Saturday, December 28, 2013
Sunday, December 22, 2013
As some of you know, The Personal Assistant is not allowed to have any sugar. None. Zip. Zelch. But... 'tis the season of cookies, and pie, and candy canes, and hot chocolate. And he's two, so it is extra hard to watch him forgo all of the sweet treat fun. And as a bonus, I am allergic to eggs, so breakfast casseroles are also out. Oh, and I am hosting this year, so I probably shouldn't just serve toast and cereal.
But I think I found a solution...for Christmas breakfast we will be dining on Chocolate Cheesecake Crepes! They are divine, and easy, and make ahead and freeze-able, and totally egg and sugar free, but no one will know but you and me.
Monday, December 16, 2013
Turns out it is easy, and cheap! Follow along to learn how...
Friday, December 13, 2013
Monday, December 9, 2013
I believe in crafts. I do. I believe they are not only fun, but they encourage us to see potential in everyday objects and encourage creative problem solving. I also believe they are messy, and messy=awesome.
We try to do craft time at least once a week. The Personal Assistant is 2 (almost 3) and his skills include gluing, mashing, and cutting shapes from dough. If you are looking for a fun craft to do with your toddler this season, this one is by far my favorite.
Cinnamon ornaments have been a tradition in my family since I was a kid. They are cheap and easy to make, require no advanced skills, look great on the tree or tied to packages, and make your house smell DIVINE. What more could a girl ask for?
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Christmas around here is a DIY fest, and I love it. I might be crazy, but I grew up getting DIY gifts made lovingly by my parents and I think it is a great tradition to carry on. We have a rule that Santa gifts should be conceivably hand made, if not by us (me) then by some one else. It is a great way to support local (and ot so local) artisans and give simpler toys to our kiddo that leave lots of room for open ended creative play-the kind that builds imagination and inquisitive minds.
That said, stocking stuffing can get pricey fast! A little DIY spirit can also stretch the Christmas budget with out skimping on fun! Follow the jump for my picks for toddler friendly stocking stuffers any boy is bound to love!
Thursday, November 28, 2013
The Hubster asked me to make a "traditional" apple pie this year. No rosemary infused crust, no citrus in the filling. "Fine," I said, "but it IS going to be a mile high, and have smoky molasses notes in the filling, and the lattice crust will be extra dense and smothered in melted butter, cinnamon, and sugar, and you can't stop me."
Monday, November 25, 2013
Friday, November 22, 2013
I came across this recipe for Pumpkin Pie Doughnuts on the King Arthur Flour blog Flourish.
My first attempt was an A-, so of course, in the name of science, I'll need to reproduce this study in deliciousness.
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Because I like spreadsheets and I am a NERD, I made a couple of quick spreadsheets to help us see if we are truly doubling our donation. The first one is a simple chart, like a checkbook register (remember those?).
coupon binder so I could take basic notes while shopping. You can download the PDF version by clicking the link below.
Double Your Donation Tracker PDF
Because I don't love doing math long hand, and because excel exists to do it for me, I made a slightly more detailed excel version. Then I downloaded it to my iPad and opened it in Numbers (because numbers is cool like that) and entered the info once I got home.
Let us know how you are doing in the comments! Is there anything we can do to help you meet your goal?
Monday, November 18, 2013
I'll be back tomorrow with more helps for the Double Your Donation Challenge, but today I'm just Mom, and we are just making my Personal Assistant's favorite treat, Peanut Butter Popcicles. Before we get started, I should tell you that this recipe is totally easy, and super adaptable to your kiddo's dietary needs.
Thursday, November 14, 2013
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Monday, November 11, 2013
It seems like tough times are going viral these days. The recovery never really happened, pay for the working and middle class has been stagnant, and the price of everything has gone up. At my house, (and we can't be alone) the usual money stress (let's be real, every house has money stress) has been increased by an onslaught of medical bills (we are on track to meet two individual deductibles this year) and some urgent household repairs (the pipes backed up, the washer broke and had to be replaced, and a gutter cracked and must be replaced before winter), we need to save for my upcoming, unpaid maternity leave, and the holidays are coming. But still, we are the lucky ones. We have more than most.
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
What if every week I handed you money to go shopping? You probably would use it right? You wouldn't say "oh thanks" and toss it in the trash would you? Nope, not a chance. What if I told you that every week you are doing just that?
My grocery bill this week should have been $39.67. Instead it was $20.32, here's how it happened.
Saturday, November 2, 2013
This is a picture of the 'before' mess. Maybe it doesn't look too bad, but that drawer is stuffed full of inserts that I didn't have time to deal with this summer because I was too busy being nauseated. It happens. BUT it only took about an hour to get everything organized and back on track.
I don't do it often enough, but I'm actually pretty great at organizing. Maybe it's my Type A side, maybe it's because, as I tell the Hubster often to tease him, I'm just spacialy gifted. Whatever it is, I feel comfortable telling you that this is the EASIEST, BEST, MOST EFFICIENT WAY to organize your coupon stash. I have tried many methods, this is by far the best.
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Friday, October 25, 2013
The CSA is filled with greens. When she picks up the greens she gets chilly. When she gets chilly she wants some curry. When she wants some curry she'll need some garam masala. After she's made some garam masala, she'll need some naan to go with it. After she eats her curry and naan, she'll need to go back to the CSA to get more greens!
Monday, October 21, 2013
My Personal Assistant loves all things construction. (It might have something to do with the number of site visits I take him on, but every parent drags their kid to work at some point right?) Diggers, dump trucks, skid steers, flat beds, transporters, front end loaders, steam rollers, tractors, cranes...you name it, he loves it. Oatmeal is not oatmeal any more, it is "construction zone oatmeal". Nothing is picked up with our hands, only with our "crane hands". We even have a scripted conversation about diggers that we have every time we get in the car. The script must not vary, this is not improv. This is serious.
Him: "Can we see some diggers today?"
Me: "Perhaps, if we keep our eyes open."
I got the idea that perhaps he needed a construction zone of his own.
Saturday, October 19, 2013
Monday, October 14, 2013
I think my Personal Assistant knows I am stressed.
He rubbed my back today when I burst into tears after the latest bit of "Not terrible, just terribly inconvenient" news and said, "I think you are just having a frustrating day Mommy." Poor kid. He is two-and-a-half and already doomed to a life of unrequited empathy.
Thursday, October 10, 2013
While Jenny is busy creating real people life, we have ventured into the land of Sea Monkeys! I am having an ethical dilemma regarding the little critters. First of all, as evidenced by my fails to even grow bean sprouts and carrot tops, I'm a little shaky in the life sustaining department. And then, my son was given a Sea Monkey "kit" for his birthday.
Monday, October 7, 2013
Monday, September 30, 2013
See that little bit of red? That is my wheelbarrow. My totally normal-sized, not-miniature-at-all wheel barrow. The giant UFO sized disks are sunflowers. Ahh harvest time, so rewarding, so overwhelming...
Friday, September 27, 2013
Thursday, September 26, 2013
Monday, September 23, 2013
Tomato pie really is one of the best things on earth, and chances are, you are missing out. Part savory cheese cake, part pie, part galette, part BLT, all deliciousness. It is creamy, crunchy, ooey-gooey and juicy all in one bite. Just thinking about it makes my eyes roll involuntarily, and I already had two pieces tonight. And at the height of tomato season. When my kitchen is over flowing with tomatoes and I am running out of ways to eat them, I can't seem to get enough of tomato pie.
Did I mention my recipe starts with bacon? And butter? No? Well it does.
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Saturday, September 14, 2013
Two weeks ago my poor Aunt drove three people to 22 different doctor's appointments. Last week she had 4-5 appointments scheduled each day, plus the dog got sick. As you can imagine, this doesn't leave much time for menu planning or cooking. (And I thought I was busy.)My parents who live in New Hampshire are planning to visit once a month to help out until things settle down, and my Dad was brainstorming about how to prep food for my Grandparents for the days in between visits.I can't do too much to help from Pennsylvania, but I DO now how to menu plan and shop for extended periods of time!So here we go.
Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Wednesday, September 4, 2013
Tuesday, September 3, 2013
Ugh. Bath toys. Hands down on my top ten list of unexpected
joys horrors of parenthood. Including having some one poop diarrhea in your hand. They are really, really gross, and they hang out in your bath. If bath toys are not a good reason to have a separate "adults only" bathroom, then I don't know what is.
Monday, September 2, 2013
Quick & easy, Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal is a mostly healthy breakfast a toddler will actually agree to eat. A real stick to your ribs, protein packed hot breakfast in under 5 minutes. And it tastes like a cross between a Reese's cup and a chocolate no-bake cookie. Yum! You will need a few basic things:
Monday, August 26, 2013
I have been a bit absent from the blog this past month or so. I wanted to write, but I have not been feeling up to it. I've been hot and cold, dizzy, achy, crampy, fatigued, nauseous, dizzy, really nauseous, fatigued, more nauseous and did I mention fatigued? Don't worry it's not catching. It's just pregnancy.
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
I was a totally rad parent, you know, before I was a real one.
Thursday, August 15, 2013
Friday, August 9, 2013
But now we live too far apart to visit often, and the "boys" we talk about are our sons, and our gossip consists of family shenanigans and weird produce. Don't judge, you'd laugh too if you received that parsnip in your CSA!
Tuesday, July 30, 2013
During the summer I hear a lot about vacations from other families. Things like, "I am really looking forward to our trip to the beach, but it is four hours in the car with the kids, ugh." I just giggle to myself. We take a 12 hour car trip with the Personal Assistant twice a year to visit family, and believe it or not, it's mostly enjoyable.
Monday, July 29, 2013
Friday, July 26, 2013
Thursday, July 25, 2013
Tuesday, July 23, 2013
I used to hate Thomas the Train. I mean really, that song. Ugh. But now I really have grown to love that little blue engine and his friends. Why? Because I can use him to manipulate my kid.
- It is the one show I can put on for my kid and leave the room to shower or clean and know that no one's Mother will be killed so that they can grow up/have an adventure. (Seriously, why do all the Moms bite it in the first ten minutes of a kid's movie?)
- They appreciate nature (on really beautiful days my Personal Assistant will exclaim "Oh! What a beautiful day on the Island of Sodor!")
- When they screw up, they always own up to it. (Now when my Personal Assistant spills or breaks something, he always comes running to tell me. Very Useful.)
- They celebrate "special days" by being on their best behavior. And by "special" I mean totally ordinary.
- They are obsessed. OBSESSED with being helpful. I can and do use this to my advantage.
Friday, July 19, 2013
Thursday, July 18, 2013
Thursday, July 11, 2013
The children are jumping into the water from the dock, and the laughter rides the ripples of water to the shore. There is a line at the ice cream stand and children with sticky smiles of chocolate. Someone seriously just ordered Gummi Bears on their ice cream sundae just because she can.
But I'm not here for pleasure...the internet provider who shall remain nameless has bumped us again...that will make two weeks with limited contact with the outside world. At first I was FURIOUS! But now....
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
The division of labor around these here blog parts is that Daisy writes for Thursday/Friday and I write for Monday/Tuesday, which usually happens on Sunday/Monday evening respectfully. Only yesterday was my seven year anniversary and the night before it was my turn to teach Wee School, my neighborhood's free parent run summer school for tots, and I have been feeling really sick, so I skipped the writing, figuring the five of you would understand. Unfortunately, Wee School got rained out. And I was totally bummed. I had 8+ cups of fresh sidewalk finger paint and a quart of fresh frozen wacky sidewalk chalk plus all the fun water activities I had planned, and no one was going to see it. Then I was all...OMG I have a blog. (Literally, that is exactly what I thought. Total weirdo, I know.) So sweet blog readers, behold, I present all five of you with sidewalk finger paint!
Monday, July 8, 2013
It would see I have a one track mind lately. Actually, I have a lot going on and having a simple craft to cling to when life gets overwhelming has been a real blessing. Summer is tough, because the attic studio gets too hot to work in even with the a/c on full blast, and unfortunately, creative activities are my chance to r-center myself, so it can get a little hairy around here when I am art/craft deprived. Thus my new obsession with rag crochet was born.
Friday, July 5, 2013
Thursday, July 4, 2013
After a lovely crew of friends and family arrived to help us move on a Thursday, we were left with the dregs on Friday. Moving that couch makes a huge impact. That cord? That compost bucket? The baby picture that needs to go into the album that is already packed and at the new place...wow. The sorting, cleaning, second round of packing took about 13 hours the next day.
But I learned some important things!
Tuesday, July 2, 2013
Welcome to part 2 of my mid-summer garden update. You are thrilled I am sure. Whatever, I am doing it anyway.
The play area looks really different. The daisies have filled in, the grasses are growing but short, (I may replace them with something taller in the fall) and the grass has filled in except for all the places we killed it by leaving toys out. (The shade on the sand box is fine, it just rained and I forgot to straighten it before taking this picture.) The climbing wall has become a place for building forts. Adorable, yet not pretty. Good thing this area is more about fun than pretty.
Monday, July 1, 2013
Can you believe it is mid-summer already? Holy cow. Summer must be the fastest season. Really, July always seems to catch me off guard. I thought it would be a good time to take stock of what's happening in the garden. The spring garden is, of course, well past it's peak, and there is something eating the columbine. But...
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
For several of my friends who are single parents, or friends whose partners travel a great deal, this was a very amusing tantrum.
Tuesday, June 25, 2013
I always dreamed of sending and receiving long love letters. You know the kind you read about in books, or find in a box in your grandparent's attic. Well, it ain't happening. I do however, exchange emails with my love on a regular basis, and in the spirit of Too Honest Moms, I will share this morning's email with you.
(You may not want to go any further if you don't have a strong stomach.
Monday, June 24, 2013
In case you missed the original yogurt post, you should take a minute to check that out and get caught up. Because today, I am going to talk advance yogurt making. As in what to do with all that yummy homemade yogurt when you want something a bit different.
Thursday, June 20, 2013
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
I have become a reluctant hooker. It's true.
Although I have tried knitting and crochet in the past, I can't say I like them. They are repetitive and tedious hobbies. I made some afghans in college, and they took forever and I did not enjoy making them. Also, there is the whole yarn can be really expensive thing.
Dispite my misgivings, I bought an extra large hook, and tried the crochet method for making rag rugs. And I have to say, they came out kinda great.
Monday, June 17, 2013
I make a lot of scraps. A lot. I also have waaaay too much fabric in my once neatly organized craft closet. I needed a way to use them up, so I decided to try my hand at making some simple woven rag rugs.
Friday, June 14, 2013
Thursday, June 13, 2013
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Monday, June 10, 2013
As much as I have been looking forward to teasing Daisy, I and been also avoiding this post, because, well, it feels genuinely embarrassing on both a personal and professional level. I hate it when that happens. I had to call poison control this spring when I found my Personal Assistant chewing down on my grape hyacinth because, in his words, "they look like little purple beans!" And according to the Internet, those special purple beans were not so good for eating and possibly dangerous. This was news to me.
Saturday, June 8, 2013
Thursday, June 6, 2013
Tuesday, June 4, 2013
I was going to write about just one quick fix, then as I was taking the final picture, I realized there were several in one area. Here's the list of problems I had with this corner of the patio. There aren't any before pics. You will just have to trust me that it was unsightly.
- Dirt was coming through the chain link fence every time it rained.
- Chain link fence (duh).
- It was boring.
Monday, June 3, 2013
I promise this isn't (too) gross. Really.
I like to leave out a bowl of fruit in the dining room for snacks and to have a visual aid for the Personal Assistant when allowing him to select his fruit for breakfast or lunch. He loves it. Unfortunately, he is growing, and can now reach the fruit bowl himself, which really wasn't an issue until I found this:
Thursday, May 30, 2013
Monday, May 27, 2013
We did a blitz on the house this weekend. It was a mess. Two years without a big spring cleaning and purge had caught up with us. (Coincidentally, my Personal Assistant showed up about two years ago. Weird.)
Friday, May 24, 2013
Thursday, May 23, 2013