Friday, April 23, 2010

Cake Walk

The kids school bbq is tomorrow and we had lots of projects toprepare.  Sky had to build the Tower of Babel and chose to do it out of cake.  Ryan had his Flat Stanley project and I baked up a storm.  I have had the baking itch for a few days.  It's so hard because I love to bake, but I don't need the sweets hanging around here!!  So when I was asked to make some stuff for the cake walk I was so excited, now there was a destination for my goodies.  I made 2 dozen strawberry cheesecake cupcakes, an english toffee cream pie and cake pops.  They all turned out really well.  I can't wait until tomorrow!  The staff from the school have already tried to stake claim on the cake pops.  It should be a fun day!

My Birthday

Wednesday was my birthday.  Every year it comes and goes.  Usually fairly unrecognized, which is really ok with me.  I have never been good with being the center of attention or "relaxing" and allowing others to do for me.  After all I am a mom and my job is to take care of others and to do for just feel un-natural to not do everything.  Crazy I know!  Anyway, my husband and children did such a good job of making me feel loved and special this year.  They started the day by letting me sleep in a little.  They snuck in and took the baby before she was able to wake me up, how they did this I have no idea.  The kids made me breakfast and Pete took them to school for me.  My dad came in from Pismo to take me to lunch and stuck around for the day.  Pete came home from work early, which was a miracle and he took us all out to dinner.  All and all it was a great day!  Thank you to my awesome family for making my day!!  Oh yeah and Emily started crawling on my birthday and cut her first tooth.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Our Garden

Well our garden is well on it's way.  We have strawberries, tomatoes, green bell peppers, red bell peppers, cucumbers, butternut squash, watermelons, white onions, red onions, green and gold beans, basil and oregano.  We planted weeks ago and we already have a bunch of strawberries coming in.  2 of our tomato plants are flowering and you can smell the onions.  I can't wait to go out to my garden and pick stuff to use in our dinner!! :)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

5 Months Old

Emily you are 5 months old today.  I know I say it every month...time is flying.  You are growing so quickly and as much as I am loving watching you I am sad that it is all happening so fast!  So about this month:

  • You weigh 17 lbs and are 25 in long.
  • You are so involved and aware of what is going on around you.
  • You are VERY mobile.  You scoot, roll and army crawl all over the place.
  • You are already getting up on your hands and knees and rocking back and forth.
  • You like bananas in your little "food net", but you aren't so much interested in eating anything else, any other way.
  • You love to nurse.
  • You are SUCH a good and mellow baby.
  • We went to Disneyland this last month and you got to ride lots of rides.  Your favorite was "It's A Small World" and you hated "It's A Bugs Life".
  • Your new favorite toy is your jumper.
  • You like to be held.  You are a snuggle bug.
  • Mommy has nicknamed you Peanut.
  • You love your sisters and brother and happen to think that Ryan is hilarious!
  • When you actually do get upset and cry all we have to do is sing "If Your Happy and You Know It" and you calm right down.  It works everytime!
  • Your face lights ups when you see daddy.
  • You have this hilarious thing that you do with your tongue.  You suck on it and your top lip and I can't even begin to describe how cute it is.
  • You are teething and drooling like crazy.
  • You have developed this new "yell" when you are done with a toy or done with being on the floor and you want to be held.  It's pretty funny.
You are an absolute blessing to our family.  Daddy was just saying this morning that he cannot get over how perfect you are.  We could not have been blessed with a better baby.  You are the center of our world and we love you so very much!!

Dog Food

I started making Duke's food myself.  It is one of my new cost cutter ventures.  Now if your dog eats regular dry dog food or if you have multiple dogs I don't know that this would save you very much money, but it is healthier for your dog.  Duke is spoiled and we were not only buying dry dog food, but canned food as well and it wasn't outrageous, but it was more expensive than what we are doing now.  Every penny counts right?  My mom and dad use this recipe and they got it from one of my mom's sisters.  The dogs LOVE it!!!  The grocery list is as follows:

  • 1 leek
  • 2 large carrots
  • 1 large (softball size) turnip or 2 smaller turnips (you can also use radichios if choose)
  • 1 large parsnip or 2 small parsnips
  • 1 large sweet potato or yam
  • 4 large white potatoes
  • 1 whole chicken - I buy the fryer twin packs for 88 cents a lb
  • 3 cups rice - you can use white, brown or red.  The brown and red hold up longer than the white
  • cottage cheese
Boil your chicken for 1 hr.  Take out of the water and let sit to cool. 
Then wash and cut all your veggies.  I recommend starting with the stouter veggies first - the carrots, turnip, parsnip and leek.

  Put them into a pot of water ( I used the water I boiled the chicken in, might as well make chicken stock while I am at it right? ), while you are waiting for it to come to a boil cut up your potatoes and add them in.  Bring just to a boil then turn the water off.  Let sit for a few minutes then drain. 
Allow veggies to cool.  Cook 3 cups of rice.  Once your chicken is cool enough you can pull it apart and shred it.  I bag everything seperately so it will stay longer and not become mushy.  Put everything in the fridge and when it is time to feed the dog just put a 1/2 cup veggies and a 1/4 cup of everything else into a bowl, mix it together and serve.  This recipe is enough food for a little over 2 wks, 2 feedings a day for our dog.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Ah HAH! I know that I should have taken before pictures, but I am still getting used to this whole blogging thing and to be honest I wasn't even thinking about blogging about this until I got home.  Today after I picked the kids up from school we went to Pete's office to clean it for him.  He is so crazy busy he has NO time for much anything else besides work and when he does find a little bit of time it is all devoted to his family.  Now he has been in this particular office for a little over a year now.  In that year the office has been "tidied" a few times and "cleaned" a couple of times, but never deep cleaned and the windows have been done once.  That being said I headed into my venture armed with my new cleaners that I made this afternoon.  Since I just cleaned my house I thought I would test them out on Pete's office.  Besides if they can get his office looking sparkling clean after not being cleaned in at least 6 months than imagine what it could do for my house!  The biggest project of course were the windows.  There are 15 windows, and they are not small windows, and they were dusty, dirty and water spotted.  I took a deep breath and went to work.  After spending 2 hours on the windows ALONE they went from looking out them and seeing spots to looking out them and thinking they were open.  It was amazing.  No streaks, no marks and no spots!!  The rest of the office looks incredible too, but man those windows look awesome.  I am so in love with my new cleaner!!  Vinegar and water.  For a total of $3.25 I have enough cleaner for the entire year!  I can't wait to clean my house without chemicals and have it sparkle. :)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Saving Money

So I am finally going to start making my own cleaners.  No more trips to Target to buy cleaning supplies for the house!  Not only will it rid my home of the chemicals, but it will save my family money.  We have switched so much of our lifestyle over to all natural and organice processes, but not the cleaning aspect.  It is probably the most simple and least expensive yet it has not been done.  I was cleaning the other day and was armed with my gloves and had the windows open to vent the room I was cleaning to reduce the inhalation of the chemicals and it hit me.  WHY AM I DOING THIS TO MY FAMILY?  If I have to cover my hands and air out the room due to the products I am using then something is obviously not safe.  DUH!  So no more expensive and toxic cleaners for this family!  I will also start making our own laundry detergent and NO MORE FABRIC SOFTNER!  Have you read what's in that?  We will use vinegar instead.  We will be using vinegar, water, baking soda and lemon juice to do our cleaning.  A quick trip to the Dollar Tree to buy a few spray bottles and we are on our way. 
I will also no longer be using plastic bags to store food or to pack components of my kids lunches.  I pack 3 lunches 5 days a week.  Sandwiches are put in a sandwich bag, fruits and other snacks are put into smaller bags.  At least that's how it used to be.  From now on all food will be put into a tupperware. 
I will, in the near future, try my hand at making our own soaps, shampoos and conditioners.  After calculating what I spend a year on all of these items I will be saving our family about $1500 a year.  And if my garden takes off like I hope then we will save even more on the grocery end. :)