1st Tball game of the year.  I needed to get home, get the kids, get the eggs, get dinner and get to the field.  I wanted to use up the left over “taco mix” (ground chuck with salsa) but the kids only wanted “noodles” for dinner (along with yogurt and some fruit). 

Pan #1 –> Cooking elbow macaroni (4 servings)

Pan #2 –> In a frying pan over medium heat,  I added a few sliced up Green onions and the left over ground chuck mixture.  Let it started to get happy and warm. 

Before draining the macaroni I put about a 1/4 cup of the macaroni water in to Pan #2.  Then using a veggie peeler I peeled about 1/2 of the Jack Apple cheese into the mixture.  I stirred it until the cheese started to melt then I added 2 servings of the pasta to the pan.  I mixed it all together for a pinch of salt and fresh pepper.


It was great!! so much better than that boxed powdered cheese shit you get from the hamburger mac mix in the store.

Despite the rain the game went on.  Tyler had 3 great hits and David made his assistant coach debut!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Meet Annie


Yesterday we adopted Annie from my friend Jenny.  I was at her house in March for her birthday and she mentioned that she wanted to find Annie a good home since her kids were growing up.  Here is Annie’s Story.

This winter we lost max, our beloved bunny.  In October we think he had a stroke.  He was unable to use his back legs but around Christmas time we noticed they were working again.  Then one day this winter I fed him in the morning and he seemed fine.  But 6 hours later when David arrived home he was laid permanently resting in his house.  Tyler took it surprisingly well.  Every morning as Emma walked past his cage to get in the car, she would look for him and tell me I want my bunny Sad smile.


So yesterday afternoon Aunt Cathy and Aunt Laurie delivered Annie,  She had a great adventure as she relocated from east to west.  This lucky rabbit got to go camping!!  They told me she didn’t have any s’mores but I don’t really believe them!


We had not told the kids we were getting Annie so they didn’t know what to think when they saw her.  They thought it was cute but went back to catching butterflies.  Once we told them she was going to live with us, Annie had Emma's attention – 100%


I hope Annie likes living with us as much as she did with Gavin and Scarlett.  I can say in the short few hours she has been with us she has been very spoiled with carrots and lettuce and lots of attention!


Emma is telling everyone about the bunny include the girl cutting her hair!  She forgets her name and some times calls her Anna. 

Last night at dinner time Tyler and Emma were petting her, David called them to come in and wash up.  He said: “wash your hands so you don’t get rabbit hair in your food”  Emma: Daddy she is not a rabbit she is a bunny!!”


This photo was taken by Emma! 

Welcome to the family Annie!  We hope you love it here, and we hope your other family (Jenny, Matt, Gavin and Scarlett) come and visit you often!!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

How to turn a coffee addiction into $100 of food (earth day project)

Anyone that knows me, knows I love coffee and so does David.  We go thru several KCups a week, throwing them out seems like such a waste.  So I thought I could use them for my seeds.  They are a good size and have a hole in the bottom for drainage. Plus my friend is a master recycler so I have to be sure to do good deeds or she will disown me!!

This time of year we start several plants inside,including Tomatoes, Peppers, and herbs.  I gave Tyler one package or tomatoes seeds and I gave Emma another.  We decided we were going to make this a science experiment.  We first marked the kind of Coffee was in each one:


Then we pulled off the tops and added extra soil.


Tyler labeled each one with a “T” or an “E” and made sure that they each had one of each coffee flavor.


They both planted their seeds and watered them in!  So now we are waiting to  see which tomatoes grow better in which coffee flavor:

  • Green mountain Southern Pecan
  • Folgers Vanilla Biscotti
  • Folgers Carmel

Planting a garden or having a few patio plants is such an economically and healthy way to feed your family.  These seeds cost me  $2.60:


They were priced $1.79 each and they were B1G1 at Kmart a few weeks ago.  So for the cost of a jar of sauce I will grow all these veggies.  My garden yields enough tomatoes for me to make sauce for the whole winter.  Last summer I was getting 4+ peppers a week which allowed me to freeze some for this winters use. 

I actually spent $17 on Seeds.  I have 4 gardens that we maintain and my garden yields so much food.  We have Peas and beans that the kids eat right out of the garden, one whole garden devoted to strawberries.  Plus we grow broccoli, cukes, herbs, potatoes, watermelon, squash and more

Now I know what you are thinking, gardening is a lot of work you have weed and water all the time.  There is always someone to leave me a negative comment, so to that I say:

  • Plant a few in pots on your deck, water them a few times a week – no weeding
  • Instead of spending hours looking for coupons or going to 5 stores to get the sale prices get your ass outside – enjoy the free vitamin D.
  • Why do you have to complain about everything?  Its summer isn't this what you were waiting for all 9 months of winter? GET OUTSIDE!!!

So that is our earth day project.  We will let everyone know which type of coffee will grow the best tomatoes plant in a few weeks!! 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The things kids say and do

Here are some Radom things our kids have said or done lately:


Tyler: Dad I am going to play tackle football

David: with who?

Ty: emma


Tyler to Emma: Women you need to listen to me

Emma to Ty: I am not a women

Tyler: you should be


Emma to me at dinner: Mom can we have my birthday party tomorrow night (this was in April 3 months before her bday)


Emma: Momma I need a hair cut , my hair is too big


Driving down the road: both kids roll down the windows in the back and start acting like the pig from the geico commercial

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Peckarino-Romano Homemade Raviolis!

One of the items on my 2012 to do list was to make homemade ravioli.  Why? I don’t know I just really wanted to try to make them.  I guess I watched too many cooking shows when I was writing that post. 

Sunday it was Operation "Peckarino-Romano" at my house.  Heather picked the name.

We had no plan, no recipe and come to find out, not all the ingredients.  After we determined our recipe and ran to the market for a few items, we started cooking.  We figured we would mix the flour half all purpose and half wheat.


For whatever reason the different flour or using the mixer – it didn’t work.  The dough never formed a ball. We tried to kneed it anyway and look at this:


So we dumped it and started again.  First we went back the recipes I had pin on Pinterest.  We found a recipe that had a video!!! HELL YEAH SCORE!

As we started this 2nd batch we decided that we would do 3 cups of All Purpose flour - no Wheat, and we would mix it by hand.  Then we noticed we were out of eggs.  Thank god we have 16 chickens in our backyard.

003Hot right??.  Don’t you love my cute barn boots, my old TPC apron from back in the day and my crazy pulled up hair!  So Dunkin and I get out to the coop and we need 3 eggs, there were only 2.  But 2 hens were sitting in 2 boxes.  I pushed her out of the way and found 3 more eggs.  She was not happy with me.

Finally we could cook again!

We mixed everything on the counter and believe it or not it formed a dough ball! 


I had to kneed it for 10 freaking minutes. so much for it being a non workout day.  But really I am not complaining about building up my arms.  Who knows, maybe a few ravioli making sessions could lead to big girl push ups!

After 10 minutes my final product:


We let the dough rest, while we started the filling. Heather was the mixer this time!


Italian women must have amazing arm strength.  Because now it was time to roll out the dough to be very thin (photo by tyler) 028

I free handed the size of each ravioli


This part was not without it’s comedy time:


Slowly but surely we started to make progress!


Miss Emma was very interested when she woke up from her nap:


We were not ready to cook them so we wanted to cover and refrigerate them, wouldn’t you know that the clear wrap kicked my a$$.


Here's the final product ready to go in the boiling water:


Finally, it was time to eat our homemade Raviolis with canned sauce from my garden last summer, some roasted turkey and a fresh green salad.


I really liked them.  They tasted so much better without the tomato sauce – I am just not a tomato person.  You could really taste how fresh this pasta was.  I will defiantly make pasta again but not ravioli.  Doing the filling, the egg wash to seal the edges and crimping them takes some time.  

Seriously to make some Fettuccine with a great vodka sauce would take amazing with this pasta!

So there you have it!  Mine and Heathers first pasta making experience.  We may only have 2% Italian in our family tree (you have to go back 100+ years) but we were able to get in touch with those ancestors. 


We are so cute, Heather made me take off my apron (She was jealous she didn’t have one)


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

FS {food sucks} update as of (3-16 Feb 2012).

I was really hopeful that I could actually only spend $200 a paycheck for groceries.  After 4 weeks I am not doing all that well!  But I am not giving up.  Here is the break down for the last 2 weeks.


So there you have it, over executed my budget 26% these 2 last weeks {again}.  I keep reminding myself that I am not spending what I was before.  I have decreased my spending by 51%.

I want to state that I am including everything in my budget: Food, pet food, cleaning products, medicine.  I have been following a lady website that did it on 125 a week for organic food.  She did not include paper products (aka TP and tissues), household cleaner and goods, or medical items.

I am sitting here looking at my sales slips.  There is a few things I could save money on..#1 I have a coffee addiction that could be scaled back, I am purchasing a lot of Kcups.  #2 Buy more frozen produce vs fresh.  #3 put the dog on a diet! lol

Basically I am trying to live off of $14.28 a day for a family of four and one large dog.  The ironic part is that if my family were to receive SNAP assistance we would have a $167 a week budget or $23+ dollars a day to spend. 

I am bound and determined to spend only $100 a week during this challenge.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Beef and Quinoa-Vegetable soup:

In the last 24 hours I have seriously considered ordering a straight jacket. After publishing last nights blog post I was going to make my soup only to remember I never thawed my beef. So I woke up this morning and made it. I turn on the crock pot and let it do its thing. About 6 hours later at work, I couldn’t remember if I ever plugged in the crock pot. Thankfully I did and the soup turned out great!

I love my crockpot, I would love to see congress make a national holiday in honor of it. Last Monday I almost cried when I thought it was broken, thankfully David fixed it.

Now onto the Beef and Quinoa-Vegetable soup:

What I used:
  • 3 cans of beef broth or 6 cups of Beef Stock
  • 1/4 of a cup of Worchester sauce
  • 1 pound of grass fed beef stew meat
  • 1 cup of chopped carrots
  • 1/2 cup of Black beans or a 1/2 can of black beans rinsed
  • 1 Can or 2 cups of diced tomatoes
  • Spinach
  • 1/2 cup of quinoa
  • 1 cup of chopped onions
  • Chopped fresh mushrooms (optional)
  • Salt and fresh black pepper
  • 1 tsp of thyme
  • 1 tsp of oregano
Put everything in the crock pot and cook for: low 7-9 hours on high for 5-6 hours. Yeah that simple!


Okay here’s some additional 411!

Why did I use Beef Broth – because that is what I had, if I had stock I would of used that or a mix of broth and stock.

I really do not know who much Worchester sauce I used. I just poured it in till it looked good to me.
Buying dry black beans are way cheaper. But you have to plan ahead and soak them, which I didn’t do. However since they were going to be in liquid in the crockpot from 530am till after 2pm I really wasn’t worried. To be save, I boiled about 1/2 cup in some water for a few minutes. I then rinsed them and added them to the soup.

Why did I use canned diced tomatoes. Every year we get a decent harvest of tomatoes from my garden, however I typically turn them in to salsa and sauce. I don’t have enough to can as diced or crushed tomatoes…Maybe this year.

Spinach – each week I eat a crap load of spinach. The problem I run into is that I will have a 1/2 bag left on shopping day, it will not last me till the next shopping day. So I buy a new bag and use that for this weeks meals. I take the old bag of spinach and steam it. Then I drain and squeeze out as much water as possible before freezing it. On the days when I am making soups, or a pasta dishes I can thaw my spinach in warm water! This works well on the weeks that its B1G1 free. If you will only eat one bag steam the other, no waste of food or cash.

Quinoa. - this is my new favorite thing! Its described as the following from this website:
Although not a common item in most kitchens today, quinoa is an amino acid-rich (protein) seed that has a fluffy, creamy, slightly crunchy texture and a somewhat nutty flavor when cooked. Quinoa is available in your local health food stores throughout the year.
Most commonly considered a grain, quinoa is actually a relative of leafy green vegetables like spinach and Swiss chard. It is a recently rediscovered ancient "grain" once considered "the gold of the Incas.
I purchase mine at either the Amish place on route 5 in Kirkland or Tom’s in Clinton. I found some at Price chopper but it was quinoa flakes?? seemed kind of sketchy! I really like it, and my husband seems to like it too. I use it in place of noodles or potatoes in soups. Helps keep them lighter and its as Power food!!!

Seriously try this soup, if not try using your crock pot!! Just cook something!!!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Meal Plans and Milk delivery

Let’s start off by saying I found an amazing blog tonight.  This lady and her family of four, ate nothing processed for 100 days.  Then after that, she challenged herself to a $125 a week budget where she ate only organic, whole, unprocessed food.  This is the link to her site.  It has a lot of recipes too.  I recommend checking it out. 

One of the things that really sparked me was that she has her milk delivered to her house.   I had a very nostalgic moment in my mind I saw this:

I secretly would love that.  I mean don’t get me wrong I love my supermom skills and balancing that fine line of career woman and homemaker.  The bottom line is I hate Rosy the Riveter, but that is a whole other blog post!

Back to the story, for a moment I was jealous.  I wanted my milk delivered to my house.  Then I saw that she paid $7.56 a gallon.  Yeah I will keep being my own milk delivery gal in my Kia delivery truck!

I will recap week 3 and 4 of the Food sucks challenge next week.  Because we were out of town this weekend I had to shop for both weeks during week 3. I can tell you I am already over executing my budget.

This weeks meals include:


Lunches are pretty much the same old crap!!

Well off to make some soup! God I love my crock pot!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

French Toast by the Loaf!

For those of you that don’t know, we have lots of chickens.  So many its hard to count but I think we have 15 hens and 2 roosters.  You can read about chicken posts here

Our little chickens are quiet the egg factory (yeah our girls have a bad reputation for putting out!).  Tuesday Night we had almost 5 dozen eggs in our fridge.   David took 4 dozen to work to sell.  I eat 3 eggs each morning (1 whole egg and 2 egg whites) so that left me with 9 eggs to use until that afternoons eggs collections.

This and last week Price chopper has had B1G1 Free bread.  I really didn't need another loaf of bread but I have said it before my kids love breakfast.   I hate the options available for a busy weekday morning, frozen processed waffles, french toast stick, sugar laced cereal and what is in a pop tart?

Wednesday Morning the puppy had me up at 430, and the kids were up not to long after that.  So mixing my 9 remaining eggs with some milk, cinnamon and homemade vanilla I heated up the griddle:


Looks good right!  Yeah I cooked a whole loaf of it.  Tyler ate 4 pieces and then went to Jodi’s and ate more food.  While I was cooking these I was also grilling my chicken for the second half of the week.  Which is what Ms.Emma wanted to eat.  What a silly girl.

I took my remaining French toast and wrapped 3-4 pieces in wax paper and then in a zip lock bag. Now during the week I can pull out one wax paper group.  I just put them in the toaster for 2 cycles and enjoy. You can do the same thing with waffles and pancakes. 

Have left over rolls from a party? check this bad ass idea out

Remember how I said we were out of eggs till the afternoon collection?  Here’s the results of that egg collections:


Emma kind of missed the counter on deliver!!  Only one out of 12 made it.