Monday, May 4, 2015

Good help is(n’t) hard to find

The McHusband and I each had our helpers yesterday.

The McHusband was in the yard digging out the dirt so that some edgers would fit in around areas that will be mulched.  Monte, of course, took it upon himself to supervise.

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Monte made sure to check out each section as the McHusband finished.

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He was very thorough, inspecting from all sides.

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“Good work!”  This part gets Monte’s stamp of approval.  And watch out, it’s a really wet stamp.

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All that supervising is hard work, donchaknow.  Monte alternated taking his breaks in shade

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and in the sun.

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The McHusband enclosed three areas with the edgers and my favorite is this one right off the patio.  See the heart?

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The McHusband worked really hard out there both days this weekend and unfortunately he’s not done since mulch will still need to be spread.  I’m sure Monte will be a big help with that, too.

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While the big boys were outside playing in the dirt, Connor and I were inside cleaning the dirty house.  I’m lucky that Connor doesn’t have to be entertained 24/7, and he can find fun in the ordinary.

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Now if I can just teach him to clean windows instead of putting his hands all over them…

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We were so happy to get lots of time in the sunshine this weekend.  Fingers crossed that spring lasts a while and doesn’t turn straight into summer as it likes to do here in NC.

Hope you guys also enjoyed some fun in the sun!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Another Friday at home!

April has been a good month. I haven’t worked a single five-day week.

The first week, I was out Thursday at 2 and then we were closed for Good Friday.  The next week, I left at noon on Friday so we could get to SC, and then I took that following Monday off.  Last week, I was home for my birthday, and this week I’m at home today.

Connor’s daycare is closed because Ashley, the sitter, is getting married on Saturday so I’m at home with him today.  I have a few plans, like getting groceries, maybe seeing a friend, and hopefully getting outside if the weather cooperates.  I want to get some of the usual weekend cleaning done, too, so that over the next couple of days when it’s more of a sure thing that the weather will be nice, we can take full advantage of it.

I’ve been looking forward to the extra time with Connor.  I feel like the weekends are just full of to-do lists, and it will be nice to have some extra QT with my main man little guy.

I haven’t done a Connor update in much too long, but I plan to write one in the next few weeks since he’s about 15 months old.  I know, when did that happen?!  Didn’t I JUST go back to work when he was 7 weeks old?

Finally, I’ll leave you with this funny video.  The thing with the guy and the purse toward the end?  That’s totally the McHusband.  In fairness, though, the girl talking while the husband brushes his teeth?  Yeah, that’s kinda me, except I’m talking to the McHusband from the stairs while he sits at the kitchen table near the laundry room where the washing machine is running.  (Sorry to those of you who haven’t been to my house and can’t quite picture the scene, but I think you probably can imagine how things work out.)

May 1st, wow.  This year is flying by.  Is it just me, or do you guys feel the same way?

TGIF and have a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Pizza pizza!

I normally feed Connor really well rounded meals: meat, veggies, fruit.  Unless he’s eating pasta (with meat sauce) or the occasional sandwich, I don’t usually do any carbs with his meals as he tends to get those with snacks.

If only I ate as healthfully as Connor…

But I’m not a complete mom-ster.  Connor gets occasional treats and last night, he had some of my leftover pizza (from Monday night’s girls’ dinner) for dinner.  Thin crust with mushrooms and pancetta.  I didn’t even heat it up since I like my leftover pizza cold.

Guess who else likes his pizza cold?

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I cut up most of the pizza but gave him a little slice to gnaw on and he did pretty good using his few front teeth to tear off a few bites.

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(For the record, we rounded out his dinner with sweet potatoes, a little pork tenderloin, and some blueberries.)

I love that Connor’s still so open to the majority of the food we give him.  He can be iffy on meat (no plain grilled chicken for his kid), but he’s really good about eating everything else including veggies like cauliflower and green beans, and fish is one of his favorite foods.  Fingers crossed that these good eating habits stick around and continue to get better.

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Happy Hump Day!

Monday, April 27, 2015

{Recipe Recap} Malted Chocolate Cake

We had a “gathering” on Saturday: just our nearest and dearest hanging out, no big deal.

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I differentiate between a party and a gathering by how hard I have to work to get ready for the event.  In this case, I only made four things (and three of them were treats!), I didn’t do any extra cleaning other than the usual weekend stuff, and people brought food to share.

Karis came with Shawn and Vanessa, and Connor, ever the gentleman, let her ride in his walker.  He showed her how all the fun buttons worked and even tried to push her a little.

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(Vanessa and I can’t wait to display all these pictures of them at their rehearsal dinner.)

But back to the food.  I rarely make cakes and when I do, they are typically the 9 x 13 type.  But I decide to do a layer cake this time, just something a little more special.

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Chelle isn’t a fan of malt, but the flavor isn’t prominent in the cake (disappointing to some of us) and she said it was a delicious cake.  I can’t argue with her, it was quite tasty.

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I loved the frosting.  It was silky and unlike how I like and need it for cupcakes, it was very smooth and creamy.

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I appreciated that this recipe just doctored up a cake mix.  Easy is always good.

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Once we had our fill of munchies, sweets, and pineapple margaritas, we ended up having a dance party in the den.  Jeremy came prepared with his music and even a fancy party light.  Who needs the clubs when you can push the coffee table out of the way and get your groove on without paying a cover?  Another perk?  No long lines in the bathroom!

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I think Heather and Jennifer headed out just before we snapped this selfie, but I need to include them when I say that I am incredibly lucky to have these amazing ladies in my life.  Love you girls!

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Friday, April 24, 2015

All about me!

Well, me and my little family, that is.  But today IS my birthday so when better to bombard you with pictures of the McHusband, Connor, and me?  At least they are really good pictures and not from my cell phone or my version of good picture taken with our nice camera.

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Kelsey Jones of Kj Photography was our photographer and she was wonderful to work with.  I had to reschedule because the weather turned frigid the morning we were supposed to get together and she was so accommodating.  I got way more pictures than I expected, and she told me that if she had edited any and I wanted something different, just let her know.

She is very affordable, and I loved that I was able to download all the pictures so that I can do what I want with them.  If you are looking for a photographer in the Raleigh area, please consider Kelsey.  Check out some of her work on Facebook.

So back to that milestone I mentioned way up at the top.  Yep, today’s my birthday.  The big 3-6.  That seems so much older than I feel or imagine myself.  In my head, I’m stuck closer to 30 or so.

I’m celebrating by taking the day off work, dividing my time at home as evenly as possible between productively and couch potato-ness, getting a haircut, picking Connor up early, and enjoying one of the best white pizzas I’ve ever had (from Garibaldi Trattoria) for dinner.

Oh!  Did you guys see the new blog header?  It was so far overdue for an update.  Neither dog is still with us, Connor is over a year old, and the McHusband hasn’t had a bare chin since maybe the Christmas after that picture was taken.

The end(s)!

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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

JT’s special guest

So maybe this made the rounds through Facebook soon after the concert last December, but since I’m not privy to that stuff, I am sometimes a little behind.  If you’re back here with me, then enjoy it for the first time!  And if you’ve already seen it, well, watch it again.

I tried to embed the video here, but I got errors and I was too annoyed to keep trying to find a way around them.  Let me tempt you to YouTube with these crumbs.

Justin Timberlake.

Garth Brooks.

Friends.

In.

Low.

Places.

Check ‘em out here.

Happy Hump Day!  I’m looking forward to a free lunch al fresco today.  Which Wich sent me a coupon for my birthday, which is Friday, and I’m not letting it go to waste.

Monday, April 20, 2015

{Recipe Recap} Egg, Sausage & Spinach Casserole

No, it’s not something sweet for your Monday, but I promise it’s worth reading about.  I’ve been making this breakfast casserole for a while now and I never get tired of it. I don’t mind making it because it’s so simple, and it’s so good that I can eat it four to five days a week and my taste buds have yet to go on strike against it.

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I use the Jimmy Dean precooked turkey sausage crumbles.  They have great flavor and only less slightly importantly, all I have to do it open the package and dump the sausage into the beaten eggs.

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If I have pre-shredded cheese in the fridge, I’ll usually throw some in – maybe 3/4 of a cup or so.  But it isn’t a necessary ingredient.  I also like to make this with a can of diced green chiles.  Actually, I’d prefer to use jalapenos, but Connor eats this and I don’t want it too spicy for him.

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The most important thing when making this casserole?  Really drying out the thawed spinach.  If you don’t, the casserole can be kinda gooey in the middle and it’s just not appetizing.

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Connor was due for a snack yesterday and this was on the counter cooling.  So I cut out a little bit for him and he gobbled it down.  Then I cut him some more and he scarfed that down as well.  I couldn’t have him eating any more of my breakfast for the week so I distracted him with some mandarin oranges.  Crisis averted!

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Guess what?  This recipe is a Stephanie original so no link today, just the actual recipe.  Hope you guys try it and like it.

Egg, Sausage & Spinach Casserole

Ingredients:

  • 12 to 16 eggs
  • 10-oz package frozen chopped spinach
  • 1 bag Bob Evans turkey sausage crumbles
  • 1 can chopped green chiles
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried mustard
  • Optional ingredients: shredded cheese, sauteed veggies (I’ve done mushrooms and bell peppers), cayenne pepper, jalapenos

Directions:

  1. Thaw spinach and drain well.  Really dry it out.
  2. Beat 12 to 16 eggs in a large bowl.*
  3. Add spices, mix into eggs thoroughly.
  4. Add turkey crumbles, spinach, and any optional ingredients.
  5. Pour into a greased 9 x 13 pan.  Bake for 30 minutes or until set and a sharp knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

*I used 16 eggs yesterday and had to bake mine for 37 minutes.

PS  Happy Birthday, Jenny!