Saturday, April 23, 2011

T-Ball has begun!

Today we experienced Hayden's First T-Ball game!  We had a great time, got some awesome photos, and enjoyed the park!
Here is Hayden's first attempt up at Bat! (please ignore my screachy voice!)
video 

Monday, April 11, 2011

Some of my recent projects....


Here are some of my most recent projects....
I went to a "Thirty One" Party and saw these all in one organizers.  I thought "before I buy one, I wanted to see if I can make one." And that I did, but not without a few flops... Literally.
The first one I did was made with vinyl on the inside and fabric on the outside.  The vinyl made it very difficult to sew.

The second one, I used a fleece for the inside lining, and it wasn't nearly stiff enough to hold the bag together, but it is still useful.
The 3rd and 4th ones turned out more like I expected. The outside pockets are the clear vinyl.  On the original bags from thirty one, they used a mesh. I didn't have any, so I used just what I had on hand. I am going to use these for the kids Easter Baskets!







I had some leftover fabric from the kids Easter outfits, so I tried my hand at a bag.  It was supposed to be a purse but it turned out to be more like a diaper bag.  
 Here are the kids Easter outfits!  Hayden isn't wearing the correct shirt, but you get the point! 
I found a pattern at the local salvation army, and made him a few pairs of shorts.  I really like the way they turned out and will probably be making him a few more pairs for this summer.


This is another attempt at a dress for Ady.  Hated the pattern I used, but she likes it (even though the face she has could tell otherwise.) Probably will not make another from this pattern again.

I made Ady this "St. Patricks Day" Dress.  You can't really tell by the photo, but it says lucky on the front of it.
 Last but not least, I made Ady a halter top.  I love the fabric!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Dinner tonight!

Tonight, Dinner was a hit! With everyone.  Even Hayden!!

I made Skinny Slow Cooked Pernil (recipe from my favorite food blog Ginas Skinny Recipes (aka skinnytaste.com)  I mistakenly bought beef, instead of pork, but it was still fabulous!  I also made a super easy Spanish Rice, and it accented the beef perfectly!  Both recipes posted below!

Skinny Slow Cooked Pernil (Puerto Rican Pork)


Gina's Weight Watcher Recipes

Servings: 6 • Serving Size: 4 oz • Old Points: 4 pts • Points+: 4 pts

Calories: 176 • Fat: 7.2 g • Protein: 24.4 g • Carb: 3.6 g • Fiber: 0.2 g

3 lb pork shoulder blade roast, lean, all fat removed

4-5 cloves garlic, crushed

1 tbsp coarse salt

1/2 tsp oregano

1/2 tbsp cumin

1/4 tsp crushed black pepper

3 oranges, juice of (1/2 cup)

2 limes, juice of

Using a sharp knife, cut slits into the pork and stuff holes with half of the crushed garlic. Combine the remaining ingredients and pour over pork. Place in the ceramic part of the crock pot, cover and refrigerate, turning pork occasionally so the marinade covers all of pork.

The next day, remove the crock pot and cook on low, 8 hours.

After 8 hours, remove pork and shred using two forks. Remove liquid from crock pot and add pork back to crock. Add about 1 cup of the liquid back and adjust salt, pepper and cumin (you will probably need to add more). Let it cook another 15-30 minutes.
 
 
Easy Mexican Rice (Spanish Rice)
I just googled spanish rice, and this was the first recipe to pop up!
•1 1/2 cups rice


•2 1/2 cups chicken broth

•1 cup plain tomato sauce*

•3 cloves finely chopped garlic *

•1/4 of a medium onion*

•2 tablespoons oil

•4 heaping tablespoons of finely chopped parsley (optional)

Preparation:

In a medium sauce pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add in the fresh garlic and onion. Saute for 1-2 minutes until softened. Add in dry rice. Stir for about 5 minutes until rice becomes a golden brown color.

Add in broth and tomato sauce (Slowly into rice, not directly onto hot pan!) Add in the parsley if you're using it. Stir it up and bring to a boil. Once it starts boiling, turn the heat to low and cover. Let it simmer for 20 minutes and fluff with a fork.

*If you don't have fresh garlic or onions on hand you can use the equivalent in powder form. Do not saute the powder, just skip that step and add the garlic powder and/or onion powder when you add the liquids. If you don't have tomato sauce you can use unseasoned stewed tomatoes, or canned diced tomatoes with their liquid.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I've had a lot of time...

to think since my last negative blog.  What I have learned about myself is that I am obsessive (and slightly compulsive) about things that I have no control over.  I worry to much about what could happen, and never spend time focusing on the good things that are happening in my life, at every moment, of every day. Nor do I spend enough time, trying to strive for the person I want to be, and making those "things" that I want to happen, happen.  That's not to say that I am not thankful, because I am.  I know I have many blessings, and I thank the Lord for all I am given, but not enough of the time.  I feel bad that it took me so long to realize this, and I know that this is a lot from where my negativity stems.  So from now on, I will strive to focus more on the blessings and less on the future, of which I have no control.

(just had to get this out there)

Lentil and Sausage Soup

This is weight watchers friendly recipe.  6 weight watcher point, and 7 points plus for 1 3/4 cup serving

2 teaspoons olive oil
2 carrots, thinly sliced
1 onion diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 pound turkey kielbasa, thinly sliced
5 cups water
1 (14-16 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the carrots, onion, and garlic; cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about five minutes.

Add the kielbasa, lentils, and water; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the lentils are tender, about 30 minutes

Stir in the tomatoes, salt, pepper. Simmer until heated through, about 5 minutes longer.

Per Serving (1 3/4 cups): 296 Cal, 6 g fat, 1 g sat fat, 0 g trans fat, 15 mg chol, 760 mg sod, 44 g carb, 12 g fib, 21 g prot, 95 mg calc.  POINTS value:6  Points Plus value:7

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Heavenly Hamburger

Heavenly Hamburger

2 Tbsp butter
1 lb lean ground beef
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp salt
dash of pepper
1 tsp. sugar
16 oz. can tomato sauce
1/4 cup onions, diced
1 cup sour cream
3 oz cream cheese
8 oz noodles
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Brown Meat in butter (I don't do this, I just brown it in a non stick pan).  Add garlic, salt, pepper, sugar, and tomato sauce. Cover and simmer 15-20 minutes. Dice onions and blend with cream cheese and sour cream.  COOK noodles. In greased casserole, layer noodles, have of cream cheese mixture and half of meat sauce, repeat for next layer.  Cover with cheddar cheese. Baker 20-30 minutes at 350

ENJOY

Plain and Simple. (Warning: NEGATIVITY coming your way)

That's how I feel, and not in a good way.  I think my life has dug a rut, and I feel like I can't get myself out.  I'm having a hard time figuring out what I want to do with myself.  Some people say you need to change your mindset, I say HOW.    I try being Happy, I try being positive, it comes and it goes, but it never stays.  I talked to a "professional" about it and she said I have anxiety.  Of course I do.  Who doesn't?    How do I control my anxiety, and how do I become and stay happy.  Maybe I'm just having a pity party today, all week, maybe even all month, and darn it, I'm tired of it.

We moved to Baker City for change.  A new beginning, but honestly, its been one thing after the next since we moved... literally. I want out.  I've met a few good people (and by few I mean 3) whom i interact with on a regular basis. Everyone else either cancels on us regularly, will only call us if they need something, but are never around when we are in need,  and probably talk about us behind our backs.  Besides my wonderful husband, I don't have anyone here who I can relate to.  I am jealous of those people whom I interact with daily, that  have good relationships with friends and family.  I don't.  I cry as I write this because it makes me hurt inside to see these interactions and long for them. I don't have a best friend here, and it hurts. I see that half of this problem is probably my fault.  I am not the best friend, and I don't keep in  touch as much as a should, but I feel that people are my friends only when they need something, and it makes it hard to stay "involved."
Work is another topic that I struggle with.  I need to work, not for the money, but for the sanity.  It keeps me sane, which is another reason I am an awful mother. I love my kids, but I am not a stay at home kinda mom.  I need work, I need to fill like I am supporting my family too!  I need to feel like I am doing something with my life, and the job I am working now is not providing me that opportunity. The job market in Baker is not good, and besides the fact that no body with give me the benefit of the doubt, finding a good job is just about impossible.  I have applied for many positions, but rarely get a phone call back, not even a letter informing me that a position has been filled.   Are companies really that inconsiderate?  Here in Baker they are. It's probably because I'm fat (another topic I will discuss sometime else).

Mothering has been a struggle, too.  I never feel like I am doing a good enough job.  I lose my temper too often and am quick to yell. I hate this about myself.  I hate when I take my feelings out on my kids.  They don't deserve to be yelled at.   I catch myself while in the middle of overreacting and ask myself why?  But it happens over and over again.  You think I would learn, but i seem not to.  I see it bringing down my kids and breaking them, and it kills me to see them hurt with emotion. I don't deserve to be their mother.

So what am I to do.  Do I stay here in Baker and continue to live life, trying to have a positive attitude? Or do I move to Boise for a change?  If I move to Boise, life would get complicated, as Ben would have to stay in Baker until he is able to transfer to another Hospital, or get another job.  Where would I stay? Would I get any help from family? Would I work? Would Hayden stay with Ben so he could complete kindergarten and not have to transfer?  If I move to Boise, I would need to find another job, or go back to school.  I would hardly see Ben (and maybe Hayden) except for the weekends, and I don't know if I could manage that. Or would I make Hayden switch schools in the middle of the year?  Then I think about Baker.  Why not try?!  Change my attitude, keep working part time, until Ben transfers.  I just don't know.  My life feels like a big unknown, and I am not OK with that, so how do I decide which road to take next?


 

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Broccoli Cheese and Potato Soup

Broccoli Cheese and Potato Soup


Gina's Weight Watcher Recipes

Servings: 4 • Serving Size: 1-1/4 cups • Old Points: 5 pts • Points+: 7 pts

Calories: 281.6 • Fat: 8.0 g • Carb: 33.0 g • Fiber: 5.0 g • Protein: 20.4 g


1 small onion, chopped

1 carrot, chopped

1 celery stalk, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tbsp butter

2 tbsp flour

2 1/2 cups fat free chicken broth (or vegetable broth)

1 cup fat free milk

2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced small

salt and fresh pepper

4 cups (about 2 heads) broccoli florets, chopped into small pieces

1-1/2 cups 2% shredded sharp cheddar

2 slices 2% American cheese

1 tbsp parmesan cheese

Chop onion, carrot, celery, garlic in a chopper or mini food processor.

In a large soup pot, melt butter. Add chopped vegetables and sauté on low heat until soft, about 5 minutes.

Add flour, salt and pepper to the pot and stir until smooth.

Add chicken broth, milk and potatoes and set heat to high until it comes to a boil, then cover and cook on low until potatoes are soft, about 10-15 minutes.

Add broccoli florets, parmesan cheese, and stir well. Adjust salt and pepper to taste. Cook uncovered until broccoli is cooked, about 5 minutes. Add cheddar and American cheese, stir well and remove from heat.

Using an immersion blender, ( I put mine in a regular blender) quickly blend part of the soup for a quick second or two. If you don't have an immersion blender, remove about 1-2 cups of potatoes and broccoli, place it in your chopper, then add it back to the soup. This helps thicken it a bit.

Spaghetti Squash with Meat Sauce

 I got this recipe from Gina's Weight Watcher Recipes blog http://www.skinnytaste.com/ , all of her recipes are fabulous and most of them I share are from her website!


Spaghetti Squash with Meat Sauce



Servings: 6 • Size: 8.75 oz sauce • Time: 1 hour • Points: 4.6 ww points

1 large spaghetti squash

Salt and pepper

Meat sauce recipe:



1 lb 95% lean beef

1 tsp butter

1 tsp olive oil

(4 oz) 1/2 onion, finely chopped

1 carrot, peeled and chopped

1 celery stalk, finely chopped

1 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes (I prefer Tuttorosso)

1/4 cup white wine

1 bay leaf

Salt and fresh pepper

Preheat oven to 400º. Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds and membrane. Season with salt and bake 1 hour on a baking sheet, cut side up.
 I usually add water to the bottom of the pan. I find that this makes the squash softer.


In a large deep sauté pan, melt butter and add oil. Add onions, celery and carrots and sauté on medium-low for about 2-3 minutes, until soft. Add meat and season with salt. Brown meat and break down into smaller pieces with your spoon. When meat is cooked through, add tomatoes and adjust salt and pepper to taste. Add wine and cook until it reduces a bit, then add bay leaf and cover, reducing heat to low. Simmer at least an hour, stirring occasionally.



When spaghetti squash is cooked, let it cool for about 10 minutes. When cool, use a fork to remove flesh, which will come out in spaghetti looking strands. Keep covered and set aside keeping warm until sauce is ready. Serve topped with meat sauce and cheese.

Me being crafty=Happy ME!

I haven't done that much crafting lately. Been super busy working again, and keeping up with the welcomed chaos the kids bring to my life. However, I did manage to squeak in a few things that I would love to share:

When my sister came to visit, it was literally in the single digits, temperature wise. We, my sister and I, decided her cute little puppy, Chevy, need a "keep me warm" outfit. It is kind of big on her in this picture, but my sister says it fits perfectly now! Isn't she just adorable?
Next, Ady has been bugging me for an owl stuffed animal. Yes, I admit that I am cheap, when it comes to buying stuffed animals. I hate them. But I couldn't resist making her one. It cost me $Free.99 as I used stuff I had on hand, thanks to a good friend!
(Don't feel bad for Hayden, I made him a penguin pillow, i just haven't taken a picture of it yet.)

Ben and I have ventured back to Weight Watchers. Looks as though I gained all but 1 lousy pound back from what I had originally lost. (We now are losing now though!)
I made a little note book cover so I could keep all my WW stuff together and have a place to take notes while I am at my meetings! It's working out quite well!

I have also been itching for a few projects. My friend, Tressa, had a broken console t.v. sitting in her basement, and I basically begged her to give it to me. She probably thought I was CRAZY. Anyhow, I transformed this bad boy, and man am I PROUD!
P.S.:Thank you Tressa for taking out the old TV parts, it made my job 100% easier!
\
My brother in law and Sister, helped me cut it in half, and Ben helped me put the shelf in.
I painted it and then antiqued it with stain. In total, this project cost me no more than $10.
I LOVE IT.
Next, Tiffany brought up a bright pink table that she no longer had room for. I can't say no when it comes to free furniture, so this is what I did.
I don't have a before picture, but just imagine it bright PINK!

MORE PROJECTS COMING SOON!

Where has January gone?

We started off the month of January right, with first my Sister Dana and her Husband Bill, along with their awesome kids coming to visit! Had a great time, but managed to take no pictures what so ever of the good times together... CRAP.

Right after they left, we had Tiffany and Darek come and visit! This is officially the 1st picture of the new year, taken at 12:01 a.m. Note my crazy kids, it's way past their normal bedtime!Next came Ben's big #28. Man are we getting OLD;). Tiffany, Darek, and Caylee once again made their way to our house to help us celebrate. We had a small celebration, with my sister, and another friend, but had a great time. Ben insisted on having a birthday cookie and a Birthday Cake. I couldn't' say no!The kids chillin on the couch. (Kingston, Caylee, Ady, and Hayden!)The kids managed to get quite dirty. A much needed bath was headed their way.

What happens when you fill a jetted tub with bubbles?

They multiply and multiply and multiply.

First came happiness...Next came craziness:Finally we reached CHAOS: and bath time was over. (Ady fell into the bubbles. It did not make for one happy chick.)