Thursday, November 26, 2009

the three people I am most thankful for





Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Adventures of Daughter - the messer, the cleaner

Two of Daughter's favorite things to do is help clean and make art.

sometimes she will try to color like I do.
sometimes she will try fold clothes like I do.

and sometimes the two overlap.
sometimes she will try to clean the walls and windows after she colors on them.

We have a pretty strict rule in our house: washable paint/crayons/colored pencils/markers ONLY. all of my non-washable things are on a high shelf in my closet safe from little creative hands.

This is Daughter cleaning the side glass door with our all purpose cleaner [I mostly use a water/vinegar mix. it's cheap, works and is enviromentally and kid friendly] and a baby rag.
she's very thorough. AND the best part of washable art products, I could get it off with a wet hand.

earlier this morning, Daughter took advantage of my inattention and colored on the wall and entertainment center with her brown crayon ... before I could ask her to help me clean it up, she asked for a paper towel and started herself.

that kid. I don't know anyone like her.

FACT: there's a patch of Daughter's bedroom wall that she colored on with nonwashable crayon [pre-rule] and I don't want to wash it. I'm pretty sure the day will come when I'm wishing for crayon marks on the wall. I'm enjoying them while they last!

wordless wednesday: she might see Rock City, she might see Ruby Falls

Friday, November 20, 2009

Food Day Friday - Lentil Sprouts - Grow Your Own

I just finished reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. The most brief synopsis I can offer: a family of 4 living in rural Virginia decide that for one year they would only eat what they grew/raised themselves or bought that was grown/raised in their county.

It really gave me a lot to think about. The book included more than a dozen recipes the family used over the course of the year. The first recipe I came across that made me say, "I want to eat that right now," was Asian Vegetable Rolls. They used bean sprouts grown in a jar in the house. hmm. I can do that. I can grow bean sprouts. I'm a gardener after all.

so, I start SwagBucking to see what kind of beans work/taste best. alfalfa, of course. mung and lentils. score. we already had lentils in the cabinet that Husband bought to have on hand for winter soups.

Here's what you need:
glass jar (I used a quart size)
beans (I used 1/2 cup of lentils for this but also made a jar of garbanzos that are slower growers so I haven't tasted them yet)
some sort of seal to allow the jar to breath (I used craft canvas I had in my craft box, but I'm sure clean panty hose would work or you could even leave it uncovered)

Monday Night: I added the beans and plenty of water (use more than you think you need because the beans really absorb a lot) put the top on and let them soak overnight.
Tuesday Morning: I drained the water, refilled, swished and rinsed. I left the jar upside down for a bit to continue to drain. After a couple of hours I put the jar in the window for some sun.

Tuesday Night: I filled the jar with water, swished and drained again.
Wednesday Morning: I continued the Tuesday process and this is what my lentils looked like.
Same for Thursday and by Thursday Night they looked like this:

to me, they taste a lot like raw peanuts. which I like.

For dinner Thursday night, Husband, Daughter and I ate a salad of lentil sprouts, purple onion, cucumber, bell pepper, feta and croutons with a homemade balsamic dressing. it was pretty tasty.

I found this website with lots of sprout recipes. I haven't cooked any yet, but I'm hopeful.

next, I'll try the garbanzo bean sprouts and find some alfalfa seeds to start.

We got the pound of dried lentils at Publix for less than $2. I wonder how much the same pound of lentils once sprouted would sell for at a place like Whole Foods? more than $2, me thinks.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

opted out.

changed my mind.

wussed out.

took the easy way out.


blah blah blah.

call it whatever you want. put whatever label you want on it. whatever justification you need.

I'm not running in the 5k Saturday.

ready for my 'reasons?'

number 1. I guess is that I just don't want to. yes. I think running in the cold is hard. and I have the sinus infection to prove it.

on the one hand I feel like a quitter for not pushing through and making it happen. on the other hand, I feel relieved that my sinus troubles have subsided and I can breathe normally again.

I'm still going to the 5k, just as an athletic supporter. <-- go ahead. laugh at my 7th grade joke.

and now that I'm not running every other day, I feel so lazy. my jeans feel tighter. I've even resorted to doing sprints in my driveway during the warmest parts of the day and pulling out old VHS workout videos just to get my exercise fix.

I'm ready for spring.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Mean Mom Tip of the Day: juice

After Daughter drinks about 18-20 ounces of whole milk a day, she can have as much "juice" as she wants. and, boy, does she ask for "juice"

and I gladly oblidge.

that's right, Daughter gets as much "juice" as she wants.

but what Daughter doesn't know is a mean trick that Husband and I have been playing on her for over a year.

when she brings us her 10 ounce sippy cup and asks for, "more juice," what she actually gets is 8 ounces of water and 2 ounces of no sugar added, not from concentrate 100% apple juice.

She drinks so much more water when we flavor it a little. It's an easy way to keep her hydrated.

one day when this kid gets an actual cup of non-watered down apple juice, she'll be in for the surprise of her life!

seriously. when we're counting servings of fruits for the day. I'd much rather Daughter eat apple slices than drink a glass of apple juice. plus, she really doesn't know what she's missing.


Wordless Wednesday: Husband, weatherman

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Spirits Sunday: Auto-Moto Cabernet Sauvignon 2005

Auto-Moto Cabernet Sauvignon 2005

Last night the family was invited to a house warming party. this is someone who believes "wine is gross."

Christy and Husband to the rescue. I decided a great gift would be some fabulous inexpensive wine glasses [seriously, fabulous. I want them to replace our ugly ones that Husband acquired before he met me] and a 'starter bottle of wine.'

To World Market we went. They have a great wine selection and a wide range of price points, so I knew we'd find something great for her and a few great things for us to try. We got a nice sweet Riesling as a gift and then we started our selfish search.

I found a cava for $5.68 [I've been wanting to try a cava since I heard it mentioned as a great New Year's sparkling wine last year on NPR]

I also found some spiced German wine we had last year and really liked for under $8.
[reviews coming after we try them]

and Husband found this Cabernet for $11.99. Cabernets are his favorite red wine and after trying the Winking Owl Cabernet Sauvignon from Aldi, [review also forthcoming] I can say, I like it too. Husband picked it because it was the last bottle on the shelf. He figured if people kept buying it, it had to be good.

It's got a great label. yes. that's how I usually pick wines, so maybe that's why people kept buying it. The company, Auto-Moto, also has a great website, complete with recipes for meal suggestions to eat with each wine! They bottle Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, and Riesling.
I enjoyed the wine. It's really dry, which is a change from the summer Rieslings, but the dryness definitely fits with the season. We enjoyed the whole bottle while cooking and eating on sale steaks and grilled potatoes -- I was wishing for asparagus, but I'm currently reading Animal Vegetable Miracle, so I resisted.

The description on the bottle as well as the website helped make it a fun wine to drink. It had a smoky flavor and while it tasted slightly fruity, I really couldn't pick anything out.
It's 13.5% alcohol and has a rubber cork.

[I've got about 4 bottles on the counter to tell you about soon. Husband and I usually like to have a glass of wine on Sunday evenings while we're cooking dinner and Daughter and Son are enjoying late naps]

will we taste one of our bell peppers this season?

only time [and the first frost] will tell.

yes, we're definitely learned our seeds only lesson. or rather we've learned that if we want to continue with seeds we have to start them in the house MUCH earlier than we did this year. This is our first bell pepper. it's probably about the size of a penny and one of the few remaining plants left in our garden from the spring/summer.

I'm hoping it'll do some super growing so we can at least eat it before the frost gets to it.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Spirits Sunday: Bailey's Irish Cream

if it's cool/cold outside I'm drinking warm drinks.

hot chocolate.

yes, yes and yes.

And sometimes for an added treat a shot of Bailey's Irish Cream. It definitely adds a little extra warmth to my beverage.

When I was "swag bucking" for an image [as opposed to googling], I pulled up quite a few dessert recipes using Irish Cream. Something to try in the future.

The label recommends trying Bailey's over ice. And I'm pretty sure it'd be good with milk too.

I've tried O'Reilly's Irish Cream because it's cheaper and sold in grocery stores, unlike Bailey's that we, in Alabama, have to get in ABC or liquor stores. And it's definitely not as smooth.

Husband bought me an entire liter this weekend and it'll last all fall, into the winter and possibly spring. making the marginal extra cost not such a big deal for the occasional splurge.

It's 17% alcohol

Saturday, November 7, 2009

I love: kiss me mascara

this is my favorite mascara ever. period. I've never tried a mascara I like better. sometimes I adventure out, but I always come home to Kiss Me.

It's a tube mascara, which means it doesn't coat your lashes but covers your lashes and then STAYS THERE until you wash it off with warm water and a wash cloth. It wraps around your lashes and resists smudging, smearing and running.

it's fabulous clean coverage.

I'm not the girl who craves longer thicker lashes. I'm the girl who looks slightly drunk and partially asleep without mascara. Kiss Me really opens my eyes up and makes me look awake and fresh - even if I don't always feel that way.

In case you care, I have fair skin, green eyes and light/medium brown hair (thanks Clairol) and I use the Medium Brown.

This mascara is more expensive that your average drug store mascara (I first found it at the salon where I get my hair cut and eye brows waxed -- man, I'd love to get both of those done right now). but now I can find it for MUCH cheaper at an ebay store - and free shipping to boot.

it is a nice splurge and even while watching the saddest cry fest movie, it hasn't let me down.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

I love: Dove Ultimate Visably Smooth

When I first saw the commercial I decided I had to give it a try. I hate shaving and I definitely hate feeling like I need to shave. especially my under arms. so if I could shave less just by applying deodorant (something I do daily anyway) why not try it?
Before the switch, I was using Dove Original (clean) and liked it, so this wasn't a leap so much as a hop to a new product.
and while I feel as completely confident in its powers as a deodorant and a shave minimizer, I do have one complaint. it smells strong. fragrant. I'm not a froo froo smell girl. I just like to smell clean. and the Nature Fresh is a clean smell, but it's also a strong smell. seriously, the only complaint. (the only other smell option available is Wild Rose and I smelled it in the store when I was trying to decide which scent to get, and it almost knocked me down. flowery punch right to the nose. but if that's your thing, it's out there.)
After about 3 weeks use, I can already tell I am needing to shave my underarms less. I don't miss the prickly feeling at all.
Honestly, I didn't even look for a price difference. so I can't tell you if this is more expensive than my previous odor blocker.
(I don't get paid for my opinions, but maybe I should)