Monday, April 29, 2013

Using your noodle - Fun Lunch Idea!

    Every now and then I like to surprise the kiddos with some type of twist on the regular foods. It was red milk for Valentines Day.., the hotdog/spaghetti octopus lunch..., green eggs and ham after we read the book.., an attempt at tie-dyed pancakes that just turned mostly grey. Oh and let's not forget about the peanut butter and surprise sandwich - the surprise was mini marshmallows.
   Since the kiddos were all outside yesterday I had time to attempt "Rainbow Noodles". The overall process is super easy just a bit time consuming.
    All you have to do is add some food coloring in the water while the noodles boil. I started with neon pink then added some blue to make purple. That allowed me to "reuse" the water so I saved time there with not having to boil another batch. I did have to boil a new batch for the green but then added some more blue again to "reuse" the water to make a tealy blue. So by working with lighter colors first then progressing to darker saves on time and water.
Pink with Purple - used one pot of water

Started new pot of water for the Green

Added Blue to the Green water and there ya go! A rainbow!

    A few pointers - make sure you rinse the noodles with cool water. This not only stops them from cooking and getting super sticky but it also rinses any remaining color and keeps it from running into other colors.
    Another pointer is use fast cooking noodles, unless you have enough pots to boil separate colors at the same time. I used Ronzoni Quick Cook 3 minute noodles. (Btw I was not paid to mention them that was just what I had in my pantry)

    This was super fun and easy. The kids LOVED the colors so much they ate the entire bowl. I will be keeping this cool trick in my pocket for school lunches, baby showers, bridal showers, birthday parties and even outdoor cookouts! Have a fun food idea? Let me know below!
Fun Lunch Approved!!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

What's more fun than a box? Stork Stack - April

    Stork Stack is ready to go green! Are you ready?! I know we have been working on it at our house. For example, I have been weeding out the plastic cups, plates, storage ware and replacing with glass. What an excellent box this month! I'll admit it - sometimes there is that one item in the box that doesn't thrill me or sometimes I even get age group box envy but I am swooning over all of this box. Let's dig in shall we? !
The intro card - just a quick glance at the partner brand logos and I'm super excited!

Check out this great spread!

My First Green Toys Stacking Cups. How fun is the star shaped cups?
The pastel colors are pretty too. Their toys are made in the USA with 100% recycled plastic. That also includes their Green Eats line. Very neat!

An Apple Park Picnic Pal Finger Puppet is next and let me tell you this is a-dor-able! This was the first thing that Big Bro wanted to check out, even though he knows this box is for his Baby Sis. He wanted to be the one to give it to her.
I love how soft it is. The quality is amazing.
(I think I have my eye on the Picnic Pal Soft Block Set. Too cute!!)
Green Envee Organics Soothing Aloe & Candula Nut Free Lotion says it's just for kids but I think I'm going to sneak some! How can I resist? I love the soothing aloe and the very pleasant calming lavender scent.
Next is an Eco Sprout Laundry Detergent Sample. Says that it is green from the ground up. It also says it is good for sensitive skin. It is also free from dyes, brighteners, phosphates and is 100% biodegradable. I'm interested to try this out on Bear's clothes now that she is finger feeding. 
Clandestino Banana Bar with Dark Chocolate. I am a sucker for dark chocolate. Seriously - a total sucker. Luckily my little man can't read BUT he did know those were bananas on the box. I just told him it was a picture and that box is for mommy. I might share or I might not but for now these are in a safe kid free unreachable zone.
Big Bro and I give this month's Stork Stack four thumbs up -that's both of his and both of mine in case you were wondering.
If you haven't checked out Stork Stack I highly suggest giving them a try.
 Enjoy $10 off of a membership with this unique referral code: 4BF0CA3E
I purchased this Stork Stack box and was not compensated in any way.
My opinions are my own.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

The quilt I made for my mum years ago
Close up of the center heart - love my family

Monday, April 22, 2013

A Giddy Little School Girl

    Ok, so I'm sure you've been wondering where I have been (or at least I'd like to think that you've been. Haha) We have been plugging away at our search for the perfect house and selling ours. Yesterday was a big day for us. We had our first open house. We were also able to finally go look at the one house that we have had our eyes on but they were delaying viewings because the guy was finishing up some updates.
    Our listing agent said the open house went pretty well. She has 2 solid interested buyers and a few that were on the fence. Hopefully something will pan out with those. I keep looking at my clock waiting to hear from her today. I am such an Aquarius!
    If we can get a bid on our house, we can totally go in and put a strong bid on the house we fell in love with yesterday!! Yes, I know. Hard to believe that after our first "house love" and failed bid, we fell in love again. Haha. (Speaking of that, I looked this morning and noticed that the lady relisted her house under a new agency and agent. Could have been sold by now. Tisk tisk. It really is a very nice house. Too bad it's been empty for over a year.)
    A few kid updates while I'm at it. Bear has a wee little tooth nub and has been giving my blended veggie/fruit creations the cold shoulder. She wants the bits and pieces. The good stuff. Right now she is chomping down on some boiled carrots and orzo. She'll have some watermelon for a sweet finish. Yum! She's doing pretty good. Too bad I'm in major denial my baby, the last one we're having is growing up. Below is a picture of her snacking on some puffs and water in her "little ol' lady sweater"

    Big Sis did an awesome thing over the weekend as well! I am so incredibly proud of her! When she was three years old I asked her if she wanted to get her hair cut or if she wanted to grow it out and then donate it to kids who have no hair. Surprisingly she chose to grow it out and donate it. After growing her hair out for nearly five and half years she decided it was time to get her first hair cut. I measured her hair - from root to tip is was 24 inches!!! She donated 11" of those inches. She is simply amazing! I could not ask for such a kind, wonderful girl!
Before - 24"

After - 11" cut off

    Ok - I think that catches us up with what I have been up to. The same stuff but lots of it. What have y'all been up to?

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

It's almost running season for Big Sis!! 
That's my little runner - the pink blur!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Well at least it wasn't a rainy day...

    Today was our first open house tour. Our listing agent was meeting a couple that was interested in our house. Over the weekend the Hubs and I busted our butts. We hustled. I think I am totally owed a pedicure and toss in a half hour massage in there too!
    Since today was going to be an awesome spring day I told the kiddos we could go to the zoo. They were angels all morning and in the car ride. Those halos must have been whipped across the parking lot because my Little Guy turned straight into the devil himself.
    Well I take back some of that. He did fall on the sidewalk and bumped his knee, just a little scuff. He wasn't bleeding out like a Quentin Tarantino movie. So he cried while we got in line, he cried while we waited in line, he cried while the do-do brains ahead of us finally figured out they were standing in the members line, he cried while I gave the kid our membership card, he cried while we went into the gift shop for a Band-Aid (I thought this was my chance to get him to pull himself back together - I was wrong). He cried while I put the Band-Aid on, he cried while we walked over to the elephants so Big Sis could go potty and of course he cried while she went potty. He just kept on crying. We tried deep breathing. I tried some signing. He didn't speak, just cried with an occasional pause for a new breath to cry with. NOTHING I could think of worked. I could not calm him down. NOTHING. I felt like everyone was watching me - a mother of three with a crying kid all frazzled. I felt like an awful parent.
    After many attempts to turn this zoo trip around I had to call my failure. I even offered up the hope of cotton candy if he would just walk towards the sea lions!! I tossed in my towel. (Speaking of towel - I had needed one by then because he decided that even though he went into the bathroom he didn't want to go in there. Can you guess what happened? My nightmare was springing to life in front of me - as a side note - he has NEVER done this before so this completely struck me out of the blue.)
    Big Sis had a problem handling the news of our failed journey at first. She started to break down but quickly realized why we couldn't stay. As I hauled our pack out those one way turnstiles we bid the zoo adieu. At least we got to see the elephant - oh and we saw the giraffes while we walked by on our way to and from the zoo.

    Our ride home was rather quiet, especially after he fell asleep about 5 minutes in. Bear drank her bottle and Big Sis just hummed watching the scenery pass. Luckily, or so I thought, when we got home the tour was done and everyone had left. I laid my Little Guy down in his bed and he slept for almost 2.5 hours. I suppose an hours worth a crying will tucker one out. The girls played while I made some lunch and I called the agent.
    Turns out the couple wasn't too thrilled. Sounds like they are looking for a new build at an existing build price tag. One of the big things the gentleman brought up was that he was looking for a house with all new windows. (* The description of our house online says there are some new windows, not all.) Cut us some slack man, one of the very first windows we installed was a gigantic, beautiful bay window. C'est la vie.

    (And if you still ask me about the house we put the bid on a few weeks back, yes I am still bitter about the lady refusing it and then only coming down $3,500 in asking cost. Really? Bleck!)
    With all that happened today the only thing that I am happy about is that it was finally sunny and 70+ degrees outside. No rain, no wind and no need for three layers of clothes! I'll give today one thumb down and one thumb up.

Friday, April 12, 2013

My Musical Mood

    Right now I'm sitting in my office. It's rainy outside. It's cold outside. Normally I listen to talk radio while I'm working but today is one of those days where I just don't want to listen. I'm feeling the craving for some music.
    That got me thinking about what kind of mood I'm in. You know what I'm talking about. Once you figure out your mood you play your "go-to" music. The one that gets you in a better mood, happy mood, energetic mood, the "I'm going to clean the hell out of this house" mood, the "I'm going to kick a**" mood and my all time favorite "No really - I'm going to kick a**!!" mood. 
    So what am I jamming to right now? I have some Dave Matthews Band going. Some Dancing Nancies..., Lie in our Graves.., You and Me..., I'll toss some Phish in the mix. Yeah I said it. A little bouncing round the room action with some "All of these Dreams". 

    Want to know my kiss a** "go-to" music? Ani DiFranco. Veruca Salt. I feel like I could really go out, start a fight and kick some serious butt. I feel so empowered.


    What music do you listen to when you get in a mood? Do you have the "kick a**" mood music too?

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Monday, April 8, 2013

The Zoo Crew

    Once the weather around here breaks the 63 degree mark - most people go out to enjoy it. There is even people in short sleeves and shorts, flip flops, sun dresses - practically summer wear! I'm just happy I don't have to bundle myself and the kids in 3 layers of clothes with hats and mittens. 
    I decided that since the kids have been doing so well (with a few hiccups here and there) about packing and storing stuff, being occupied while we work on things and such I would treat them to the zoo today. We are very lucky to have a zoo membership (thanks Mum & Dad!) so we can go as often as we'd like.
    So I packed up the kids, a lunch and what not and off we went! Side story! As we drove down the road I noticed some awesomely green chairs curbside. Now I am normally not one for trash day treasure hunting but I couldn't pass loading these up! Think of the potential!! I totally see these chairs - sanded and painted and brought back to life! A kid's table to do art and crafts on so my dining table doesn't suffer from messy accidents and creative minds. I'm sure the Hubs is going to think my cheese has slid off of my cracker but COME ON! These are adorable!!! Think I can get him to make a table for them?
    Ok so back to the Zoo. We got there, we saw the baby polar bear and we checked out some other animals. I let the kids finally get a "Zoo Key" It's a necklace that when you insert it into a station it either sings a song or tell facts about the animal. They did a few today. I'm sure the more we visit the more they will do them. (I hope).
    For some reason the giraffes weren't out in the exhibit BUT since I parked in the "free parking" which also makes us walk half way around to the zoo entrance we got to see them chilling and munching some grub. Bear got a kick out of seeing them.
    Here's to the first trip of the Zoo this year! I am positive there will be plenty more. What places do you take your kiddos to?

The ol' house update

    Our house was listed, we have had quiet a bit of people interested. (Yippie!!) Agent came over Saturday and took inside pictures - we busted our behinds cleaning, packing and staging. This selling a house thing is rough. Even more so with three kiddos running/crawling around. Phew!
   Still bitter that the house we put a bid on fell through. Oh well. Can't do anything about it now but dust ourselves off and move on. Luckily the housing market here is picking up and more houses are being added daily. Now just to find another one to fall in love with.
    Selling and buying a house with a family is insanely crazy. I often regret buying our current house, knowing we wanted at least 2 kids. I recall sitting at the end of the drive way with the Hubs saying that if we bought this we would have to add on. Apparently life went too fast for us.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Mommy gets a dress - almost

    Ok so I will admit it - my clothes have been in this weird endless pregnant/nursing/non pregnant cycle. On top of that right before I got pregnant with Big Sis I switched industries. I went from the salon industry to a safety industry, so to the back of the closet went the high heels and fancy dressy clothes and out came business casual with comfy shoes. Those should really be brought back to the front and consigned or something.
    The end of the pregnant/nursing era is now coming to a close as Bear will be turning 1 in June. She is our last addition to the family. Three is enough for us. As soon as she was born all the pieces felt like they were in place and the puzzle was complete. Adios to all my maternity clothes! See ya! Go off and be fashionable on a mum-to-be. Although I think I want to keep a few things like my dark purple Old Navy hoodie I lived in after I got home when I was pregnant with Big Sis and then with Big Bro.
    Soon the nursing tops can be sent off to second hand land. And lets not forget those few "in between" pieces of clothes while the ol' body adjusted and got back on track. Going to have A LOT of clothes leaving.
    On the flip side - I'm starting to settle in on the idea that my body wont be growing anymore. I have been starting to make "investments" of traditional and modern pieces for my wardrobe. My awesome Mum took me to Kohls and bought me a black blazer, a simple teal belted dress and even a lazy day striped top (which is currently my favorite piece to toss on with some jeans)

Stripes baby!

    There are some weddings and events coming up too that I want to be able to have some nice pieces to choose from. A few weeks ago there was a dress in the JC Penney ad that caught my eye. I never went because you know.., life got in the way of that shopping trip but I found the ad (yes! I held onto it) and called to see if they still had it in stock. First JCP - they didn't have my size. Second JCP - she clarified the color and verified they had my size. I turned into mega-spaz! It's on hold right now for me to pick up tomorrow. The poor lady was probably tired as hell, it was 25 minutes to close, and as she told me which register to go to I asked her which one to go to. DUH!

Cute right? And it has pockets!!

    So here is my background story and apology for being a spaz over having the dress that I'd like and putting it on hold for me dear friendly JCP employee working on Thursday night at 8:25pm. It means more to me than you know. And here to keeping our fingers crossed that it fits and I look as smoking hot in it as the hanger does. Haha.
    Here's to the regrowth of my wardrobe! Lets not forget our fond farewells to those clothes that helped made me the Mum of three that I am today. Well the very slow, painstaking process of bidding adieu.

Monday, April 1, 2013

The day after - The easter candy conundrum

    Happy Post Easter everyone! It was a long day for us but we were surrounded by our family and that's ok in my book. My day started at 2am when I noticed our bedroom door was 3/4s shut and a glow of a light shining through. I got out of bed to find my two older kiddos sitting next to each other under a blanket watching Rise of the Guardians. I asked what they were doing and Big Sis told me they found Daddy's and Bear's baskets but that was it so they just decided to watch a movie. I told them they had at least four more hours to sleep then they could continue the hunt. Btw they were 55 minutes in the movie before I came out. Oy! They did go back to bed but woke up at 6:45 to continue the hunt and were successful!
    Easter Bunny did a good job hiding the Tweedle's baskets and even gave them 2 mini chocolate carrots and a couple jellybeans. If you haven't noticed we aren't big on candy and sweets. This is where the dilemma lies.
    I have mentioned several times to my Hubs side of the family that we are not big on sweets and that we have actually altered some products that we consume.
    I even recall the conversation I had after organic blueberry picking with my Mother in Law about macaroni and cheese. That even though some of us were raised on Kraft Mac & Cheese, production and ingredients have made some changes since we were wee folks. On many products not just that. (When I do make boxed Mac & Cheese we have Annie's Homegrown) Anyway - back to my original post topic!
    So I'll speed the story up for you since I got sidetracked. The contents of the eggs from the annual backyard Easter egg hunt had candy in - candy and coins but most candy. And my little guy was starting to get strung out as he was bit by the candy bug hardcore. I had said something about all the candy being too much but all I got back was a "Well when you're a Grandmother..."
    I can't even begin to describe how much my skin crawled when I heard that comment. I had a movie moment where I was tossing everything around me down to the ground to watch it smash all while screaming. But I kept my composure. I hate that excuse. I loathe that excuse. I actually find it rather disrespectful.
    I'm not saying that I want a candy-free holiday. I think it's ok to let my kids enjoy some extra sweet treats on holidays but this was mega overload. There are so many alternatives. I can think of grapes instead of Tootsie rolls in the eggs. Parts of a puzzle to assemble after all the eggs are gather? Even better! (Pats self on back)
    I got really upset when I watched one of them think they could trust my three year old little hell-raiser to "hold onto" three Tootsie rolls until later. Really??!! Did they really think a three year old would just hold onto candy and wait to be given the ok to eat? (About seven minutes later one of them was standing in the kitchen trying their damnest to pry the three out of his iron fisted clutch - I stood watching  secretly hoping that something might have settled in about what they did with all this darn candy and what it was doing to my little guy)
    I fear and almost have some to the realization that this will forever be an ongoing battle with them. The Hubs and I have had several talks with the kiddos about candy and sugar and what it does to our bodies. Big Sis does an awesome job making sure that any juice is watered down half way when they visit and have lunch over there.
    I feel like I have 2 recovering addicts in my house today and I am playing the role of Dr. Drew. I don't think I'm asking for a lot but perhaps to them I am. Unless it's just because it's coming from me, the daughter-in-law. As of today I have 267 days until the next anticipated candy conundrum aka Christmas. What do you think? Any helpful pointers or suggestions to help us out with this debacle?