Menu Plan Monday

October 26, 2009

She’ll be comin’ on an airplane when she comes

She’ll be comin’ on an airplane when she comes

She’ll be comin’ on an airplane

She’ll be comin’ on an airplane

She’ll be comin’ on an airplane Tuesday Mornnnniiinnnngggg

Actually she will be coming on Tuesday afternoon, but Morning seemed to flow better. EVYN IS COMING! I am so excited… She will be here for 10 days. So basically my menu plan for the week is going to be “Eat at Mom’s house with the Fam”. But just in case Evyn has other plans one night (which I am SURE she won’t) or my parents and Ev want to go for an adult only dinner (which, again, I am SURE they won’t) ;)…. I am going to have some dinner stuff on hand that won’t go bad if it doesn’t get made right away, but will make a quick meal if I have to throw it together…

PS The Spanish Chicken Rice Bake from last week was wonderful and so so easy. It will definitely be on our favorites list. It was spicy enough for Mike and I but not so spicy the kids didn’t like it.

PPS I forgot to give my mom her proper shout out last week for the beef stew recipe… The recipe should have been named “Pam Bandy’s Beef Stew that She Stole From a Friend but We Can’t Remember Who”….

Monday: Taco Soup* (with Turkey instead of beef) and Salad

Tuesday: I am going to assume that since this will be Evyn’s first night that we will be spending it with her so she can Oooo and aaaahhh over her adorable nephews!

Wednesday: Okay, this is going to sound gross, but they are SO GOOD. WF. frozen section. Crispy Battered Cod. With asparagus so we can feel healthy.

Thursday: Spooky Sandwiches (Halloween Cookie cutters on the bread….), veggies and soup

Friday: Spaghetti Dinner with the family (hint hint Mom 😉 or we can eat it out, but it won’t be as good as Moms!..)(Tulsa Run is on Saturday!)

Saturday: Happy Halloween!… Having the family to our house to grill out before we hit the streets for dessert

Sunday: Meeting my grandparents for dinner

*Taco Soup

I know everyone has a Taco Soup recipe they love! Here is mine…. Over the last couple of years, I have made  little changes to suit our tastes…

1 lb ground beef (or turkey or shredded chicken)

2 cans kidney and/or chili beans

1 16oz can corn undrained

1 16oz can chopped tomatoes

2 10 oz cans Rotel like tomatoes

1 pkg taco seasoning

1 pkg Ranch seasoning

Yum Yum!

What are you cooking this week?

Targrosset

October 25, 2009

Things I learned this week:

1. Little kid cowboy boots are expensive! (and I am to cheap to buy them for a Halloween costume!)

2. Okay, I am just going to come out and say this. Don’t beat me up. I think the new Target (in Tulsa) that everyone is gaga over is not so cool. Maybe I had really high expectations because everyone I talk to is freaking out about it, but it is dark, the ceilings are low, the floor is ugly, and the red they have everywhere is claustrophobic. There, I said it.

3. As hard as I try, I can never spell “definitely” without having to use spell check.

4. This is more of a question… Is Facebook different or am I going crazy?

5. I don’t really even like candy corn that much, but as long as it is in my house, I will eat it. Eat, eat, eat and then after I feel disgusting I think, “Why did I just waste all those calories on something I don’t even like!” I think I have issues, as this has happened several times in the last week.

6. The oven in our house is the original oven from the 1950’s and it is the best oven I have ever used. It cooks everything in like double time and my cookies from this house are the best ones yet.

7. It pains me to say this, but I think my dog dream is on hold for a while. We had a meet and greet with an awesome dog from Tulsa Boxer Rescue… but she is not the one. I am taking a step back and seeing where our dog hunt leads.

8. There was/is (I think she was only in one episode) a dino on that new show Dinosaur Train on PBS that was a GIRL named Cori (or Corey or Cory or Kori). I was so excited!

9. I already miss summer. I miss no school, I miss the pool, I miss the heat and the sun and the clothes.

10. Nate is such a good grunter, I am not sure if he will ever talk. He has also really started to like reading, I love that.

11. Cold weather makes me miss my family. Yes, I live down the street from my parents, but it still makes me home sick for some reason.

12. My hair is bugging me. Brace yourself…. BUT…. I think I might actually have to start FIXING IT. The horror.

What did you learn this week?

Menu Plan Monday

October 19, 2009

My family loved the Italian Beef Sandwiches from last week. Whole Foods didn’t have Italian dressing packets so I just used a bottle of Italian salad dressing instead, turned out great (and easy)! On a different note, I am having a hard time finding chicken crock pot recipes that sound good. Any recommendations???

This week is easy cheesy dinners. I am having a Brie craving so I am crossing my fingers that there will be some on sale at WF. That’s about it.. Happy Cooking!

Monday: Breakfast for dinner (pancakes, waffles, eggs, fruit)

Tuesday: Open Grilled Brie and Tomato Sandwiches (on crusty bread) with Asparagus

Wednesday: Slow Cooker Beef Stew*

Thursday: Spanish Chicken Rice Bake w/ Salad (carried over from last week)

Friday: Grilled Flat Bread Pizzas

Saturday: Date Night

Sunday: Leftovers

*Beef Stew

INGREDIENTS:

  • 6 carrots, sliced (I throw in the bagged baby carrots instead)
  • 4 potatoes, cut in 1-inch pieces
  • 2 pounds beef stew meat in 1-inch cubes
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tbls quick cooking tapioca
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 onion chopped

PREPARATION:

Combine all ingredients in slow cooker. Stir just enough to mix mix seasonings throughout. Cover and cook on LOW for 10 to 12 hours. (High 5-6 hours)

I would like to write a preface to this post.

Preface: The below post is not in any way indicating that my house is spotless every day or that I am some sort of super woman. I have, however, found a system that works for me. I love hearing other peoples’ tips on cleaning, kids and life in general, so here is my two cents.

When we moved into this house we started at ground zero. I had it cleaned before we moved in and after we unpacked and decorated, I sighed… “I really want to keep my house this clean.” I had accepted long ago (after having kids) that my entire house would never be perfectly clean all at once (unless I left with the kids and some else cleaned for me!). As annoying as that fact is, that is our life right now. I have about one hour of semi uninterrupted time during the day at rest time to get un-kid-friendly stuff done. I needed a plan.

I have looked into Fly Lady before, but it was a little intense for me. To many emails, to many rules, too much pressure and I hate wearing shoes inside. I don’t want to be cleaning every day all day and I also didn’t want a stringent schedule that if something came up one day I couldn’t move change stuff around. I stole a little bit from her and came up with my own plan.

First, I decided that floors and bathrooms obviously need to done every week. So Sunday or Monday, is floor and bathroom day. (I do usually have to wipe down the sink and counters at a couple of  times during the week…) My kids love vacuuming so I do that when they are awake and then during naps I mop and clean the bathrooms. Floor day is also, pickup the play room and bedroom time. That is another reason I like to have the kids awake during vacuuming… they are forced get to help pick up. (by the way, if you do not own a steam mop, buy one right now. They are worth every penny and make mopping so so so much easier and less time consuming. I have the Shark.) I also decided that every evening Mike and I would spend about 5-10 minutes picking up, finishing the kitchen, etc. so when we woke up it would be to a fresh start. And when I say 5-10 minutes I mean it. We set the timer and go at lightening speed and then we are done.  It is amazing how much two people can get done in 10 dedicated minutes.

Next I divided my house into four zones a little bit like Fly Lady so each room would get deep cleaned once a month. Tuesday, while Scott is at school, is usually when I do my deep cleaning day because Nate will nap and I will have two hours to power through it. BUT my goal is that the zone for the week will done some time in that week! Here is my deep cleaning check list:

Zone 1: Kitchen and Laundry Room– Let me say, this is my least favorite zone. It is the most time consuming for the least amount of visible pay off.

– dust base boards and molding

– dust ceiling fan

– clean blinds and window sill

– clean out fridge and freezer and clean the shelves and drawers

– dust top of fridge

– sweep behind fridge

– organize and wipe down pantry shelves

– wipe down insides of all cabinets and drawers and de-crumb any silver ware trays etc

– clean fronts of cabinets

– wash high chair cover and deep clean high chair

Laundry Room

– wipe down tops and fronts of washer and dryer

– clean base boards

– organize and clean out “shoe baskets”

– de clutter coat hanger thing

– wipe out cabinets

Zone 2: Living and Play Room

– dust baseboards and mantle

– clean/dust shutters and sills and light fixtures

– wipe down all pictures and decor

– vacuum under couch / chair cushions

– organize movies and dust tv stand cabinets

Play Room

– organize and sanitize all toys

– dust base boards, shutters and light fixtures

– clean french doors

Zone 3: Bedrooms and Master Bath

Bedrooms

– dust all base boards, blinds, and light fixtures

– dust all furniture and clean all decor and pictures

– organize all bedrooms toys

– clean out clothes (if needed)

– organize shoes and closet (in master)

– organize/clean out night stands (master)

Master bath

– dust/clean baseboards and blinds

– clean out/ organize all baskets (ie get rid of any make up, organize hair stuff etc)

Zone 4: Entry, Dining, Hallway and Hall Bath

– dust all base boards and shutters

– organize entry closet

– dust and clean all pictures, decor, and furniture

– organize inside of buffet

– wipe down every inch of every chair (NOT FUN)

Hall Bath

– organize and wipe down insides of all drawers

– organize, throw away expired meds

– organize towels

– organize/clean out all cabinets

So there it is! I know everyone has different rooms than I do but this system has really helped me. My entire house might not all be clean at once BUT it is also never completely gross. Also, I don’t feel like I am constantly cleaning but never getting anything done. I spend two nap times cleaning non stop, it feels so good when I am finished and I actually feel like my house is clean and organized. Just promise me that if you ever come over on the last week of the month, you won’t judge me if you open up my fridge… It will be done the next week!

Tip: I have found that watching a show on Hulu that I don’t really care about helps. It is a little bit of distraction but I don’t care enough about the show that I want to stop and watch. Plus it is on my lap top so I can carry it to each room with me.

I would love to hear any tips any one else has!

Menu Plan Monday

October 12, 2009

From some weird reason, cooking last week was stressful. I didn’t even do anything hard. It was like we couldn’t get home in time, or someone was crying (ahem, NATE), or everyone was over hungry, it just felt rushed and tense. I am going to bust out the crock pot again this week since it is WINTER. Geez louise, it is cold. Okay, I am starting to sound like a whiner, so I am moving on….

Monday: Slow Cooker Italian Beef Sandwiches (in the reviews it was suggested to use 2 italian dressing packets and beef broth instead of water and only a 3ish lb roast)

Tuesday: Spanish Chicken and Rice Bake with salad

Wednesday: Mike has a dinner meeting… AND it is a work day for me (sigh, my life is getting so complicated now that I am a working woman ;).) So I think I will treat us with take out from Whole Foods.

Thursday: I have a dinner meeting (aka margaritas and mexican with a friend)…. sandwiches and a veggie for the boys

Friday: Cowboy Burgers from WF with grilled veggies

Saturday: Grilled Chicken Sandwiches (grilled chicken and then grilling the sandwiches) on Flat Out Flatbread with grilled corn

Sunday: leftovers

Okay, so re cap… this week, I vow to start cooking dinner before people start melting down. I vow to get as much “prep” done during nap time as possible to cut down on time required to distract the little peps. That is all.

Plum Sake

October 10, 2009

Things I learned this week:

1. When a neighbor down the street is getting new windows and you actually feel jealousy… You need to get a life. And you are officially a grown up.

2. Making a pumpkin pie from scratch (I am talking from a real pumpkin with homemade crust) is so so so not worth it.

PS I threw that one in just to brag a little.

3. When I am 45 I want to look like Mary-Louise Parker. Also, I have been renting Weeds from Net Flix and am obsessed.

4. I have got to come up with a new plan of distraction for Nate. So far this week I have had one MAC blush broken, one MAC eyeshadow broken (you think I would I have learned after the blush, but these are desperate times), one brush completely lost (I have searched everywhere), and one earring lost.

5. The Cabo Tacos at In The Raw are incredible. Totally random, but incredible.

6. The Plum Sake at In The Raw tastes like children’s Tylenol. So that is why I had to follow it with a beer, you know, to get the taste out of my mouth of course ;)!

7. The pumpkin patch is definitely not very much fun to go to alone (by alone I mean with my kids but no friends).

8. Evie will be here in 17 days!!!

What did you learn this week?

Don’t Make Eye Contact

October 8, 2009

There was this one time when Scott was about 8 months old… We were at the post office waiting in line to ship something and in walked a man and got in line behind me. He looked homeless, he smelled, and I didn’t want to talk to him. My thought process was, “Don’t make eye contact with the scary man. Please Scott, don’t start pointing at him. PLEASE DON’T MAKE HIM NOTICE US.” Of course, Scott leans over my shoulder, smiles his biggest grin, and starts “talking”. The man starts laughing. I have no choice, but to turn around and say hi. He tells me how cute my baby is, how beautiful his smile is, how lucky I am. Then he tickles Scott’s foot and says to him, “You made my day.”

Basically same thing happened to me and Nate the other day.

That combined with my friend and I out to dinner the other night talking about how we should be volunteering and aren’t and she said, “I think we get more jaded as adults.” My first thought was, “Speak for yourself lady.” Later as I was thinking about it, I wondered… Have I gotten more jaded?

I don’t know if it is more jaded or just less naïve or maybe I am just making excuses for myself. My first thought when I see a homeless person is not, “I should help.” It is more along the lines of, “Are my doors locked? Okay, don’t make eye contact.” Part of this I know is because I am no longer responsible for just me. But I look back on my college and pre kids days and some of the things I did, I would never dream of doing now. I remember on me and Mike’s first date in college, on our way back to my apartment, we drove by a group of teenagers who were walking down the street, Mike pulled over, asked if they needed a ride (the last bus had already come for the night), they piled in, and Mike dropped them off before taking me home. I would never in a million years do that now. I think of the places I went into to volunteer that I wonder what I was thinking and thank God that nothing ever happened to me. I remember the places I went alone at night and now think of how I always contemplate having security walk me to my car at the mall when I am there at night with the kids. Is part of this just growing up? Is it good or bad? Am I jaded? Maybe this is why I keep saying I want to volunteer and not doing it. I feel like I should, but I don’t really want to.

In college, I really in my heart believed I was changing someone’s life. Now, I even look back on my job pre kids and wonder if I really made a difference. There were some families, I knew didn’t listen to a word I said, but I also knew, I was the only person that week that was going to check on the baby.

Anyways, I don’t really have a conclusion to this. I just wonder about it. I wonder what the right thing to do is.