Sunday, August 30


We had the Peanut's one year pictures done today. Sooo cute! Check them out here.

Tuesday, August 25

Veggie Pizza

A dear friend of mine gave me this recipe shortly after high school. That is getting to be a really long time ago. It is really more of an appetizer food, but I came across the recipe the other day and decided to make it for dinner. It has always been a hit at potlucks and get-togethers--I don't know of anyone who doesn't like it...except of course, your run of the mill picky eaters who don't like anything that's green. But everyone else likes it.

I have modified it a little, as I make the crust from scratch...

Veggie Pizza

1 pizza crust (The original recipe calls for the refrigerated crescent rolls in the tube. You simply unroll these and press flat onto a cookie sheet and bake until done. Nice and easy, but I have more time than money so I use my bread machine to make the dough from scratch and then bake and let cool...see below.)
8 oz. cream cheese
1 tablespoon ranch seasoning (or you can use about 1/2 a packet of pre-made seasoning)
Toppings of your choice (I use broccoli, carrots, red pepper, black olives, green onions, and cheddar cheese)

I use the basic dough recipe from my bread maker:

1 1/8 cup warm water
1 1/2 Tbls oil
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 cups flour
2 tsp active dry yeast

Place the ingredients in the maker according to the manufacturers directions and use the dough setting. Once the cycle is finished, punch the dough and let rest about 5 minutes. Spread a little olive oil on your baking stone and press the dough into the stone.

Bake at 400 for about 20 minutes.

This of course can be done earlier in the day or while your crust is cooling, mix your seasoning into the cream cheese and chop up your veggies of choice. Once your crust is cool, spread the seasoned cream cheese onto the crust and spread your toppings evenly. Slice up and enjoy!

Monday, August 24

Works for Me Wednesday: Homemade Baby Wipes

My little Peanut had a diaper rash that didn't seem to be going away. I just feel so bad, as the diaper rash looks so uncomfortable! :( A fellow mom from our church suggested I try using homemade baby wipes, as these are often less irritating on those little tender bums. I have been using them for about a month now and her diaper area is doing so much better...AND these are even cheaper than the big Costco brand value pack. Sooo, who can argue with that? The Costco brand runs about $0.02 per wipe and the homemade brand is about $0.01 per wipe, so it is about half the cost! Ha, ha! I know it's only a penny difference, however whatever makes her diaper area better--it definitely works for me.

Homemade Baby Wipes

You will need:

1 roll of good quality paper towels (I use Viva!)
2 cups water
1 tablespoon baby oil
1 tablespoon baby wash

Start by unwrapping the paper towels and cutting the roll in half with a bread knife:

I usually make just one batch at a time and store the other half for next time.

Measure out your water, baby oil, baby wash and mix thoroughly.

Place your half roll in a bowl and pour the liquid over the paper towels as evenly as possible. I usually flip the roll over and half way through.

Let sit for five minutes. Once the five minutes is up, you should be able to remove the cardboard tube easily.

I usually store mine in a Ziploc bag, however I've heard of using the cylinder dispensers that allow you to pull out one wipe at a time work well too. (I just didn't have one on hand, so this works as well.)

Homemade baby wipes work for me!

This post will be linked to We Are That Family.

Sunday, August 23

Menu Plan Monday

I did menu plan next week, but it was hot weather (again!) and I was preparing just some of the same ol' same ol' and I felt very uncreative. So I didn't bother posting it. This week though it is supposed to cool down again and because of the move, I am trying to clean out our freezers so we don't have as much to transport.

Monday-Chicken Noodle Casserole and green beans (from the garden!)

Tuesday-Veggie Pizza with broccoli, carrots, olives, cheddar cheese and red pepper (recipe will follow this week)

Wednesday-Bacon Burgers with avocado slices and oven fries (yes, still have potatoes to use up)

Thursday-Pork fried rice (I use butter instead of oleo (?) and pork chow mein

Friday-Homemade Pizza w/ homemade sauce and green salad

For other great menu ideas, check out The Organizing Junkie.

Saturday, August 22

Oh My!

With the Peanut's first birthday coming up, she received her first birthday present in the mail yesterday. Grandma wanted to "lighten the load" as she is preparing to come and visit next week. Ha ha. :) I just had to share, he and she are so cute! And they are SO soft!

On my mother in law's last trip home, she found these at the one of the airport gift shops and had to get them. They were perfect, as we call our little girl The Peanut. The Peanut doll was a boy though and Grandma couldn't just buy her a boy doll, so she had to purchase the Sweet Pea girl too. It's so funny, because we have on occasion, called her a Sweet Pea. Thanks, so much Grandma, and Grandpa too!

Raspberry Limeade

My dear friend treated me to a Sonic limeade a couple of weeks ago and can I just share that it was absolutely FAB.U.LOUS? It's all I think about when I am out and about running errands trying to justify my "need" to purchase one. Good thing the closest Sonic to me is all the way across town. A&W has a limeade as well (which isn't quite as good IMHO) but is only about a mile away. So after three days last week of "justifying" myself, I decided to try making them at home. Not too bad if I do say so myself! All I had were raspberries, and it was quite tasty. And probably much fresher.

You will need:

Limeade (I just used the frozen concentrate, mixed as directed)
Lemon Lime Soda
Lime for Garnish (of course that is optional--it just makes for pretty picture)

To start, I had some raspberries in my freezer that needed using up and also needed to thaw for this purpose. So I took about 3/4 cup and generously sprinkled with sugar:

Once these thawed, I mashed them up and tasted them. Still a little tart, so I was generous with the sugar once again.

To mix the drink, fill a glass with ice. I found the best ratio is 1 part limeade to 2 parts soda. Then add about a tablespoon of raspberries and mix thoroughly. Garnish with a lime wedge and enjoy!

This recipe is linked to Life As Mom Ultimate Recipe Swap.

Wednesday, August 19


I did better than I thought...


As a 1930s wife, I am

Take the test!

I should tell DH. :)

Tuesday, August 18

My New Career

I am coming up on one year as being a stay at home mom. I cannot believe how. fast. this year has gone by. This blog inspired me to share pictures of The Peanut from the last year that I might have missed had I not been at home with her. In addition, I thought I might write a little of how I came to be at home with my little girl.

First, I LOVE being at home with Peanut. Being a stay at home mom is something that I always wanted to do. In fact, DH and I even talked about it on our first date. Crazy, huh? But at least we were on the same page from the start. Although I had worked at my job in the "corporate" world for nearly 11 years, I never considered it a career. Silly, I know. Even though that is what I always wanted to do, when I was pregnant, I didn't think we (my husband and I) could do it financially. Cut our income in half? Um, we still have bills to pay.

It was definitely a step of faith to choose to stay at home. Even more so to walk into my job (while still on leave) and give my boss my notice. I was shaking. It was crazy. This was last November, right in the midst of one of our country's worst financial crises. I was quitting a well paying job with benefits and four weeks of vacation. (I used to joke I technically worked less than 11 months of the year between holidays and vacation. :) But against every practical grain in my body, I still turned in my notice.

Don't get me wrong. This hasn't been the skipping through grassy fields and picking daisies with my husband kind of easy. It's been hard. Really hard. Not the staying at home part, but the financial part. But we have worked hard on making do with less. We cut Netflix, we don't have cable/satellite, we don't eat out, my husband takes his lunch to work, I haven't went shopping in ages, etc., etc. Prior to quitting my job we would spend nearly $600 a month (for two of us) between groceries and eating out alone. Now I try to keep our grocery budget under $30 a week. So really, these new choices weren't really that hard, it was just a matter of doing it.

However, despite all of our choices and things we had control over, some things happened with DH's job and we had some very hard things to consider in the last several months. Our first priority has been for me to stay home. DH was offered a position at his prior place of employment that would certainly make things easier for us financially. By easier, I still mean tight, but no longer dipping into our savings each month to make ends meet. :) (After all, we do live in a two income world.) The problem is, this job is 350 miles away from our hometown. Nevertheless, he (we) accepted the position. I never thought I would be the type to move away from all my family and friends. I still don't think I am. I don't think it will really settle in until I am having to grocery shop in some strange place I am not used to.

But here we are. Packing our belongings, looking at all DH's (with the help of my Dad at times) home improvements, hoping the renter's we find won't trash our home, looking for a new place to call home, and praying that someday soon we will be able to come back so Peanut will be able to call this her hometown as well. Moving. Not just across town, but across the state. But it will be worth it.
Here are just a few of the pictures from her first year that I may have not been able to take had I not been there:

September '08

October '08

November '08

December '08

January '09

February '09

March '09

April '09 May '09
June '09 July '09
August '09

I think she is definitely worth it. I will still be able to be at home with The Peanut. We won't have to do the baby swap with each of us working opposite hours. My husband will be able to work just one job and be able to move up within the company. We will be able to pay the bills and still be able to breath. And I will be there each time the Peanut cries, each time she wakes from a nap, each first that she makes. And it will be worth it.

Wednesday, August 12

Spaghetti Sauce with a Peanut

Due to the much needed rain, we had spaghetti tonight instead of hamburgers. Weather permitting, we will have the burgers tomorrow. I just thought I would share my spaghetti recipe, as my thoughts on homemade spaghetti sauce are the same as the pizza sauce. So here it is...

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce
1/2 - 1 lb. ground meat (I use beef, but you can use turkey, spicy sausage--whatever you prefer)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can of tomato paste (I usually use two cans tomato sauce, but this is what I had on hand)
1-2 cups of water (depends on how thick you like your sauce)
1 can mushrooms, stems and pieces
3 cloves minced garlic (no, we don't kiss in this household) :)
2 teaspoons basil
2 teaspoons oregano
1 teaspoon thyme
Salt and pepper to taste

Brown meat and break into pieces and add onions while browning meat. Drain off fat and add remaining ingredients, except for garlic. Note-depending on the intensity of the garlic flavor you prefer, add it at the beginning of your cooking if you want a milder flavor, or shortly before serving if you prefer a more intense flavor. Let simmer 10-15 minutes prior to adding in pasta that has been cooked al dente.

We served ours tonight with steamed broccoli and the Mediterranean Herbed Bread from the Betty Crocker cookbook.

As a side note, even the Peanut appreciates her broccoli...

...she even gave us several smiles through dinner...

...hopefully this attitude towards vegetables continues.

Tuesday, August 11

Her new thing...

We have a red chair that we place the Peanut in each month to track her growth progress. Each month on her birth date we put her in the chair to take a picture and we can compare how much she has grown from month to month. Lets just say some months she has been more cooperative than others. She likes to be left alone to do her own thing. She likes to free to do as she wants. She is not big on having to sit still or be restricted/confined in any way. This was her initial reaction to her 11 month photo shoot:

But she settled down for a few moments and decided to cooperate just enough to let Mommy get a somewhat presentable photo for the album. Hmph...

And then she gives me this innocent face, "Oh--what? Did I do something, wrong?"

This is all a learning experience, I tell you.

Sunday, August 9

Menu Plan Monday

This last week went okay, except for last Thursday and Friday. We ended up having a weak moment after having a garage sale all day Friday and we ended having fast food. (Gasp!) But the garage sale was definitely worth the time, so I didn't feel too bad. :) We had the pizza on Saturday night and the Garden Pasta Primavera is moved to this week.

Monday-Garden Pasta Primavera

Tuesday-Soft Tacos with homemade tortillas, taco meat, black beans, lettuce, cheese, tomato, sour cream

Wednesday-Grilled hamburgers, oven fries

Thursday-Spaghetti, broccoli, homemade french bread

Friday-Pizza, green salad

For other menu ideas, visit the Organizing Junkie.

Wednesday, August 5

Potato Salad

Do we really need another potato salad recipe? I mean, doesn't everyone think that their grandma/aunt/cousin/mom makes the best potato salad? I for one, think my granny made the best potato salad. However when it comes down to it, really any homemade potato salad is better than store bought from your grocers deli. Blech! The store bought stuff is really not my favorite. But my granny's is my favorite, so here is my modified version. This feeds an army, but of course you can modify portions as needed.

Potato Salad

5 pounds red potatoes, scrubbed
1 dozen hard boiled eggs, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 can black olives, sliced
1 cup diced dill pickles
1 cup diced sweet onion (I prefer the milder flavor)

2 cups Best Foods Mayonnaise (I am a huge proponent of store brand, but there are just some areas you can't compromise)
1/4 cup spicy prepared mustard
salt and pepper, to taste

I use the red potatoes because then I don't have to peel them. Potato salad is enough work without all the peeling! Plus, the skins are good for you. Place your scrubbed potatoes in a large stockpot with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil and cook until the potatoes are tender. Drain off the water and then refrigerate overnight or until cool.

Cube your potatoes and mix the remaining ingredients together. Refrigerate several hours before serving and enjoy!

This recipe is linked to Life As Mom Ultimate Recipe Swap!  

What will she think of next?

So I guess the Peanut's love of kitchen linens has moved on to shoes. Daddy's shoes.That's my girl. I guess the inherent female love for shoes starts early doesn't it? We'll work on the gender thing later.

As with the linens, I figure there is no harm in her "rearranging" things. Granted, I have to put them back, but for now, as long as the shoes aren't going in her mouth, I figure no harm done. Isn't it funny how her toys occupy her for just seconds but linen or shoe reorganization could entertain her for hours?

Hopefully this no indication of how her own room will be as a teenager!

This post is linked to Works For Me Wednesdays at We Are That Family.

Sunday, August 2

Menu Plan Monday

It is STILL going to be hot most of this week, but is SUPPOSED to cool off by Thursday and Friday. I am keeping my fingers crossed. So, still trying to be creative in effort to avoid heating up the house. We do have one carry over from last week, as we spent many evenings with my parents trying to keep cool in their pool. At least we have that! :) Can you tell I am ready for fall?

Monday-Chicken salad sandwiches, sliced fruit

Tuesday-Grilled Hamburgers, Potato Salad (have a never ending supply of some potatoes I am trying to use up)

Wednesday-Hot Dogs, more Potato Salad

Thursday-Garden Pasta Primavera (garden zucchini to use)

Friday-Homemade Pizza, Green Salad

For other great menu plans, visit Toni as she is hosting Menu Plan Monday this week!

Oh! The Black Bean & Couscous Salad and the Cheese Tortellini Pesto Pasta Salad from last week were both fabulous. Give them a try!


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