Monday, June 27, 2011

5 Meals - 1 Hour, Week 3

Well, we made it through week 2. I'm still LOVING this concept... my latest reason for loving this plan - less dishes! Don't get me wrong, there are a TON of dishes on Sunday while I'm preparing everything, but there is usually only a dish or two to wash the night of dinner. Less dishes = happier Mommy!

Here is my review of last week two's menu:

Monday - Creamy Bacon Fettuccine
*Absolutely, without a doubt yucky. I am in love with the idea of the new Philadelphia Cooking Cremes, but this recipe just did not deliver. It lacked flavor, the bacon was chewy, and the herb flavor was way too overpowering (which is odd since there was little flavor!)

Tuesday - Meatloaf Pie
*This was really different... It was edible, but I still think I like MY meatloaf recipe the best.

Wednesday - Onion Ring Chicken
*We love this one! I've made it before and will make it again. YUM!

Thursday - Caramelized Beef Skewers
*Not bad, not bad at all! The key to this recipe is to beat the steak to make it thin and tender (if you have a meat tenderizer, use it! Plus, if you're having a bad day, this is great therapy). ;-) Really, really yummy!

Friday - Eat out!
*Need I say more?

So what's on my menu for week three? It's a short week for us, so only three meals.

Monday *Happy 4th of July!* - Tater Tot Casserole
*Note: I use TWO cans of cream of mushroom soup, and add a little salt, pepper and garlic powder on top of the meat before adding the soup.

Tuesday - Poppyseed Chicken
*Note: I mix the poppy seeds in with the soup for better distribution within the casserole.

Wednesday - Schwan's Penne alla Vodka with Chicken

Thursday & Friday - I'll be out of town for work, so the boys will be on their own! I'm guessing pizza will be on the menu. ;-)

Happy Cooking!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Y-A-W-N

A couple of weeks ago, Nathan was running a slight fever (silly molars), so I stayed home with him. He was in a really good mood as long as you kept the ibprofen coming! We had a nice day full of snuggles, books and Mickey. We read his phonics book SEVERAL times, and he loved the "Y" page when he got to yawn. Here he is!

video

Happy Father's Day!

The three loves of my life... Could I be any luckier? I sure don't think so! :-)

Happy Father's Day Jamie - you are the best husband and father that anyone could ask for! A special Happy Father's Day to my Dad, Alan, too! I love you more than words can say... thank you for being a wonderful, loving, supporting Father and a WONDERFUL Grandpa too!


5 Meals - 1 Hour: Week 2

Well, it's official... I LOVE Living, Laughing and Loving! If you are not a follower of her's, go... now! :-) She is so funny, and just makes me - a reader - feel like I've known her forever! She is the one who got me hooked on the 5 meals, one hour meal plan that I told you about here.

So how was week 1? A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! I mean, dinner made and eating in the snap of two fingers? Love it! Here is my review of last week's menu:

Monday - Balsamic Chicken
*Delish! Although I think next time I will use a little less dressing.

Tuesday - Tangy Meatballs
*I made fewer, smaller meatballs. Jamie thought it was a little too tangy, so next time I'm going to use my meatloaf recipe, but make meatballs instead. Loved it!

Wednesday - Ranch Pork Chops
*Super tasty, but VERY dry! I think next time I need bigger pork chops, or need to put them in frozen. Excellent flavor though!

Thursday - Broiled Steak Bites
*A new staple in our household! Really, REALLY good!!!!! Just needs to cook for only about 5 minutes to avoid overdrying the meat.

Friday - Blues, Brews, and BBQ Festival
*Okay, okay, I didn't cook this night, but the food at the festival was fantastic! Pictures to follow!

So what's on my menu for this week? Check it out! Don't forget to leave me a comment if you have a good recipe for me, or if you tried this new meal plan too!

Monday - Creamy Bacon Fettuccine

Tuesday - Meatloaf Pie

Wednesday - Onion Ring Chicken

Thursday - Caramelized Beef Skewers

Friday - Eat out!

Saturday and Sunday we'll have out-of-town visitors, so we'll be doing a lot of grilling. YUM!!!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Dinner - the WORST part of my day

Have you ever had those days where you just want to go home, sit your you-know-what on the couch, and NOT MOVE? Yeah, that's pretty much every day for me. By the time I work all day, pick up the kids and go home, I don't want to do much else. BUT, there's laundry, bath time, swim lessons, oh yeah - and DINNER. I truly dislike this part of my day... the kids are "starrrrrving" and I struggle to come up with what to make that doesn't take four hours to prepare/cook.

While reading one of the blogs I follow, Centsible Savings, I am across a post from Living, Laughing, and Loving that has changed my outlook on dinner! It's called 5 Dinners - 1 Hour and IT IS FABULOUS!

The general idea is that you spend one hour preparing your meals for the week, up to the point where you actually cook the food. ONE HOUR! I can do that! She even gives pictures, great printouts (like the free meal planner printable which allows you to write the menu and your shopping list all on one page).

Here are my top five reasons I love this (so far):

1) It avoids the, "I don't know what to make for dinner so let's just go out" excuse, which in turn, saves money!

2) I avoid the stress of having to come up with meals on the fly, or, spending a ton of time to prepare the food once I get home (all the while trying to deal with two starving kids who have to wait another hour for the meal to be prepared/cooked).

3) It is forcing me to try new recipes from the 5,000,000 cookbooks I own (perhaps a slight exaggeration), rather than serve my family the same five meals week after week. :-)

4) Preparing the meals is actually quite therapeutic!

5) Hot, delicious meals - EVERY NIGHT! Even when we have swim lessons to get to!

I tried this plan for the first time yesterday, and the only tip I can give you, do it when the kids are sleeping. For real. Seriously though, it was super easy, and really fun! I'm telling every one I know to try this method... I love it that much! Hopefully I'll stick to this! ;-)

This week's menu:

Monday - Balsamic Chicken

Tuesday - Tangy Meatballs

Wednesday - Ranch Pork Chops

Thursday - Broiled Steak Bites

Friday - Blues, Brews, and BBQ Festival (I CAN'T WAIT... Jamie and I work this every year since my Bank is one of the main sponsors. It's SO much fun and SO yummy!)

If you give this a try, please let me know your thoughts, and be sure to share your recipes!!!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Hall of Famer

Have you ever met a baseball Hall of Famer? Me either. :-( BUT, Jamie can now say he has! A couple of months ago, Jamie's friend (owner of This is It Furniture) asked him if he would be willing to go down to St. Louis to do some work on Lou Brock's house. If you are like me, I had NO idea who that was (thank goodness for Google)! But a few clicks of the mouse later, I was in awe that Jamie was going to meet such an amazing athlete!

You see, Mike met Lou several years ago and Lou is always very gracious with autographs, helping out for charity, etc. Since he does so much for Mike, Mike wanted to return the favor. All of Lou's amazing baseball paraphernalia was kind of unorganized, so Mike went down to his house and had things framed, put in cases, and basically made a room dedicated to his legend. What I find so cool, is that non of this was Lou's idea... in fact, he is very humble (per Jamie). His WIFE, Jackie, wanted to show off all of his accomplishments - she is so proud of him!

Mike paid for the gas and material for Jamie to go down there, and Jamie basically "donated" his time. He took his good friend Steve with him for assistance, so that was nice Jamie wasn't travelling alone. They both said that Lou and his wife were SO nice, modest and just really amazing people. Mrs. Brock even insisted they stay for dinner!!! She made them fried chicken, homemade sweet potato and curly fries and sweet corn. Apparently they all just kind of stood around the kitchen talking, sharing stories, laughing and just having a good time! Mrs. Brock even asked if Jamie would be willing to come back soon and do some additional electrical work on their house! (Of COURSE he said yes!)

I just think this is such a neat experience for Jamie and am so glad his talent allowed him to do something so amazing! Plus, the stories he was told from Lou from "back in the day" are SO cool!!!

Jamie and Lou Brock



Jamie telling Lou what I'm sure is a "FANTASTIC" story ;-)



Lou and his wife (See the ceiling fan blade next to Lou? That's from a fan Jamie took down for them. He signed the fan blade and gave it to Jamie!!!)



Steve with Lou Brock

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

First trip to the Dentist

According to what I read, you are supposed to take your child to the dentist starting at age two. Um, really? Two? Maybe I am just that uneducated, but that seems a little ridiculous to me... I mean, my kids didn't even get their frst tooth until they were almost a year, and still didn't have all their teeth at age two! Needless to say, we didn't abide by that "recommendation". ;-)

But since he is 4 1/2, it really is time for him to make that trip, so about two months ago, I had Sean go with me to my dental appointment so he could see what all happens. I thought that was a genius idea! Not so much - he really could have cared less. Thank goodness we brought the ipad. :-) Last Thursday, Sean had his first trip to the Dentist! We had been talking about it all week, and had even made a friendly "wager" as to how many teeth he had (I guessed 22 and Sean guessed 20). He was fantastic at his appointment and of course had all the ladies swooning over him... such a charmer! They counted his teeth (of which he was right... 20!), brushed and flossed them. And of course, got to pick a "prize" out of the treasure chest when he was done. He was SOOOO excited about the new toothbrush (which is green with sparkles. That's it. Really? His at home is way cooler, but whatever!) ;-)

Check out my big boy...





All clean and NO cavaties!!!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Swaddling



If you are my friend on facebook, you've seen this picture. Jamie and Sean were playing the other night, and for whatever reason, Jamie had him wrapped up like a burrito... he called it "swaddling". What's so interesting to me about this picture is how happy he looks. He HATED being swaddled as a child!

What you DON'T see in this picture is a few minutes later, he was walking down the hallway and fell. The funny part... he couldn't get up! Jamie and I laughed so stinking hard as he looked like a fish out of water! In our defense, Sean was cracking up too! I know, parents of the year.

Biker cutie

I suppose all kids learn to ride a bike in their own way, but I like to think Nathan is just being creative in his attempt. ;-)

Bath time fun

It's been awhile since I've posted some pictures of the boys in the bathtub. I don't know if you all think they are quite as cute as I do, but they are just some of my favorite pictures ever!!! I will be super sad when they stop being able to bathe together... they just have so much fun (and I have so much fun cleaning up all the water that gets splashed out *insert scarcasm*)!

Please excuse the poor quality of the pictures, they are from my phone.




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It's been awhile (a looooong while) since I have posted on my other blog. But, I've finally gotten back into posting some good deals recently. If you haven't check it out, or, if you don't follow-me there, head on over to "Make-UP me Over" and see what you think!