Monthly Archives: February 2013

Tasty Tuesday: Vanilla Marshmallows

Tuesday’s are one of my busiest days, personally and professionally.  I spend the day cooking up a storm and driving my Bugs.  A typical Tuesday is filled with cooking for clients, delivery to clients, finishing up weekly plan, taking Bug to his Pop’s house, taking LoveBug to dance, deliver to client near dance class, then back to Pop’s house to help LoveBug with homework before heading home for kid’s showers and bedtime.  THEN its dinner with J before client cooking and/or kitchen creations.

My latest kitchen creation was homemade marshmallows.  I’m typically not a huge fan of marshmallows but I have to admit…these are really good!  I was inspired after listening to Living at Home on martha stewart radio.  Which by the way is no longer on Sirius 110?!?!??!?!  I have to go to her website to find out what is going on!  I mean who am I going to listen to when I am in the car now?  The morning show and living at home were my favorites!  I digress….I was inspired while listening to how to make all kinds of marshmallows from the marshmallow maven Shauna Sever.  I made simple vanilla ones but now am itching to buy her cookbook and explore others!  Yummy!  I’ll post a few pics and the recipe tomorrow…right now I need to bake a vanilla pound cake for a client tomorrow.  The kitchen creating doesn’t stop…and I LOVE IT!!!!

 

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Monday Madness

mugWow I really need to get better at this daily blogging bit!  I’ll blame it on the plague that blanketed my house this past week.  My normally healthy and resilient J was struck down by the F-L-U…didn’t even get out of bed from 8pm Monday until dinnertime on Wednesday (which just happened to be my birthday) at which time he came downstairs for a whole 15 minutes before almost collapsing and having to return to bed for the next 2 days.  Yep…he was still sick the next day which by all calculations was February 14th otherwise known as Valentines Day.  He managed about an hour downstairs but it took everything out of him.  So…I celebrated my birthday AND valentines day with my Bugs ❤  They made both days super special and their smiles and love melted my heart over and over those two days.  We ate cake (thanks Dad & Jill!… No one else came because no one wanted to get the FLU) and snuggled together on the couch.  And on valentines day they made me special valentine pictures ❤  Maybe next year I’ll get to share those days with J too…

Flash forward to today…welcome Monday Madness!  Monday is one of my busiest days…add Bug staying home from school sick and it was truly Monday Madness!  I spent the morning taking Bug to the doctor…clear lungs thank goodness…then home to do some work and TRY to get Bug to rest while checking on J who was home, feeling a bit better but coughing like crazy so causing me to worry.  Whew! If that’s not a run on sentence (and busy morning) I don’t know what is!  But somehow today didn’t seem too overwhelming at all.  I’m not sure why… but I think it was partly because today I was better organized and had a plan.  Granted I had to adjust my organized plan a bit throughout the day…but I had one nonetheless.  What plan you ask? (insert drumroll here please….) I am now the proud user of a color coded calendar with daily task list.  I know…very Left Brain of me but it’s COLOR CODED so that makes my creative Right Brain very happy 🙂  I’m hoping that even though my calendar has very little unused space, particularly this week, that having a plan will help me be focused and productive instead of anxious and overwhelmed.  We will see…I have daily time to update this blog on my calendar 🙂

Tasty Tuesday: Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash

quinoa acornI created this recipe for one of my Outside the Box clients and it was delicious:  Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash Rings.  It has all the nutrition that I wanted and great flavor!  It’s a great way to include whole foods and if you really wanted you could serve it as a side with grilled chicken.  If you try it post here and let me know how you liked it!  (if you don’t like it…keep it to yourself.  It’s probably recipe user failure anyway! lol)

Ingredients:

2 acorn squash

3-4 cups cooked quinoa

1 green apple, finely chopperd

1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped

1/2-1 cup dried cranberries

1-2 cloves garlic, minced

1 egg

1/2 cup parmesan cheese, finely grated

salt & pepper

butter

Directions:

  1. Slice each squash into 2 rings, removing seeds in center.  Place face down in microwave safe square dish and 2 inches water.  Cook 4 minutes in microwave then transfer to oven safe baking tray. Set aside.
  2. In medium pan melt 3 Tbs. butter.  Saute the onion and apple until soft.  Add garlic and saute additional 2 minutes.
  3. Add onion saute to cooked quinoa along with dried cranberries, egg and parmesan.  Stir until combined.
  4. Divide quinoa mixture between 4 squash rings.
  5. Bake 30 minutes at 350*

 

Monday Madness

Why are Mondays busier then other days?  I mean there are still 24 hours and quite honestly my calendar has a lot more white space on Monday then on a Tuesday.  But Monday always feels too short like time moved faster and somehow we lost a few hours…
I’ve been thinking it has to be a time management issue.  So this week I pre-organized my week a bit.  I updated my Google calendar, color coding everyone’s activities (I’m purple, J is blue, LoveBug is light red which looks like pink and Bug is green.)  I “scheduled” daily activities that I wasn’t before:  cleaning bathroom, vaccum bedrooms, walk the dog (a new activity along with outside running time for Bug…lol), food shopping, family meal planning, etc.  I downloaded an app on my phone for my Google calendar but I can’t see the color coded time blocks.  I’m thinking I need the paid version of the app for that.  I’ll add that to my list because the color blocking is what makes the left brained calendar mapping fun for my right brained self!  Even without the colors, I’m hoping that by assigning everything time it will help me stay better focused on tasks and maybe Monday’s won’t feel so incredibly busy!  I’ll report back at the end of the week.

How do you stay organized?  Do you have a daily plan?  Are you able to see color blocking on your calendar on your smart phone??

Sunday Night Already?!

I remember growing up how time passed so….s-l-o-w-l-y…all the time yet my mom used to say how fast the time went.  uh…what?  I thought she was nuts!  Fast forward 30 years and here I am sitting and wondering where all of the time goes?!?
All week long I look forward to the weekends and all the awesome cool activities and projects I’d like to do with my Bugs.  Reality is that between weekend activities and the Bugs arguing amongst themselves most if not all of my creative aspirations as a parent ever come to fruition.  (insert Mom pout here.)  And quite honestly I’m tired of it!  Because Monday comes and the busy week begins and I’m left wondering what we did for the last 2 days.

So here’s my plan for next weekend:  make a plan, work the plan, report here.  I want my Bugs to remember weekends as fun, magical family times (with some good old fashioned chores thrown in there for fun!)  So I’m adding to my weekly planning some fun activities for next weekend?  Pinterest here I come!

How do you spend your weekend time?  What activities do you do regularly?    Check back here next Sunday night to find out how our weekend of fun went!

 

Thursday Thoughts

It’s Thursday again and more random thoughts to share.  I wonder sometimes if it’s my “messy mental situation” (my therapist says I shouldn’t keep saying crazy so this is what I came up with instead) but I find myself contemplating the strangest things sometimes.  Here’s what’s crossed my mind today…read, toss around your (possibly) messy mind, then comment here and get some conversation going.

  • I really don’t like watching people eat.  I was at a networking luncheon today and I noticed the following:  some people chew weirdly, some people make too much noise while eating and sometimes the waitstaff just really need to refill drinks more often.
  • I met with the principal at my daughter’s school this morning.  Primarily to discuss upcoming activities that she might want the PTC to be involved with (I’m co-president for our school) but we digressed into discussing the school district.  Our district is truthfully a mess…although I believe that it’s the educational system overall that needs reevaluating and updating.  Our district is millions of dollars in debt and is considering cutting all sorts of programs.  It amazes me and infuriates me that it is accceptable to cut music, art, even sports programs all so teachers can continue having free health care and an incredibly generous pension plan.  Don’t get me wrong…I know how hard teachers work and I believe they should be well compensated.  But I also believe that the educational system and teachers unions really need to update expectations and privileges to reflect reality of the times.  Our educational system needs to be refocused on the quality of well rounded education for our children.  Let’s stop teaching for the tests and really teach.  Studies have proven that children that are exposed to music and art perform better educationally and socially.  Studies have shown that regular physical movement throughout the day stimulates brain functions so that children learn better.  HOWEVER in most instances, and in my school, children are limited to one brief recess that is often shortened or denied for students who need extra help, forget assignments, act out in class, etc.  Funny because those are the kids who probably need recess the most!  I honestly could go on forever on this topic but this is supposed to be Thursday Thoughts not Thursday Thought so I’ll stop here for today.
  • I was asked today if I would travel to Belize to cook for a week.  Um…yes please!  Realistically there is no way that it is going to happen but the thought that someone liked me enough to think they’d like me to…priceless.

 

Monday Madness

Today was just a blur….thank all that is holy for coffee today!  I started the day (at 5am) with a little morning exercise. I’m committed this time and actually excited about it.  To be honest over the past week I feel like I’ve been waking from a long sleep.  Over the past few years I’ve lived disconnected, isolated and bipolar at the same time…sometimes I’ve felt like 2 totally different people within the same body, neither one really connecting but always putting on a good show…or so I always thought.  But I digress….today is Day 1 of the official “me project.”  It’s about time I get excited about life…truly not just talking about it…and make the changes I so desperately want to see within myself.  Again…I digress…back to the Monday Madness “report.”

After realizing how very very out of shape I have become I proceeded to get the kids ready for school:  breakfast which also included a nutrition lesson for LoveBug and discussion about her headache and latest school “messy situation” as she has instructed me to refer to her disagreements, arguments and anything else with drama. Lunches packed, backpacks packed then on to pack the car with all that was needed for my morning cook day at a client’s home.  Yes there were just 4 “packs” in the same sentence!  Dropped the kids off to school, stopped at Dunkin Donuts for a Large Coffee with Cream (I include how I like my coffee just in case any of you ever find yourself in this area and feel inclined to indulge my habit…lol)  Then it was 3 hours of cooking meals for a family, cleaning up then off to pick up Adam from his second home (otherwise known as Miss Kelly’s house where he would spend hours upon hours playing the xbox if he could.)  Home long enough to clean up a bit and finish cooking for another client then to school to pick up Lizzy who came home complaining about the lately ever present headache.  After school snack, homework, clean up, dinner then brownies before back home to get showers, read stories before bed at 8:00 (for the kids…I stayed up until at least 9pm!)

Certainly Monday Madness….but that’s ok…my night ended with big hugs from both Bugs which makes everything worthwhile ❤