Wednesday, December 26, 2012

So, So Tired

Holidays = Crazy

So I have a cute picture of my kids and a promise to kick it back into gear after the New Year.  Cause I got nothing left for 2012.  (Including proper grammar)

Thursday, December 20, 2012


I ate my first pomegranate.

It did not look like this.

My first ever in the history of my life.  Every year around Christmas I see them in the grocery store and wondered about them but this is the first time I brought one home.  I paid $2.50 for it, which seems kind of like a lot.

I cut it open and realized I maybe didn't do it right.  I had to google how to eat a pomegranate.  You are supposed to cut up and down kind of like the above picture, but I cut horizontally and made a mess of things.

It was yummy, although the little pods are kind of like eating seeds, which was weird.  All of my kids didn't like it.  Kembia said "no like" but then kept coming back for more.  Truitt spit it out.  Moyz ate it, but Moyz eats anything so I don't trust his judgement.  Owen didn't like it and Ava was still at school.

It was fun enough and exotic enough that I think I am going to put one in the kids' stockings every Christmas.  You know how some families put oranges in their stockings?  Well it's like that, but with Pomegranates.  I bet there is a reason for the whole orange thing, but I don't know what it is.

My reason is that pomegranates are fun, exotic and rare because they are not cheap.  Maybe this will turn into one of those crazy Christmas traditions where you've "just always done it" and my kids will do it with their kids, and so on down the line for the next 100 years.  Assuming that the world doesn't end tomorrow.

Now I want to try that crazy, expensive POM juice that makes me feel poor every time I see it because it's about the size of a sippy cup and like $7.

And maybe I will put a beautiful matching bow around it to help elevate the specialness of it.  

I have a girlfriend who mixes POM juice with Sprite but I am afraid to start doing that because what happens if I get addicted to something yummy but that is just so insanely expensive?  

I totally see that happening.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Fun Way to Wrap Presents

Over on In The Fun Lane, I saw this cute idea of decorating for presents this year.


How adorable is that?  

So I decided to give it a go and decorate our presents using kraft paper and colored yarn.  I didn't have enough time to do the cute little pompoms, but maybe I will throw a bow on top of mine.  

Here's how the first few turned out.

The pictures don't make them look all that cute, especially compared to In The Fun Lane's pictures, but they look unique and fun in "real" life, which is kind of what I'm going for.  Plus, you can get kraft paper dirt cheap at any store, and we already had the yarn hanging around the house, so it makes for a fun and inexpensive way to do up your presents.  I think my yarn is probably thinner too by the looks of it.  If you are purchasing stuff to do this I would go with thicker yarn,

If I were braver, I would have my kids paint pictures on them, but maybe I'll save that for next year!
Because really, look at these three trouble makers.  Giving them paintbrushes and paint would be a bad idea!

Those are their blankies.  Which they want tied around them all.the.time.

And then right as I was shoving the kids out the door this morning to not miss the bus, I noticed a piece of paper laying on the couch.  The dreaded "someone has lice in your child's classroom" paper.  That is one of my nightmares when it comes to Kembia- dealing with lice again now that she has long hair that takes forever to comb.  Turns out the paper came from Owen who "forgot" to give it to me last night.  But I feel a little bit better that it's his class because I can see it better in his hair then Ava's, so I feel like I have a better chance at preventing it from taking over my family.

Also, if you try to feed your kids quinoa for breakfast with peanut butter and honey they will think you are trying to feed them poison.  

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Things to smile about in the wake of tragedy

I came across this post on the design blog Peppermint Bliss and wanted to share.  Just a few things to give you some hope during the terribleness of the last week and the loss of so many little children and adults.

26 Moments That Restored Our Faith In Humanity This Year

My heart truly grieves for the families of the children and adults who's lives were taken.  But I also grieve for the approximately 4,000 babies who were aborted on the same day in the US and who are not recognized like these 28 in Connecticut and have no one fighting for them, because their deaths are considered okay by the majority in our country.  I do not understand.

Life is confusing and hardly ever makes sense, I pray that people would turn to Jesus for their guidance.  I think if we truly did this, the world would be a much better place.

And maybe the 4,028 people who died last Friday would still be alive.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Drinking Chocolate Heaven

Like so many other 30-something women, I am having a Downton Abbey Season 3 Party (Chris too!), and I came across this recipe for crockpot coconut hot chocolate, which is to.die.for.  I honestly didn't think I would like it because I am not crazy about coconut, but I want to swim in a ginormous vat of this.  Chris wanted me to test it our early in case it tasted terrible.  The only thing I did differently was that I didn't add the coconut extract and I had to thin it out a bit at the end with regular milk because it was too thick for my taste.

I mean just look at this!

Plus, the blog it came from, How Sweet It Is  is amazing.  I think I will be spending a lot of time there in the future.  I've never dabbled too much with food blogs but this may just start an addiction for me.

I decided to go ahead and do a couple other awesome food pictures and links after the amazing hot chocolate and I haven't made the following but I probably will for the hubs.

Eggnog makes me want to vomit.  But hubby and a couple of the kids LOVE it.  There is just no accounting for taste, is there? But I will cave since it's the holidays and give this one a whirl.  From the blog I Heart Nap Time.

Our freezer co-op is still amazing.  And totally 100% delicious.  I made Mediterranean Tilapia for my meal the last round.  I originally got the recipe off a blog, but I don't remember which one unfortunately, so I can't direct you to the original.  I made a few changes and this rocked my socks.

Mashing it up and mixing it together is the best way.

Here's the recipe:

Mediterranean Tilapia 
6 Tilapia fillets
8 tbsp. of Sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, chopped
3 tbsp. of capers, drained  NOT FROZEN
3 tbsp. Olives, chopped  NOT FROZEN
Lemon juice, NOT INCLUDED
2 cloves of garlic
Olive oil or butter for drizzling fish OPTIONAL

Prep for cooking:
Thaw fish.  Pre-heat the oven to 375.  Place the tilapia fillets in a baking dish.  Drizzle with lemon juice (not included).  Optional:  brush with olive oil or butter before drizzling with lemon juice.  Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until fish flakes with a fork, turn once half way through.  While the fish is baking, mix together the sun-dried tomatoes, capers and olives in a small bowl.  Set aside.  Once the tilapia is finished baking top with tomato mixture, serve and enjoy!

And artichoke potatoes was recommended as a side course so a quick hop on pinterest led me to this beauty from The Good Eatah.  (It doesn't appear that the blog is still running, her last entry was in September 2012.)

Can I just say how amazing this recipe was with the Mediterranean Tilapia?  Holy smokes.  I feel like a totally accomplished cook.

I haven't done too well with my Yotam Ottolenghi month of cooking but basically because we've eaten a freezer meal essentially every night during the week, I have however made his crusted pumpkin wedges with dill sour cream.  They were okay.  I think they would have tasted better but I overcooked the Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.  Such is life.

Anyway, moral of this blog post is: I think I'm becoming a food snob.  Just kidding.  The moral is go out and try something new!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

What's Good In New York City?

I need some help.  Chris celebrated his 10 year anniversary at his job and his company gives a 10 year gift of a weekend in NYC.  We will leave Friday morning and come home Sunday afternoon/evening.  It's real fast, but they pay for all of our expenses, cab fairs, meals, hotels, plane tickets, and encourage us "to have a fine dining experience both Friday and Saturday evening", plus they pay for us to go to a Broadway musical, I'm hoping we get tickets to The Lion King

So what are the best things to do in NY in 2 days?  I've googled a ton of stuff and most say the same stuff, Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, etc.  The only thing that I for sure want do do is the American Museum of Natural History and see the dinosaur fossils and then drift from there.

What's really worth my time?  A lot of people say the high line park, but I can walk around a park here, so I am not sure what I think about that or Central Park.  I'm interested in walking around China town but should that be a priority of other things?  Are the Brooklyn Bridge, Empire State Building and Grand Central Station as amazing as everyone says?  The weekend I am thinking of falls on the Cherry Blossom Festival at one of their parks.  Anyone know anything about this?

I'm not interested in shopping, I want to see things.  And what do you suppose "fine dining experience" means.  Cause I've googled some of the restaurants and we can have a 6-8 course meal at some Michelin star restaurants to the tune of $400.  But that seems excessive.   We definitely don't want to take advantage but I feel like something more then Olive Garden would be fine dining, and you can easily spend $50-70 there for two people.  I am trying to push Chris to get some more idea of what they mean.

And what about the World Trade Center Memorial?  I can't decide if it's something I would want to see.  What's there and am I going to just cry the whole time, because I would rather not spend the weekend crying.

I'm actually fairly excited about it, although it's still several months away.  We don't really do trips like this where it's so expensive.  We spent 2 weeks in Montana but we had family there and didn't have to pay for lodging, always a large factor in our trip planning!

Anyway, hoping some of you have gone or have family who may know of the good stuff.  Cause we need tips!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

My Skin Is Freakin'

Every fall/winter like clockwork, my facial skin goes crazy.  It burns and itches to varying degrees.  I have fairly sensitive skin, where I always have a slight pink to my face.  It may be a mild case of Rosacea, who knows, but most people tell me it's just a nice shot of color.

Regardless, this year has been bad on my face compared to previous ones.  Although last year my face was fine but I pretty much clawed my hands and arms all day long or constantly gooped them in lotion but then you can't touch anything else.

Poor Moyz, he is pretty much staying a light shade of gray no matter what I do to him.  His face is doing remarkably well with the eczema he usually has.  It hasn't reared its ugly head yet, and I am hoping that it won't.

Here's my routine:

1.  2.Olay Complete All Day UV Moisturizer - Sensitive Skin - 4 oz3.

1.  CeraVe AM-  My derm recommended this because all I was using was Olay's sensitive skin (#2) and the SPF is only 15.  This stuff has SPF 30  She told me that most sensitive skin types can wear this, and I can.  $13 Walmart .  Target does not sell this, only the night time, but Walmart sells both.  What's up with that?

2.  Olay Sensitive Skin- I use this when my skin starts to burn or feel funny during the day as needed.  $7 Target

3.  CeraVe PM- use at night, $13 Target or Walmart

There's fancy things called ceramides and a couple of other things like that in the CeraVe that is supposed to do stuff for your skin, I have no idea if it works or not, but psychologically it makes me feel better.

I'm not a huge fan of using multiple things throughout the day and have been in the market for something thicker for my face.  And that stuff is expensive.  I had no idea.  But I came across this on Capitol Hill Style the other day and just ordered it from Target.

Yes To Carrots Moisturizing Day Cream - 1.7 oz.     

The problem with this stuff is that it's expensive $15 for a tiny jar.  But the reviews were great and I am hoping it will power through and then I won't have to use 2 different things during the day.  It's been ranked really good for those with sensitive skin so crossing my fingers.

Would love to head into the territory of wrinkle creams and all that jazzy stuff for people who should be concerned about that, but I am terrified to spend the money and have it make my face go crazy, so I am placing my bets that I am going to just age well and focus on sunscreen!

If anybody has something good that they use and recommend I would love to hear it.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Weekend Blizzard

It's not a secret that I don't like winter.  I've tried for years to get Chris to move somewhere warm, and that was always a big no go.  Last winter was probably the best one of my life.  Total snowfall- 22 inches.  We average 87 inches per year.  Saturday we had no snow, not even one lonely little snowflake.  But sometime during Saturday night it started snowing, and didn't stop until Sunday evening.  

We got about 20  inches of snow.  Sigh.

Bonus: our belt on our snow blower was broken so it all had to be done by hand.

But Chris and some of the kids enjoyed it, as the following pictures can attest.  (We got about half a foot more after these pictures were taken.)

We're supposed to get another foot this coming weekend.  That's a lot of shoveling.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Out and About plus Food Cleanse

So this weekend came and went.  Always crazy.  Here are a couple of the highlights from it:

-  Chris and I overheard Owen asking Ava if "all they're going to feed us for lunch is garlic meat?"  In response to being served what we both felt was yummy summer sausage.

-  At Fleet Farm (total man store if there ever was one), Moyz tried to wash his hands in the urinal next to Chris.  At least he values cleanliness

-  Seeing an ambulance at Walmart with the lights on Owen said "I see a human being put in the back!"  Not sure what other non-human things he my think use an ambulance.

And then the piece de resistance, I decided to do Martha Stewart's 2012 whole living cleanse.  I know, it's almost 2013, and I am sure if I waited her magazine will kick off the new year with another one, but there is no time like the present.

My morning started of with a disgusting concoction of a ginormous handful of kale, 1/2c. parsley, 1 banana and 1 apple plus 2 cups water all pureed in the food processor.  It was still chunky.  And gross. And something-in-the-teeth hell. Everyone in my family had a little bite and they were all like "this is okay, what are you whining for".  And maybe if you are only eating one bite it's fine, but a huge cupful?  No thank you.  And I get to do it again tomorrow because the batch made 2 drinks.  Wednesday I am going to try the beet drink.  Don't you want to join me?

I want to swoop in and win the biggest loser challenge my girlfriends and I have going on, plus I really want to be able to fit back into my jeans cause right now I only have 2 pair that fit nice and they are both looking a little ragged.

I sort of did this before when I did the nothing-but-vegetables for a month, and I lost a ton of weight and felt great once my system got over eating all those vegetables.  So I am hoping for a repeat of that.

Want to hear something depressing?  I read a report that Japanese women maintain their weight from the age of 30 until they die, where US women gain a pound a year until they die.  (Average woman in both countries)

What a cheery thought for a Monday morning.  Good luck with your week.

Friday, December 7, 2012


Another round-up of awesome things I discovered whilst floating around the web.

1. DIY Anthro Ornament knock-off

The Hunted Interior- I love this blog name so much, it's what made me jump over and check it out.

If I didn't have 5 kids I would be all over this.  My parents have a flock of Peacocks, and they drop their feathers every fall and we are constantly trying to figure out what to do with hundreds of peacock feathers.  Can you even imagine a tree filled with these?  Amazing.  One day, years from now, I am going to make it happen.

2. DIY Gold Bar Necklace

Rushing to the hardware store to make this necklace done on Stripes and Sequins.  Those bars are unfortunately called "pipe nipples", nonetheless, they make a kick-butt necklace.

3.  DIY Anthro Snow Globes 

This is the second Anthropologie knock-off in one post.  I am no different then every other girl out there who loves what they do, but no the prices.  Instead, copy this cute tutorial from the blog A Creative Day, which I am loving more and more every time I stop in.

4.  DIY Santa and Sleigh Reindeer Garland

DIY Santa & Reindeer Garland, The Proper Pinwheel, Mission: Merry 2012, Holiday DIY, Mantle Decorations

This is just pure stinkin' cuteness, even if you don't do Santa Claus (and we don't).  We also don't have a mantle, but you could totally hang this on a wall.  From The Proper Pinwheel.  I think it would actually be quite hilarious if you changed out the reindeer for whatever regional animal you have in abundance.  For instance, I would crack up if I visited a home on the Coast and they had Santa being pulled by a bunch octopus.  (I know, it's supposed to be octopi, but that just looks and sounds so bizarre.)

5.  DIY Burlap Wreath

Burlap, one of the cheapest "fabrics" on the face of the planet.  And I absolutely love it.  Found this tutorial at a new blog I just discovered called Between You and Me.  Note that the tutorial is for the wreath before she put on the Christmas bow.

Some DIY goodness with a Christmas theme to it.  Mostly these will forever reside in my Pinterest account for my free time in the future.  When hopefully at that point I can come back and do some of this awesomeness!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Such is Life

Tired from all the crazy happening in our family, all I've got is update bullet points today.

- Two days ago Truitt opened the front door and fell down the cement steps.  Cause what he needs is more head trauma.  Huge, immediate goose egg.  And lots of screaming.  Great.  Sometimes I see his future as a brilliant scientist going down the drain with every head knock

Not a picture of the goose egg, I forgot to take one.

-  Kembia gets redressed about 4 to 5 times a day.  And she must have socks on.  I hope this doesn't carry over into next summer because I refuse to put socks on kids in the summer, and currently, without them, she completely falls apart.

Before the mass clothes consumption

-  Moyz has decided to start waking up again at 2-ish in the morning.  This makes me very unhappy and very tired.  Not a great combination for anyone, but especially for me.

I had to post this picture, kids on toilets always make me laugh

-  We've burned several warts on Owen with that at home nitrogen freezing kit.  Poor kid.  But I admit there is something satisfying about doing this.  Why is that?  Feeling cool because you are physically attacking a virus?  Must be the nerdy Microbiologist in me.

Obsessed with trees, so surprised we have no broken bones- yet

-  Ava is the world's biggest slob, and I fear it is something that Chris and I have created.  We haven't given our children very many responsibilities, and now I am deeply regretting this.  Actually, now that we are dealing with this, I think in general, that Americans don't give their kids many responsibilities, and now we are all trying to remake a preteen's ideas of what it means to be a person.  Of course, this topic is a serious one and probably deserves its own post on fleshing out exactly what I mean by that, but I am too tired and it's not gonna happen.

At least she's a cute slob

-  I had a dream that we had a dog and someone broke into our house and the dog saved our life.  So now I am a teensy bit paranoid that maybe we should get a dog.  Except I am not sure I want the responsibility.  I would love a well trained, family doting dog, but not the whole get-to-that-point-with-training thing right now in my busy life.

-  And to round it off, I need to cook my 10 freezer meals that I have put off for the last 3 weeks which are now due.  Fun.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Peeing In The Tub

We live in a small house for our family size.  1040 square feet upstairs, and ditto the basement.  So in reality, we would have 2000 square feet if it was all finished.  But it's not.

We have 1 bathroom for 7 people.  And it's as bad as it sounds.

Over the weekend we had another episode of Moyz and Truitt dive-bombing the toilet, only this time no drinking, thank goodness.  But I basically freaked out and made Chris clean it.  The boys had been splashing in it and getting water every where.

We put the naughty little children down for their nap and I went away, away, away from the bathroom as fast as my legs could carry me.  I totally abandoned Chris to face it alone.

He decides, God bless him, to do a thorough cleaning of the bathroom.  I cannot, for the life of me, tell you the last time the bathroom was thoroughly cleaned.  I was so impressed with what he was doing.  But as the minutes passed on and my bladder full of coffee kept getting fuller and fuller, I couldn't take it anymore.

So I went in and asked him to pretty please hurry up with the toilet or I was going to pee my pants.

He told me he just put 409 on it and "Why don't you just pee in the tub?"

And he was totally, 100% serious.

Like I was just going to squat down and pee in the tub.

I shot that idea down so fast I think he was surprised by my reaction, and he very sweetly cleaned off the 409 so my delicate rear end wouldn't react to it and I could use a proper toilet.

We need another bathroom ASAP.

You guys don't mind if I pee in the tub do you?