Monday, October 05, 2015

Soup Truth

Might be time for a new microwave.

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Love to Cook, Hate to Plan: Weekly Menu Planner

Week of 10/5 - 10/11 
Busy week, friends! This week's menu is super simple because of it, but goes to show that dinner can be done when the busy gets going, thanks to a little planning...and eating dinner at 4:30 before rushing out the door. 

Monday will be BLAT's. Sliced fruit and carrots, then out the door to soccer!

On Tuesday I'll make bean quesadillas and guacamole.

Wednesday we'll have Caesar salads and bread. Rotisserie chicken too, if I hit the grocery store at the right time!

On Thursday we'll have grilled cheeses and soup. Vance and I go for tomato, the others usually go for chicken and noodle. Either way, it's easy!

Pizza on Friday!

Chili on Saturday, since the weather is finally cool enough for it. My family prefers chili mac, so I make a pot of macaroni noodles too. 

BBQ on Sunday! Beef for them, veggie - or possibly a portobello mushroom for me. Corn casserole, and Vaughnie's favorite, edamame, or as she calls them, jumping beans. 

Hope this gives you some ideas! Have a great week!

Friday, October 02, 2015

Friday 5: Celebrating Simplicity

5 simple happenings worth a little celebration from the week. 

Here's to the best part of apple picking.
While many look forward to the picking, I enjoy what comes afterwards - snacking and sipping with family until we run out of things to say. 

Here's to a little put-put in the mornings. 
Vance has always been an early riser. And by early I mean he has time to run a mile or two on the treadmill, shoot a few hoops outside, dribble the soccer ball, assemble the hockey goals and take a few shots, throw the tennis ball against the garage and catch it, ride his bike around the cul-de-sac, see where I'm going with this? Lately, he's been challenging me to putting contests and he's gonna need more practice if he wants to beat me! 

Here's to good beer and thoughtful friends that brought it across state lines for me.
A reminder of when we lived up north!

Here's to Vaughn missing the grout. And the carpet.
Vaughn's nosebleed's have been out of control lately. I've been running the humidifier in her room at night and making sure she uses saline drops, but still her nose keeps on gushing. (Know something that helps? Let me know!) She usually wakes me up, but this time she didn't and didn't even remember going into the bathroom in the middle of the night. It looked like a crime scene in there!  Despite all the blood drops and smears, she didn't get one droplet on the grout or the carpet on her way in. Good girl, Vaughnie!   

Ladies and Gentlemen, here's to a couch. 
One couch was finally delivered on Thursday, exactly 74 days after ordering. The other couch is still on backorder, but let's just focus on the positive. It's here, comfy, and no Vaughn, you may not use markers while sitting on the couch anymore. Happy to have #couchgate one step closer to being over! 

What are you celebrating this weekend? Whatever it may be, enjoy it! 

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Sunday, September 27, 2015

Halloween Lunch Box Notes Printables

I'm not trying to rush September, but I'm so excited for October and Halloween! This year, I wanted to do a little something extra for the kid's lunches, so I made Halloween lunch box notes - one for each school day in October. I also didn't want them to drain all of my printer ink, so I left the backgrounds white and added just a bit of color here and there. Hopefully they spark some spooky conversations and give your little goblins something to look forward to at lunch! 

Click HERE for page 1

Click HERE for page 2

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Love to Plan, Hate to Cook: Weekly Menu Planner

Week of September 27 - October 4
Justin didn't get his beloved Pasta House Salad last week like planned, so it's back in the mix for Monday. (Again, it's romaine lettuce, artichoke hearts, pimento, parmesan cheese, and an oil & vinegar dressing.) I'll make Caesar salads for the kids and serve French bread to go along with it. 

For Tuesday, I'm planning on making Broccoli and Cheddar soup, using this recipe. My kids will eat it from Bread Co., or Panera for you non-St. Louisians, so we'll see if they eat this version. Not sure what I'll make to go with it, probably just some chopped veggies and fruit. 

Chicken with white beans and tomatoes will be an easy choice for Wednesday. I'll dump those three things in a dutch oven and sauté some green beans for a side. Hope it's as good as I made it the first time! (Actually, looking back at the last time I made it the kids weren't feeling it. Hmmm, we'll see how they do this time around!)

We didn't have Tuna casserole as planned last week either, so that's what's in store for Thursday night. The kids won't eat it, so I'll just make plain noodles for them.

Friday is our town's Homecoming Parade, so we'll be there and will grab something afterwards.

Saturday will be Taco Night, ole! 

Slowing things down on Sunday with a little breakfast for dinner. I'm thinking egg and cheese sandwiches on english muffins!

Hope this helps you out with ideas as well! 

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Friday, September 25, 2015

Friday 5: Celebrating Simplicity

Five simple happenings from the week worth celebrating.

Here's to progress in the missing couch!
Very long story short, and after being on hold for a very long time, a social media team lead got in touch with me and made me feel better about #couchgate and offered some answers. (See, Instagram and Twitter are productive!)

Here's to the deer not eating this little guy and letting him ripen, so that we could eat him. 
Don't be jealous, but I've harvested seven of these teeny tomatoes. You read that right, 7.
It helps if you think of it as you're growing food for the deer and not for human consumption or for aesthetic purposes. If you add up all the jalapeños, red bell peppers, beans, hosta, purple balloon flowers, pink flowers I don't know the name of, coleus, and parsley then the deer have eaten well!

Here's to Oxi Clean saving my favorite sweater, when normal stain remover and washing failed. 
I don't know what it's made from, but it's a container of magic in my book.

Here's to soaking up beautiful fall days.
Vaughn's friend who lives down the street is moving away soon. These two little girlies are going to miss each other!

Here's to being one step closer to being done with this stocking. 
This week, so far, I've finished more of the candy at the bottom. A few more pieces to go and then I can start on the lady in the middle!

What are you toasting to this weekend? Whatever it is, enjoy it! 

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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Easy Fall Decor: Free Pumpkin Watercolored Printable!

It's officially decorative gourd season and here I am, unprepared. I can count my fall decorations on three fingers, so I thought it's time to step things up a notch. And by notch a mean the most minuscule bump, because let's be serious, I'm saving all my energy for Halloween.

I quickly watercolored two pumpkins and I set them around the house on little easels. Bam! Instant seasonal flair! And incase you need a little fall decor too, I made printables. Now there's no excuse not to have a little autumnal accoutrement scattered about. 

(please say you've read Colin Nissan's It's Decorative Gourd Season, Motherfuckers. If you're not offended by a bit of colorful language, go and read it now! I re-read it every fall and it makes me cry-laugh every time.)

Small pumpkin - click HERE

Larger pumpkin - click HERE 

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Sharing with: Lolly Jane

Monday, September 21, 2015

Zucchini Cake. Not Bread.

This recipe calls it like it is. That's right, it's zucchini cake, as opposed to zucchini bread. Oftentimes, we hear bread paired with a fruit or veggie and think it's healthy, while we know what's really going on in there. It's got sugar, cocoa powder, and chocolate chips and tastes like really good zucchini bread. What makes it more cake-like is the shape and the amount, which is enough for an army, so you won't be running out anytime soon. I found this recipe in last month's Penzey's magazine, which is one of my favorites, because you can tell they're tried and true. Like straight from Grandma.

Again, this makes a lot of cake. The recipe could easily be halved and baked in a smaller dish, or be baked in loaf tins and frozen for later, or simply to be shared with friends. It calls for "3, 6-inch zucchini's, grated" and I'm thinking mine were a little on the thick side. If I'd do it again, I'd either buy skinnier zucchini's or not add as much. The extra bulk made it take longer to bake, but the outcome was still good. That being said, I did do a few things differently. 1. I didn't have buttermilk, so I just added a few drops of vinegar to milk. 2. I added a bit more of the spices than what was called for. 3. The recipe calls for 2 1/2 cups of flour - for 1 cup of that I used whole wheat flour. Not because  I was trying to make it healthier, I simply ran out of white flour. Oops. 

My kids and I loved, loved, loved this and I think you will to. Find the complete recipe here

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