Friday, February 29, 2008
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Aaron always teases me saying I have way too much stuff in my bag. He can never find anything in there so he calls it my Marry Poppins bag. Here's what's inside (very funny by the way Katy):
a pair of Ollie's socks
pile of gum and candy wrappers and other trash
one of those paper clip things
antibiotics that I never finished
So for anyone who wants to share the secret contents of their bag, I (diaper)bag tag you.
It's a good excuse to clean your bag out too:)
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
1/2 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons butter, softened
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup confectioners' sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour an 8 inch square pan.
In a large saucepan, melt 1/2 cup butter. Remove from heat, and stir in sugar, eggs, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat in 1/3 cup cocoa, 1/2 cup flour, salt, and baking powder. Spread batter into prepared pan.
Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Do not overcook.
To Make Frosting: Combine 3 tablespoons butter, 3 tablespoons cocoa, 1 tablespoon honey, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and 1 cup confectioners' sugar. Frost brownies while they are still warm.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Call me a angel food cake snob, but I can't stand cake from a mix or from the grocery store bakery. Maybe because my mom had the best recipe ever. So I thought I would share it with you all. It may be a little sloppily put together so let me know if you have any questions. Enjoy!
ANGEL FOOD CAKE
-Separate 12 egg whites and set aside to stand for 1 hour.
-Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
-In a separate bowl, sift together 4 times : 1 C flour and 3/4 C. sugar and set aside. (cake flour is great if you have it, but not a necessity at all) Add 1/4 C. cocoa to sifted mixture if making chocolate angel food cake (which is -oh my heck- delicious!)
-Add 1/2 tsp. salt to egg whites and beat till frothy (not long)
-Add 1 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar and beat on high till egg whites form rounded peaks (almost stiff)
-Add 2 Tbl. sugar at a time until 3/4 C of sugar is beat in.
-Add 1 tsp. vanilla extract and 1/2 tsp. almond extract*
-Remove beaters and use rubber spatula to fold in flour mixture 1/4 C. at a time until all is mixed thoroughly, but be gentle or your cake will be heavy.
-Slide batter into lightly sprayed angel food cake pan and cut through with butter knife to break any air bubbles.
-Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes. Cool upside-down.
*This secret ingredient is optional, but it is SO much tastier with it in there.
-If you are in a hurry it is okay to skip the 1 hour waiting for the egg whites, but from my experience it has made the eggs fall a little more when the flour is added, so a heavier cake.
-Serve with fresh berries in light syrup and whipped cream or drizzled with chocolate sauce.
Monday, February 25, 2008
First, you figure out your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). Your BMR is the number of calories your body uses to sustain itself (i.e. keep kidneys running, your heart beating, etc.). In order to figure it out you have to convert your weight to kilograms. (Go weigh yourself now.) Then take your weight and divide it by 2.2
Example: If I weigh 175 lbs. and divide by 2.2 = 80 kg (I rounded to the nearest whole number)
Then you need to take your height in inches and convert it to centimeters. To do this you take your height and multiply it by 2.54
Example: I am 70 inches tall times 2.54 = 178 cm (I again rounded to the nearest whole number)
The next part varies for males and females because women have higher body fat percentages than men.
BMR = 655 + (9.6 x weight in kg) + (1.8 x height incm) – (4.7 x age in Yrs)
Example: 655 + (9.6 * 80) + (1.8 * 178) – (4.7 * 28)
655 + 768 + 320.4 – 131.6 = 1611.8
Now that you have your BMR, you need to figure out your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE). This is how many calories you need to consume to maintain your current weight. The formula you use varies depending on how active you are. Select from the following 5 categories to figure out your TDEE.
Little or No Exercise, Desk Job TDEE = 1.2 x BMR
Light Exercise, Sports 1 to 3 Times Per Week TDEE = 1.375 x BMR
Moderate Exercise, Sports 3 to 5 Times Per Week TDEE = 1.55 x BMR
Heavy Exercise, Sports 6 to 7 Times Per Week TDEE = 1.725 x BMR
Very heavy exercise, Physical Job, Training 2 Times Per Day TDEE = 1.9 x BMR
Let’s say I consider myself to be in the “Light Exercise” category. My TDEE would be:
1.375 * 1611.8 = 2216 (I again rounded to the nearest whole number)
To maintain my current weight I need to consume 2216 calories everyday.
If I want to lose a pound a week I need to subtract 500 calories everyday. (1 pound = 3500 calories. 3500 divided by 7 days of the week = 500)
2216 – 500 = 1716 daily calories
If I wanted to lose 2 pounds a week I could subtract 1,000 calories each day.
2216 – 1000 = 1216 daily calories
1216 calories per day seems very low for someone who likes to eat. I would probably give myself 1716 daily calories and try to increase the amount of exercise I do every week. Keeping a food journal will help me stay on track and focused on my caloric needs. Now that I have my daily goal (if I wasn’t pregnant!) my journal can be used to help me reach my goal. I am more specific in my goal, so it will be easier for me to reach.
1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker® peanut butter cookie mix
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon water
Bag of mini marshmallows
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup of cocoa
1/4 cup milk
1 box powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Heat oven to 350°F. Spray bottom of 13x9-inch pan with cooking spray.
In large bowl, stir all Cookie Base ingredients until soft dough forms. Press dough in bottom of pan using floured fingers. Bake 15 to 18 minutes or until golden brown.
Sprinkle with marshmallows while it's still warm
In a small saucepan bring milk butter and cocoa to a slight boil. Turn down heat and add powdered sugar. Mix with whisk until smooth. Remove from heat and add vanilla.
Pour frosting over cookie and marshmallow layers while still warm. Let cool for at least one hour or until set. Cut into 36 bars.
I don't know if you're like me, but my kids get enough candy as is. I don't want to get them a huge basket of it. This is an alternative idea.
Sunday, February 24, 2008
I'm selling these key chain bracelets at a Salon my mother works at. They are perfect for the buys mom who always has her hands full. April and I both have a similar ones that were bought at a beach store in Santa Cruz. We both LOVE our key chain bracelets so I thought it would be cool if I could make similar ones and sell them.
Saturday, February 23, 2008
You can add or excluse any veggies you want. I ended up halfing the recipe and adding a little more veggies like broccoli and red bell pepper. I still made a huge pot. This recipe feeds a ton of people so it makes a good dish for when you're having company over.
. 1 bunch of chopped celery
. 2 dry onion soup mix packages (1 ounce each)
. 1 chopped zucchini
. 6 chopped onions
. 1 large chopped green bell pepper
. 8 chopped tomatoes
. 1 medium head of chopped cabbage
. 8 whole peppercorns
. 2 minced garlic cloves
. 1 bay leaf
DirectionsFirst, mix all your chopped vegetables: cabbage, onions, bell pepper, celery, zucchini and tomatoes, into a large pot. Then, pour in water to cover all the vegetables by one inch. Now, stir the onion soup mix, peppercorns, garlic and bay leaf. Finally, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for approximately 90 mins to 2 hrs, until the vegetables are tender.
Friday, February 22, 2008
I guess I shouldn't complain though. Last time we had a too quiet moment was when Gage had two spoons in the toilet. Our USED toilet. And his arms were wet. And his face. And he had wet toilet paper on his chin.
It can always be worse right? Any other too quiet moments??
Thursday, February 21, 2008
*When you see a great toy on sale, buy several and sock them away for your child to give to friends at birthday parties throughout the year.
*Give your grade-schooler a "homework box" with pencils, an eraser, a stapler, a calculator, and a ruler. Ask her to bring it to the table whenever it's time to do homework.
*Stock your produce drawer or a lower shelf in your refrigerator with snacks like carrot sticks and apple slices that your kids can grab without your help. Set up a similar area in your pantry with baggies full of dried fruit or graham crackers.
*Store sets of sheets and pillowcases inside unfolded pillowcases to make bed changes fast and easy and minimize clutter in your linen closet.
*Start a monthly meal exchange program with friends and neighbors. (Mical, you'll have to let us know how this works out for you)
*Chop all your vegetables, fruits, and herbs for the week's meals at one time so everything will be ready for cooking.
*Keep disinfecting and glass wipes in the bathroom for quick cleanups around toilets, sinks, and mirrors. You could even do a speedy wipe-down while you bathe the kids.
*Choose meats or other proteins that can be used for several meals during a week. A store-bought rotisserie chicken can be shredded and used for several dishes, like chicken enchiladas, homemade chicken soup, and chicken salad. Slow-cooked pork tenderloin can double as barbecued pork sandwiches with just a bottle of barbecue sauce. Cooked beans can go in salad, tacos, and vegetable soup.
*Keep an overnight bag in your car with an extra outfit for each child, including diapers or underwear, nonperishable snacks, and toiletries. In the event of an emergency, messy meal, or whirlwind overnight trip, you're set!
*Keep a pack of thank-you cards in the glove box of your car or in your daily planner so you can write notes while sitting in the car or waiting for a doctor to see you.
There are some other articles that might be useful http://www.babycenter.com/parents-managing-time-housework
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
1 1/2 lbs. lean ground turkey
1 onion, chopped
1 cup salsa
3/4 cup old-fashioned oats, uncooked
1 pkg. Knorr Vegetable Soup mix
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 cup ketchup
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large mixing bowl, combine everything but ketchup. Press mixture into 9 x 5" loaf pan and spread ketchup over top. Bake in preheated oven until meatloaf is no longer pink and the center and juice is clear, about 60 minutes.
"If your home is like ours, we routinely put leftovers in the refrigerator. Than we forget about them and in a few days, throw them out. How much better to wrap them, freeze them, label them and use them at a later date. And when you're cooking that favorite casserole, why not double the batch, make two, and freeze the second? If we have a selection of favorite family foods in the freezer, we can bail ourselves out on those busy days when we just don't have time to cook.
Your freezer can save you money in a number of ways. On those busy days when there is no time to cook—and for most of us, there are too many of those days—we either reach for a store-bought prepared food, call out to the restaurant for delivery, or jump in the car and go out to eat. All three solutions are expensive. Grabbing a casserole, some frozen rolls, and a dessert form the freezer is quicker, better, and will save money."
Some Commonly Prepared Foods and How to Freeze Them
• Casseroles: Undercook casseroles when practical. To freeze, wrap the casserole tightly in foil to avoid air pockets. Use within four to six months. Reheat in an oven at 400 degrees for 30 to 45 minutes.
• Meatloaf: You can freeze your meatloaf baked or unbaked. Use within three or four months. If unbaked, cook the meatloaf for 1 1/2 hours at 350 degrees or reheat a baked meatloaf for one hour.
• Other cooked meats: Remove as much fat from the meat as possible before freezing. Keep the pieces large and cover with gravy or broth if possible. Use within two to four months. Thaw in the refrigerator and reheat for 20 minutes in a hot oven.
• Potatoes: Store mashed potatoes in a covered container. Consider cutting baked potatoes lengthwise, mashing the contents, and refilling the shell before freezing. French fries can be frozen. Reheat them on a baking sheet at 400 degrees.
• Quick breads: Wrap the bread in aluminum foil to freeze. Use within two or three months. Thaw it at room temperature or reheat it in a warm oven (325 degrees).
• Yeast breads: Consider slicing the bread before freezing. Place the bread in plastic bags and then wrap the loaves tightly in foil. Thaw the bread at room temperature or reheat it at 300 degrees for fifteen to twenty minutes. Consider toasting individual slices to thaw.
• Cakes: Unfrosted cakes such as fruit cakes and angel food cakes freeze well. Consider slicing them before freezing so that you can get our just what you need. Wrap the entire cake in foil or wrap individual slices to freeze. Cakes with shortening or butter should be used within four months. Many types of icing do not freze well.
• Cookies: Store baked cookies in heavy plastic bags and use within two months. If stored in foil in rigid, airtight containers, the cookies may be stored for up to six months.
For more info: http://www.preparedpantry.com/index.asp?PageAction=Custom&ID=243
Sunday, February 17, 2008
Hmmm. . . which of these dolls has a little something extra? I'll give you a hint, it is not the Little People Mary, and two wise men from the Nativity play set.
This is for Stephanie and anyone else who might want to decorate a cake sometime soon. I know Katy and Kirsten have this recipe because they took the same beginning cake decorating class I did. I totally recommend the class which is available at local area recreation centers or craft stores like Robert's Craft and Michaels. I have decorated lots of different types of cakes including, but not limited to: Dora, Diego, Danny Phantom, i love egg, VeggieTales, Superman, Yu-Gi-Oh, a giant butterfly, frog, etc., The class makes it really easy to learn how to transfer a picture from a photocopy to your cake and then instructs you on the best way to fill it in.
Saturday, February 16, 2008
So I was thinking today after I put my first post on here that I should probably introduce myself to you guys who don't know me. My name is Mical and I know Tara (Collin was my husbands trainer on their mission) and I have recently been getting to know Katy. Ollie and my little boy Caden are in the same class at school. So that is how I fit in here. We live in Las Vegas and have for the last 6 1/2 years. We have 4 kids. Madison is 6, Caden is 4, Callie is 2 and Cole is 6 months. My husband is a concrete GF for Marnell Corrao which is a commercial construction company here is Vegas. He is currently over at Caesars Palace as they are putting up a new tower. We love it here, but we have our home up for sale and think that Utah may be calling us back. Never thought I would want to go back, but I have learned to never say never. I am excited to be a part of this blog. Thanks for the invite Katy!
1 pkg. Devil's Food Cake Mix (not with pudding in the mix)
3/4 c. butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Mix dough. Roll into balls. Place on cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 8-10 min. (They will almost look under done; thats okay, you want them chewy, not crunchy). Cool and fill with:
4 oz. cream cheese
1/4 c. butter
1/2 lb. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Cream first two ingredients; then add the others. Dab a little in between 2 cookies. Refrigerate.
I also wanted to pose a question. I just joined a make-a-head meal group. I need to find a recipe that I could make, as my contribution, that freezes well and that I could throw right from my freezer to the oven. Any suggestions??
Friday, February 15, 2008
This is from yesterday. I'm feeling less anger toward the mirror. Although I am avoiding it.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
I think this cupcake cake I made for Ian's half-birthday celebration at preschool just about sums up my week.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
I need help. I have a child (5 years old) who takes FOREVER to eat, get dressed, and pretty much do anything I ask him to do. Meals can last up to 1 hour if I let him go at his own speed (which doesn't usually happen, but just to give you the idea). I am worried that when he starts kindergarten next fall we are going to battle every morning and he is going to walk out the door crying and I will be frustrated... and I can only imagine how he'll do with the 15 minute lunch break they give the kids. I have to ask him 5 times to do everything. Does anyone have any kids like this or good ideas? I am spent and feeling particularly frustrated this morning.
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Sunday, February 10, 2008
Saturday, February 9, 2008
What do I do about my snoring husband? The only reason I ask this now is because he's gone to sleep before me. This usually never happens, I'm always asleep before him. I guess I'm a light sleeper though I've never considered my self to be one. If I go to sleep before him, I'm usually o.k. If I get woken up by one of my girls, and he's on our bed snoring, I won't be able to go back to sleep. Too many times I'm nudged him, tickled him, or woken him up and asked him to leave and sleep in another room (how sad, huh?). If you knew our situation, you'd know why I can't be the one to switch beds. To keep it simple, my daughter wouldn't have me sleeping in another bed unless she was with me. Unfortunately, she sleeps with us for the majority on the night. We're working on that. But that's not my problem. My problem is I can't sleep through my husbands snoring.
Friday, February 8, 2008
Awhile ago we set up the small living room in our house into a play room and it's finally turning into the room that I hoped it would be. Kendall's old enough and independant enough that she can go in there and entertain herself and anytime friends or cousins come over they all spend most of the time in there. When Gage is in there I don't worry that he's getting into anything he shouldn't be. Which when he's not in there that's almost certainly what he's doing. I still need a few bins or chests for the dress up clothes and the dolls but otherwise, it's a wonderful room.
Thursday, February 7, 2008
So... how crunchy are all of you.I scored 106 so I'm only kind of crunchy.
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
I have been kind of bugged lately because my husband is going to the Dominican Republic to do some service (work in hospitals, dig ditches, etc., Peace Corps. type stuff) with some students with the university. The trip is in March and my 30th birthday falls within the time he will be gone. I wanted so badly to go with him. I felt like it would be awesome to do some real good out in the world on my 30th birthday. But we couldn't find anyone to watch the kids. Everyone in the family was booked. We considered paying a friend, but then decided we didn't feel good about that. So I am not going and I was feeling bad about it. I felt like some of the things I want to do with my life are just not going to happen, ever. Sometimes I feel like I have a boring life. It is good and normal, but lacks in excitement. Occasionally I wish things could be different or better.
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
Monday, February 4, 2008
I just spent the day at the doctor with Claire (and Ellie and Anna) validating my suspicions that she has an ear infection (Never mind that we just finished taking medication for strep throat on Sunday). We then went and purchased the mega expensive medicine (since she is allergic to penicillin). I love having sick kids! It has been a long day.
I wanted to let you know of a great blog page that has some pretty great recipes. It is called favfamilyrecipes.blogspot.com
My sister in law loves to cook and several family members contribute to it. There are a lot of great things there if you are looking for something new to make.
Our little family is taking a family photo this week, so I will soon have an updated picture to share with you all.
I love reading the blog, it reminds me that I am not going insane, but rather every mom is going through what I am going through.
-It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids walks into the room while I'm on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside, I'm thinking, "Can't you see I'm on the phone?" Obviously not; no one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all. I'm invisible. The Invisible Mom.
Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: "Can you fix this?" "Can you tie this?" "Can you open this?" Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, "What time is it?" I'm a satellite guide to answer, "What number is the Disney Channel?" I'm a car to order, "Right around 5:30, please."
I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated summa cum laude - but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. "She's going, she's going, she's gone!"
One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England. Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself as I looked down at my out-of-style dress; it was the only thing I could find that was clean. My unwashed hair was pulled up in a hair clip and I was afraid I could actually smell peanut butter in it. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, "I brought you this." It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe. I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription: "To Charlotte, with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees."
In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work: No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no record of their names. These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. They made great sacrifices and expected no credit.
At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride. I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.
When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, "My Mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table." That would mean I'd built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. Then, if there is anything to say to his friend, it could be, "You're gonna love it here!"
As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.-
I got this off my birth board and I thought is was sweet. It gives me perspective which I'm always needing.
Saturday, February 2, 2008
I know it is hard to believe, but this adorable girl has a potty mouth. Lily is obsessed with the word "stupid." It started a couple months ago with Ollie. He started saying "stupid" and I immediately told him that it was not a nice word and he should not use it. Well, that just got him saying it even more. After several warnings, I tried time-outs. Didn't help. It got so bad that it was practically involuntary for him. I finally started to ignore it. This worked pretty well after a while. He still says the "S" word on occasion, but usually it is to tell on someone else for saying it. I am very glad that Ollie has learned better, but unfortunately, he taught his little sister the word in the process. Lily probably says "stupid" more times a day than any other word. She uses it in the songs she sings, talking to her toys, and to show her frustration if someone doesn't do what she wants them to. I have tried the ignore method, but since Ollie has become the "S" word police, he brings it to our attention every time she says it. Anyone have a solution for me? I'm sure she'll get bored of it eventually, but I'm wondering how many people she will insult in the mean time.
You have probably come across this blog, but if not, it's worth checking out. Tutus & Turtles features all sorts of stuff to do with kids from crafts to favorite toys, books, etc. I usually check it once or twice week. tutusandturtles.blogspot.com
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 package toffee bits, divided
Heat oven to 350°F. In medium bowl, combine flour, powdered sugar, cocoa and baking soda; cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. Press into bottom of ungreased 13x9-inch baking pan. Bake 15 minutes.
In large bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Add sweetened condensed milk, eggs and vanilla; beat until smooth. Stir in 1 cup English Toffee Bits. Pour mixture over hot crust.
Bake 25 minutes or until set and edges just begin to brown.
Remove from oven. Cool 15 minutes. Sprinkle remaining toffee bits evenly over top. Cool completely. Refrigerate several hours or until cold. Store leftovers covered in refrigerator.
4 to 6 chicken breast
2 cans (10 3/4 ounces each) cream of mushroom soup
1 envelope dry onion soup mix
1 cup sour cream
Place chicken in greased slow cooker. Mix remaining ingredients except sour cream and pour over chicken. Cover and cook on high heat 4 hours or on low heat 6-8 hours. One hour before serving, stir in sour cream. Makes 4-6 servings.