Thursday, April 5, 2012

Real Food Meal Plan

I wanted to share my real food meal plan for the last week, in case anyone else is looking to start doing this.  Thanks to Lisa for being an inspiration!  Sorry for the formatting issues, I couldn't figure out how to attach a word document.

MEAL PLAN April 1-April 7


Carrot muffins w/ cream cheese
Grilled cheese and carrots sticks with hummus
Apple slices with peanut butter
Kale, Sausage, and Green Apple “stir-fry” (skip pie crust and just make filling) with whole-wheat biscuits and carrot sticks
Granola cereal* with milk and sliced mango
Zucchini Muffins
Leftover kale and sausage w/ biscuits and sliced strawberries
Hard boiled eggs w/ salt and pepper
Home-made mushroom and carmelized onion whole-wheat pizza
Strawberrries, granola, yogurt (with honey) parfaits
Peanut, Cashew, and Raisin Trail Mix
Round apple sandwiches made with peanut butter & raisins, carrot muffins and plain yogurt mixed with a little honey
Triscuits w/ Cheddar Cheese and pear slices
Egg in a  (whole wheat) frame w/ grapefruit quarters
GoGo Apple Sauce
Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with parsnip sticks
Apple sauce frozen squeezers
Whole-wheat mac ‘n cheese with broccoli added
Plain oatmeal flavored with a little honey and cinnamon, topped with raisins
Lara Bars
Leftover mac ‘n cheese
Apple slices with peanut butter
Granola cereal* with milk and frozen blueberries
Carrot muffins w/ cream cheese
Home-made chicken nuggets with parsnip and carrot sticks
Cherry Yogurt Smoothie squeezers
Leftover night
Scrambled cheesey eggs with blood oranges
Leftovers/PB & J

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Get Real

Have you ever noticed how one time-consuming obsession leads to another?  Well, I've been spending a lot of time on Pinterest lately and had noticed a pin for "100 Days of Real Food."  I noted it, but browsed by until one of my friends actually pinned.  Then I took a look, and I got hooked.  There are so many fad diets and trends out there now (gluten-free for everyone?), but this seems to come from principles I embrace, and the author credits Michael Pollen on the first page- so points to her there.

Even before I really started reading the blog (now about 20 posts in), I decided this was something I wanted to do. So, this week we are using up what we can that doesn't fit in with this "diet."  Any highly processed food that is non-perishable will be hidden in the basement by Saturday.

Now, this blog supports using almost 100% organic food.  I like this idea, but I'm going to see how it works in practice.  Additionally, I'm not willing to waste the pound of regular whole wheat flour I just bought, so I'll use what I have on hand, and replace with organic when I run out.  This goes for pasta, cheese, butter and anything else that I'm not just going to throw away.  As time goes by, I should be able to get to an almost 100% organic pantry/fridge.  I imagine if this sticks, I'll eventually need to throw out the processed sugars and white flour I have (but then, I also need to help with cupcakes for my brother-in-laws wedding, so they might be put to good use).

The blog also wants you to eat only local meat, which might be difficult.  Farmers markets around here don't open up till June, and close in September, so I'll be hitting up Whole Foods and Sunflower for my groceries. I'm going to do my best to go local, but CO is not known for its abundant produce.

I think this is going to be an interesting and bumpy ride.  I predict that Dominic will HATE it, Darcy will be fine, and Jason will cheat while he's at work or traveling.  As for me, I have no idea how I'll fare.  I'm thinking sugar in coffee and my nightly handful of chocolate chips are going to be the hardest to give up.

Wish me luck!  (Really, if anyone still reads this after 9 months of silence leave a comment so I know you are out there)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Adventures in Spray Paint and Upholstery

So.... I've been a very busy girl this weekend.  Saturday I took a bunch of junk to Peterson Air Force Base for their base-wide yard sale and set up with a new friend from a playgroup I just started attending.  I wanted to do more than just sell some junk though, I was shopping!  I keep a list in my phone of all the things I "need" for the house that I would like to pick up at bargain rates.   Well, I managed to buy a full patio set (four chairs and a table) for $20, a wicker chest for $1 and 20 items clothing for Darcy for $10.  Oh, and a ginormous mirror for $10 too. 

I'm not sure what I'm doing with the mirror right now, but it was the perfect size, color, and style to go on top of Darcy's dresser when it stops being a changing table and needs to be a vanity.  That thing weighs a ton, so I'm not hauling it upstairs until I know where it's going. It stands on it's own, so I'm thinking I may just put it on the floor in her room so she can admire herself when she had floor play time.

But...more to the point I've been tackling the wicker and patio projects.  I've been wanting a blanket chest for our living room for ages.  Right now our fleece blankets end up on the floor because Carson pulls them off and likes to snuggle in them. As a result, all of our blankets are embedded with dog hair- blech.  But if we had a place to toss them out of his reach, I'm hoping they would have a chance to de-hair after a dozen or so spins through the laundry.  So here's my before and after of the chest (I've spent about an hour on it so far, but I have to reattach the hinges and hardware still.
Before- $1

After- with $4 spray paint and $10 batting and fabric (before second coat of paint)
I"m pretty darn pleased.  Just ignore the photography though- it's not my strong suit.  The next project coming down the pike is to paint the patio furniture and recover the cushions.  Here's the before and a sneak peek of what's coming.  Yes, the table top is FILTHY. Apparently $20 doesn't cover windex.

I'm adding color to the front porch baby!  Hopefully I'll get this wrapped up this week, along with assembling my raised bed (boards in the background) because we'll be in Greeley next week and then Boulder as I run my first 10K!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Quilt Story

I did it!  Having begun this quilt in early 2004, I finally completed it over last weekend.  Man, this thing has been with me in six different houses/apartments and has fabric in it from at least 3 different quilt shops.

When I first started it, I thought I would make it for my MIL-to-be, Michelle.  But, then I realized it wasn't really her colors, so I made her a different small quilt which now hangs in her guest room.  So then I decided it would be for Michelle's mother, my dear Grandma Gayle.  At this point, I had pieced the back (something I did in one day and a few hours of hanging out with my own grandmother), but hadn't gotten any further.

After Jason and I were married in June 2005, we moved to the East Coast.  On our way to NoVA, we stopped in Maryland and I saw GG's house for the first time.  Well, it is impeccably decorated and I confess to thinking within a few minutes of entering that I would have to find another recipient for this quilt. I knew if I gave it to her, she'd feel obliged to hang it somewhere, and it didn't fit her color scheme either.  At this point, I had at least cut the fabric for the applique, though not a single flower or vine appeared on the quilt.

Well, when GG's mother (aka Brambie) moved out to live with her, I knew my quilt had found it's perfect recipient. Brambie likes ALL colors, and the brighter the better.  Brambie just celebrated her 90th birthday, and though this was not completed in time, I hope it will brighten the rest of her year.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Revisiting Resolutions

So, every year on my birthday I resolve things (I find this more meaningful than the new year).  With less than two months till my next birthday, let's take a look and see how I am doing with last year's resolutions.

1. Run another 5k, be very close to being prepared to run the Bolder Boulder (10k) in 2011.
Well, I haven't done this quite yet, at least I haven't run a race. But I am in training for the Bolder Boulder and plan to do a 5K with Kevin and Ramona this month.
2. Re-upholster at least one chair
I have the supplies to reupholster a couch, all except the upholstery needle, so this is "in progress."
3. Sew my own curtains
Definitely not happening.  Well, maybe I'll get around to sewing curtains for Darcy before my birthday. I have the material, but I make no promises.
4. Finish my columbine quilt and my secondary circles quilt.
Ha!  The columbine quilt is a possibility, the secondary circles quilt is not.
5. Sew decorative pillows for my living room
Cancelled, after t he dog ate our existing ones.  This can go back on the list when he completely exits the chewing stage.
6. Paint EVERYTHING! (Or at least almost everything in my new home. I'm talking walls, doors, trim, and cabinets.  If I get really into it maybe even the kitchen counters?  Don't freak out Mom, that's just a musing.)
Though I have not painted everything, I'll leave this green. I'm very satisfied with what I was able to accomplish while working full time and being pregnant.  Work continues....
7. Build a bed and some bookshelves using plans from
Cancelled- I don't need another bed and I picked up enough cheap and free bookshelves, for now.  Bookshelves may be a summer project, but they are not a priority.
8. Raise my own vegetables and make home-made jam
Sigh... I never got my garden in.  It was just too much work without Jason, and by the time he got around to helping me with the yard, the season had passed.  But this resolution is staying on for next year.
9. Expand the family...
Green, very green.  I didn't even realize when I said this that I would be adding a dog to the family as well.  But, we have our darling Darcy and I call that success!
10. Visit my family in SE Asia (this is the improbable must most desired one)
Though this didn't happen, I'm marking it yellow since we are now at least planning a trip, for next Christmas!  Yayayayayay!

Hmm, I definitely have more red and yellow than green, but I'm not unhappy about it, and it's not that unexpected. I think it is fair to say that I have very high expectations for myself and tend to get over committed.  Stuff that was not on this list that did get done included painting Darcy's crib and dresser/changing table, and sewing her crib skirt, bumper, and sheets.  I've done plenty of projects, so the ones I didn't do were because they lost on out the priority wars.  So far 27 has been good, very good.  I'm excited to see what 28 brings, and I'm even contemplating a 30 before 30 list.  Do I dare?

I am SAHM, SAHM I am

After only four months, I finally have time to blog again! (well, sort of)  The end of the year was pretty busy what with having a baby and hosting Christmas dinner for 30 family members.  And then it's just been an adjustment period. While I was on maternity leave, we had Dominic going to preschool only part-time.   Over the 7 week period, it became increasingly obvious that Dominic wanted to spend more time at home and that some of his behavioral issues from the last year or so are stemming from a sense of insecurity.  Add this to a new baby and the fact that I've found my job entirely unfulfilling and eventually Jason and I took a hard look at our finances and decided we could afford for me to quit and stay home with the kids.

Anyway, I'm taking my job as as Stay-At-Home-Mom very seriously, and with the same amount of anal retention that makes me plan my menus a month in advance.  I've set up my old office as our class room, drawn up a schedule in half-hour increments, planned the snack and lunch menu, and made a lesson plan for the week.  I'd like to do the lesson plan further out, but I figure I need to gauge progress every week and work from there.  Here are a few pictures from our classrooom.
Darcy hanging out

The start of our number line.  Teaching Dominic to recognize numbers and help his cutting skills.

Dom working hard to color pictures that start with "a" for the first page of his alphabet book.

A lesson in word building.  I used "bat"- the other word was what Dom wanted to know how to spell.

Anyway, so far it's been a real treat. I get to spend more focused time with Dom, cuddle Darcy (and no pumping!) and I've divided all my weekend chores across the week so I don't have to spend a full day just doing household chores every weekend. I do these during Dom's "free play" time.

On a side note, I was going to use this title anyway, but it's timely. Happy Birthday to on of my favorite authors, Dr. Seuss!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Eccentric or Looney?

Jason and I managed some spectacular feats this four-day weekend.  Jason gets a lot of four-day weekends, but it was nice to have one together for once. It also meant that Jason did a lot more work since I was there to hold a whip, instead of holed up in my office on conference calls and fighting the backlog of emails that never dies.

Instead of doing my normal Thanksgiving weekend holiday decorating, we focused on finishing painting some areas of our house.  We did the trim last weekend (all trim in the house is eventually going white instead of the super shiny foak that it is now) and so this weekend we applied color.  The living room was the only major downstairs room not to be painted yet, so it looked just a little out of place  It's now the same color as the kitchen, Guacamole!

And we finished the hallway upstairs.  It's a slightly paler yellow than the front room and dining room, and I had previously painted the stairwell, just not the hallway at the top. It's something I had been procrastinating on because of the amount of trim and cutting in required (4 bedroom doors, 1 closet, and 1 bathroom door).  Unfortunately, only one door is white already, and it's going to stay that way until Spring when the weather is warm enough for me to take everything out to the garage for painting.

And we hung pictures last night!  Hooray for stuff on the walls!  There is still a lot of dead space around the house because we haven't yet figured out the purpose of our front room and I don't want to hang anything in the living room until... our new furniture is delivered!

Here's what our current furniture looks like:

It's nice, but it's over sized and really only comfortable to lay on, not sit on.  It's also been hardily abused by the whole family over the last four years, and I'm not comfortable having guests over with our unsophisticated look.    So, we went down to American Furniture Warehouse and got ourselves a new couch, love seat, some end tables (hallelujah!) and a coffee table.  Oh, and for Jason we got a new 50inch LCD TV with a entertainment center that should also serve to shelve some of our ever-growing collection of books.  Needless to say, our Christmas shopping (for Jason and I) is done.  No Kindles, no kitchen island, no TRX training system this year, we maxed out our budget and then some.  But I couldn't be happier.  I just hope when our furniture arrives on Tuesday, I'm still happy with what we selected. I'm pretty sure it will look awesome, but is it practical?  Before I post pictures, let me just preface it with the fact that for the last four years I've been berating Jason for allowing me to make the purchase of our current furniture while I was pregnant. Hormones do funny things to your judgement and at the time, I just wanted something really soft and comfortable.  But here I've done it again, only this time, it's the dust and dog hair around the house that has been bothering me and I'm craving something fresh and clean.  So without further ado, our new living room. (pictures in setting to follow on Tuesday or someday shortly after).

This color isn't very accurate, it's actually much closer to the entertainment console below.

And there it is.  Is it cool?  or just crazy?