"" Three Ladies and a Dad: October 2009

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Our Little Love Bugs

love bugs by you.
Hope you enjoy Halloween!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Banana Blueberry Quick Bread

I made this bread up and it's name stood true...it did not take long at all! I did modify it a bit and it turned out super tasty, but if you would like to see the original recipe, then just click here.

Banana Blueberry Quick Bread
**1/2 c. blueberries (I used frozen)
**1 5/8 c. flour
** 1/2 c. quick cooking oats
**1/2 c. chopped pecans
**1 tsp. baking soda
**1/4 tsp. salt
**1/2 c. applesauce
** 1 c. sugar in the raw
**2 eggs
**1 c. mashed bananas
** 3/4 tsp. cinnamon
**3/4 tsp. vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 350*. Grease two small bread pans or one regualr size bread pan.

2. In a medium bowl, dredge blueberries in 2 TBSP. on flour. Gently stir blueberries together with oats, nuts, 1 1/2 c. flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.

3. In another bowl, combine sugar, applesauce and vanilla. Add both eggs and stir. Stir in mashed banana. Add this mixture to the blueberry mixture and stir until moistened. Spoon into bread pan(s).

4. Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until wooden toothpick comes out clean. (May need longer time if using one regular loaf pan.) Cool and serve warm.


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

What's a girl to do?

Both my girlies are sick. Macie is getting over her illness fairly well and Zoa likes things to be complicated. Her flu is settling into her chest and after a quick trip to the doctor, we are treating her for bronchitis on top of the flu.

I chose not to test them for either flu, because quite frankly, the protocol for Influenza A, H1N1 and the viral flu bug is all the same. Motrin, Tylenol and keep them hydrated. The doctor agreed with me so that is that.

Whatever the girls have should be gone within a few days and as long as Zoa's cough is better and the fevers go down, we will be good for trick or treating!


What did I do today? While the girls were playing quietly, I snuck in the kitchen to whip up some food. I started with Banana Blueberry Quick Bread and boy was it good! The recipe is coming tomorrow so come and take a peek in the morning. I planned our menu for next week and have it all typed up. I also made up a bunch of brown rice for next week's meals.

I could get used to this "stay at home mom" thing!

Here is to healthy kids, good food and full freezers!

Monday, October 26, 2009

"Hi Alaina. I am calling about Macie."

How ironic, huh? I just blogged about preventing the girls from getting sick and the fever is upon us. Good thing I stocked up on soup, crackers, juice and a new Nintendo DS game during our shopping trip this weekend!

The school called today. Macie was sent home with a fever. Not too high, as I have been reading and seeing in some places, but a fever nonetheless. That and a headache. We have been unable to break it...it will go from up and down, but never break completely.

"My head hurts the most, Mom."

So I wait. Is it just the fever bug going around? Boy, I hope so but I am staying home with her and she is not getting out at all. I just want to play it safe. You know?

In the meantime, life will go on. Sick kids bring such uncertainty...will they want me all day? Cuddle? Sleep? You can never plan what you will do when you are at home with a sick child.

We shall see soon enough.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

How we are preventing the flu (and it does not involve needles)

Thinking about my lack of posts this week, along with all of this flu talk, I thought I would share what we are doing in our home to prevent any flu bug creeping in.

I want to start this post by saying that my children do have all of their required vaccines. As far as any optional vaccine, I have chosen to opt out of it and my girls or Jeremy do not get them either.

Instead, we are eating right, taking vitamins, hand washing and getting plenty of sleep (well, except for our night-owl Zoa!). I feel that since my girls are otherwise healthy children, free from any underlying condition and they fall in the healthy weight range, there is no reason for myself, Jeremy or the girls to get either flu vaccine.

I do think that it is just a matter of time before H1N1 ends up in our house and it will come as no surpise. During my shopping trip today, I am stocking up on flu essentials...Motrin, soup, crackers and maybe even a few new movies to entertain the girls. If they end up not getting it, they would make great stocking stuffers!

I don't by any means want to start a debate on pro or anti vaccine, or offend anyone that does not feel this way. One thing I have learned about parenthood is that only you know your child the best. Each person is different and as a parent, I know that everyone does what they think is best for their child(ren).

I just thought I would jot down what I thought, not that it is extremely important. Regardless, I hope that our family (and yours) stays healthy!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Do I trust my children to be quiet in public?

Today, we are heading off to Barnes and Noble. I saw this coupon (free hot chocolate and cookie) earlier in the week and thought it would be a great reason to head to Barnes and Noble, grab the girls a "grown up" drink, a cookie and a new bedtime book. I am trying to read to the girls each and every night and chapter books are a great conversation piece (What do you think will happen next...?").

I am praying my kids will behave and we might even be able to turn this into a bi-weekly treat!

Just a fun little note: Last night we played the story game where you start the story, the next person adds to it, and so on and so on...it was so funny! It was a great way to end a stressful day.

Hope you enjoy your Saturday!

Be sure and check out a new review I have posted here. It would make a great Christmas toy!

Friday, October 23, 2009

"Can I do that?"

{My camera is broke...so I apologize for the pictures. They are taken from my phone.}

Our girls love to help in the kitchen. Zoa just climbs right up on the counter top and starts stirring. Macie loves to read the directions. Lately I have spent a lot of time in the kitchen and I think they have enjoyed themselves more and more the older they get....they much rather be helping in the kitchen than playing with toys.

I got to thinking...

Aprons! So I got on Etsy and started looking. I found these and I fell in love!

After a few chats with the owner of the store, I placed the order, hoping they would be just as cute in person.

I am extremely happy...

These little cupckaes are adorable!

They are now hidden, stashed away from tiny hands...waiting to be wrapped in Christmas paper.

And speaking of Christmas, I have quite a few presents bought. Is it too early to start wrapping presents?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

If only it were that simple...

Zoa's preschool site on the top of a small hill. When I back out each afternoon, I always fear someone will be flying over the hill and rear-end us...which would be potentially very bad considering it is back roads and people do speed on them often.

I always make sure Zoa is buckled because she is old enough to where she can do it by herself. Macie is already buckled in.

Today, I had to explain why we buckle up....

Me: "Zoa, are you buckled?"


Me: "Do you know why we buckle? We have to so in case we get into a wreck, nobody will fly out of the car and get hurt."

Zoa: "I could land on grass. Grass is soft."

Me: "But dirt is not. The ground is hard and you would still get hurt really badly."

Macie: "I could land on a trampoline. That would be okay!"

Oh, if only a trampoline was around!

It was eye-opening....you really do have to explain why we do things and how doing certain things actually serve a purpose.

Man, motherhood is a big job.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Menu Plan Monday: The week of October 19

After two whirlwind trips to St. Louis this week, full shopping bags and Jeremy's rolled ankle from his rugby game...I am exhausted! Jeremy ran into Sam's yesterday to pick up some chicken and spinach and came out with a bit more protein (roasts) so I am incorporating that into the week's menu. Hopefully, we won't have to spend much at the store to get this week's groceries.

Looks like a comfort food week to me...

Monday: Jeremy put pot roast in this morning...yum!
Tuesday: Spaghetti and Meatballs
Wednesday: Soup using some leftover meat and the homemade broth from the roast. Thanks for the reminder Angie!
Thursday: Chicken (Thanks for the reminder Angie!) Caesar Salad Wraps with Homemade Croutons (Recipe coming soon)
Friday: Italian beef over toast with a veggie
Saturday: Baked Potato Soup

Sunday: Leftovers

For hundreds of meal ideas, check out I'm an Organizing Junkie.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Crash and burn

It always works out like that...the minute I tell someone that I am doing something, I stop. I have organized all the closets except for one. I have crashed and am tired. Life will continue for now, but I vow to be done with deep cleaning my house by Saturday morning. Won't it feel so good to be done?

There is nothing like it.

One other thing...you should go here...I am giving away something pretty nifty worth about $40. It's one of those things that you say, "Why didn't I think of that?"

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Kitchen Tip Tuesday: Making lettuce last longer.

Last week, I told you how I throw spinach in everything. (Literally, about 90% of our meals.) We use it so much, in fact, I buy it in bulk at Sam's. One way to make that much spinach last a few days longer is to store a paper towel in the container with it.

Once again, this tip originated from my mom. But then Rachel Ray did it so I knew it was not just a family trick.

As soon as you bring your greens home, throw a paper towel in the bag or container. (We do not use paper towels at our house so I use a certain towel for it and it works perfectly too.) The moisture that would normally make your greens wilt and go bad is now collected on the towel. This will not make them last forever, but it will extend the life of them quite a few days. You may need to replace the towel with a new one after a couple of days.

This tip is also useful if you have to pre-make a salad. You can get the salad ready the night before, put in the the container with a paper towel and it will be fine the next day to serve. Just top it with the dressing.

For more tips to help out in the kitchen, hop on over to Tammy's blog!

(Image via.)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Packed in like sardines

Friday was the only few hours this weekend that I was not organizing my girls room, cleaning or partaking in adult festivities.

We order in food and I caught up on some online stuff while loafing on the couch. It was a perfect Friday night if you ask me.

Saturday, I woke up in one of those moods. You know the ones where you have had enough with full to the brim closets and laundry rooms and something has got to be done about it. So I started the laundry room.

We had friends over that night and went to bed way to late...think anywhere from 3:00-6:00 AM. I woke up feeling okay (I didn't drink anything but Diet Coke) but considering I had about four hours of sleep, I was a bit groggy. I blared the radio and started in on round two...

I bought these bags on Saturday that I can store the girls' out of season clothes in. Our closets are smaller than we are used to but they all have great storage room...just not hanger room. Make sense? Sunday morning, I went through their closets and folded, trashed and gave away clothes galore! Now the closet can breathe and I am not so grumpy when I am trying to put away clothes. I organize closets by color and it was driving me bonkers when I could barely squeeze another shirt in it!

About 1:00 that afternoon I went to help a friend get her nursery together. Oh. My. Goodness. I am in love with baby clothes! We washed about four loads of laundry and organized the room. So precious, I tell ya! Babies are the most darling things!

I came home from her house about 8:30 last night and finished up the girls' closets. Since the bug guy was coming today, I had to do a quick clean. "Quick" turns into an hour and a half when you have kids. But it is done and I can move on.

Tonight, I am going through my closet before class. That my internets, is a mess! Although it is color organized, it is still a black hole. What can I say?

Menu Plan Monday: The week of October 12

Here is what we are eating for dinner this week...

Monday: Leftovers from a BBQ this weekend. Yum!
Tuesday: A meal I did not get around to last week.
Wednesday: Chicken burritos using a combination of leftovers black beans from last week and this meal I made a few weeks ago and stuck in the freezer.
Thursday: Going to the circus! Grilled cheese sandwiches and soup for a quick dinner.
Friday: Beef vegetable soup in the crock pot.

Saturday: Off to St. Louis with the girls.
Sunday: Leftovers

For hundreds of meal ideas, check out I'm an Organizing Junkie.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Am I a fool in the kitchen?

The last few days I have been in a baking mood. This is the first year that I have started baking and my attempts have not been complete successes.

Exhibit A:
I have been trying to incorporate more whole wheat flour in our foods that require flour. I can do breads and pasta, but sweets just are not the same.

I made a huge batch of cinnamon rolls. It was a long process, letting the dough rise and then punch it back down...only to let it rise again. Flour is a necessity when rolling out dough so the kitchen was a mess too.

Two hours later, once they were done, I could definitely tell I used all whole wheat. Hindsight is always 20/20 and knowing past experiences with whole wheat, I should have used about half white and half wheat flour.

But cooking is a learning experience and figuring out what works for you is part of it. So I will know next time.

Exhibit B:
I did use the method of a little bit of both kinds of flour with these waffles and they are approved by all in the house (except Jeremy - he has egg white omelets). I used one cup of regular flour and three-quarters of a cup of whole wheat flour. They are yummy and I have about 10 breakfasts in the freezer for the girls to eat before school. Whew!

Tonight I made a huge batch of blueberry muffins and after the cinnamon roll, I chose to just make them taste good. Healthy or not, I felt like baking!

I made three dozen and MJ and Zoa love them!

Tonight, I am going to order a Christmas gifts for the girls. It will be my first buy from Etsy and is useful in the kitchen for my little bakers. I will post pictures when it comes in.

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Turn Around

Last week was a crappy week. The weekend started off on the same level, but much more intense.

Jeremy and I rarely argue, but when we do, it's a dandy. And Friday night was our semi-annual argument. But all is good now...we layed it all out on the table and moved on.

Then the week started and it has been the complete opposite...

  • Saturday I went to the winery. I had a blast!
  • Sunday I went shopping...alone! Who cares it that means Jeremy waited in the car with the girls while I ran in real quick?
  • Monday I found out that my test grade in Microbiology was actually a 96% instead of a 95%. Even though it is only one percentage point, I was still excited!
  • Tuesday I found out that I won four tickets to the circus, compliments of Sarah, who I met here. I have been following her blog ever since. Thanks again Sarah!
  • Halloween costumes are ordered and pictures are soon to follow.
Hopefully, this good streak will continue!

Way off subject, this weekend, I want to shampoo my carpets. Has anyone ever rented a Rug Doctor? How well did it work? Any suggestions other then a Rug Doctor?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A Year in Heaven

Please take a second to head over to my sister's blog. Today marks one year that her best friend passed away.

Show some comment love!

Kitchen Tip Tuesday: Throw in some spinach!

I consider myself lucky...my girls like their veggies. But if I want to add extra (and who doesn't?), I throw spinach in the meal. I grab one or two big handfuls, chop it real fine, add it to the dish or sauce, allow it to cook a little and serve.

You cannot taste it!

Some meals I normally add spinach to:
Stuff you put over toast
Rice lasagna
Salisbury steak
Homemade pizza
Soups and chili

You can pretty much add it to anything that has a sauce or something that needs ground beef or turkey.

For more tips to help out in the kitchen, hop on over to Tammy's blog! And for more ways to add Superfoods to your diet, go to Kim at Kitchen Stewardship!

(Image via.)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Menu Plan Monday: The week of October 5

I want to see if I can make it another week without doing any major grocery shopping. I know I have a lot of chicken meals in here, but we do have chicken in the freezer and we all love it! I may have to make a quick run to the store for some produce (or send a list with Jeremy), but other than that, we should be set. Another thing is I noticed I got off the "Meatless Mondays" kick. I am going to try to incorporate two meatless meals each week. Maybe Jeremy won't notice....I can hope!

Monday: Garlic Chicken Pasta with a side salad

Tuesday: Meatballs with mashed potatoes and a veggie (I am going to try to make these meatloaf meatballs and freeze extra for MJ's lunch)
Black bean burritos and corn
Texas Chicken Quesadillas

Friday: Honey Chicken with a veggie

Saturday: Shrimp over Simple Sesame Noodles

Sunday: A soup without an official name and Sinfully Sweet Cornbread (soo good!)

For hundreds of menu ideas, go to I'm an Organizing Junkie.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

How may I help you?

Every now and then, I like to look at ways people find my blog. It is comical and at the same time, lets me know why readers click on my blog on their search result list.

This is what I have found recently...these are things that people have searched and my blog popped up:

three ladies and a dad - Makes sense, right?
easy oat bread - This is a recipe I posted.
jessie legrand - Made me smile. I literally said awww. :)
momshere - Not too sure what that means, but okay!
dad fruits - Hmmm...I wonder what they were looking for?
funny pictures of three ladies - I am sure I could dig one up for you!
how to plan month menu - It really is easy, but time consuming.
st. louis ladies found dead - My sympathies go out to you, but I am very much alive.

And my favorite...

sushi in pajamas p90x - I have probably eaten sushi in my pajamas, but not while doing P90X. I might have to try that this weekend!

Have a great weekend!

(Image via.)