Thursday, January 31, 2013

Bless this mess

I mentioned in the meal plan the project that was going to be going on this weekend. Scratch that. My Grandpa is in seriously poor health. He is 90 years old and hasn't been very strong for several years, but he got pneumonia that has put him in the hospital for almost 2 weeks. The hope is that he'll get to go home in the next couple of days, but it's under the understanding that there's nothing more they can do for him at the hospital. So my mom and dad are going down to visit him this weekend and won't be able to be here to work with Brian. Am I going down too? Maybe. I know it's Thursday but I haven't decided yet. On the one hand, I'd love to see him, especially since there's the threat of this might be the last time. I'm still hoping that he'll rally once he gets home though. On the other hand, I would have Will with me who, while he brings joy to my Grandpa, can also bring a little chaos with him and doesn't need to be getting sick or getting anyone else sick. Also Brian will be travelling all next week and the week after (agh!) and I'd love to be with him while I can. I can't decide. But pray for my Grandpa if you would, and for us, we're kind of a mess around here.

Speaking of mess, I was going to follow up this dreary post with the introduction of our new aquarium. Did I say aquarium? I meant aquariums. Because even though we've had these fish less than a week, one of them is sick already, and a second hospital aquarium has had to be set up for him. I won't ask for prayers for the fish, but there's that.

The reason that I am not actually posting about the fish though, is that I can't find either the camera or my phone. The camera could very well be with my in-laws, but the phone ought to be here. William was playing with it yesterday, so I'm about to go tear up the living room looking for it. In just looking under the sofa I realized I hadn't quite cleaned up the entire pound of epsom salts that William dumped out in the living room and along with the usual dust bunnies, there's a dusting of epsom snow, a Bible, some socks, crumbs and books under there. It desperately needs cleaning. The cushions of the sofa feature coffee spills, grimy handprints, and a spot of unknown origin that Will points at and says poo poo. I'm a little scared he might be right, so they're getting stripped and cleaned today too. So, like I said, I could use some prayers, it's kind of a mess around here.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Menu Plan Monday

Breakfast - Grits with strawberry jam
Lunch - egg salad, carrot sticks
Snack - apples with melted cheese
Dinner - Okonomyaki Japanese Pancakes
to do: soak dough for rolls, thaw pate, thaw ribs, make chicken broth, start fermenting carrots, freeze veggie cubes for shake tomorrow

Breakfast - overnight steel cut oats loosely based on the recipe in Taste of Home this month (save some for the shakes tomorrow)
Lunch - Chicken Noodle Soup and soaked wheat rolls
Snack - pate and celery
Dinner - beef ribscheesy potatoes, creamy cole slaw
to do: bake bread, thaw pork

Breakfast -  Breakfast shake
Lunch - leftover soup
Snack - Gingersnap cookies, avocado with dressing (freeze1/2)
Dinner - basil and garlic chive lasagna (with ground pork), salad
to do: soak quinoa, freeze avocado, thaw onions and peppers

Breakfast - Toe in the Holes, kefir
Lunch - out with friends
Snack - Creamy paleo chocolate milkshake
Dinner - Mexican Quinoa Bowl (Chicken)

Breakfast - Grain Free Orange Muffins
Lunch - grilled cheese sandwiches
Snack - fruit kefir smoothie
Dinner - out for oysters

There's a pretty major renovation project going on at our house this weekend. My dad is coming in to help Brian scrape the popcorn texture off the cathedral ceiling in the entryway and over the stairs. Brian has done almost all the other areas of the house which resulted in a funny looking paint line halfway across the ceiling, but scaffolding has to be rented for this part and he needs another pair of hands. So my main job is going to be to keep William from pulling down the plastic sheeting and eating plaster. I'll be doing good to make this one meal. I'll probably pick up some bagels and a bag of burgers for the rest of the day. If it all goes well I'll make them a big breakfast Sunday. And I'll have a beautiful chandelier hanging in the foyer!
Dinner - Country-Fried Steak bites, onion gravy, herbed red potatoes, green beans with bacon

Monday, January 21, 2013

Pantry Challenge Week!

This morning we had leftover blender pancakes that I had frozen which seemed like our only option. We have run out of a few staples and a lot of fresh ingredients. But that's ok, because Monday is usually my grocery shopping day anyway except for milk and eggs which I pick up Tuesday. I had most of a meal plan drafted, I just needed to flesh it out with some lunches and a couple snacks. The plan was to do that this afternoon, but on the way out to the car to load up to go to Kindermusik, *surprise!!* The car seat that was taken out when we did a vehicle shuffle yesterday wasn't put back in, instead it rode to San Antonio with Brian this morning. No Kindermusik, no grocery shopping. I was mad for about a minute. Long enough to call Brian and leave a clenched-teeth voice mail. After that though, I saw the beautiful day that was shaping up and decided we could walk to the park or the library for fun, as well as play in the backyard, and for food - well, it's high time for a pantry challenge! When I say my cupboard is bare, it's about like saying my closet is empty (I have plenty to keep me clothed!). Sure, there aren't ready made meals staring at me, but there is an awful lot of frozen meat and veggies, plenty of baking supplies, more spices than most of my family has ever heard of, and rice, beans, and broth for days. When you have that, you have a lot!
I played around for a few minutes at and there are pages and pages of things it says I can make with what I already have. Sooo... I'm getting ready to make some pumpkin muffins for breakfast tomorrow and snacks for today, and I have Cheesy Ham and Broccoli defrosting for dinner. I'll try to post later a few of the things I ended up making this week, at least I think I'll try for a week. The only thing we're buying are the farm fresh milk and eggs I mentioned above, and Brian's going to bring home some fresh fruit. No eating out, no other shopping, I bet we'll still be eating pretty good around here!
How long do you think you could feed your family off of only what you have now? Want to give it a go with me?

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Will makes animal noises

Guess who taught him that special trick? 
Videography by Nani. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Diaper Wreath feat. Discovery Toys

I like the title of this post. It's like a R&B and hip-hop collaboration, feat. Sadly, nothing musical here except the killer soundtrack to this diaper wreath tutorial video I watched to learn how to do this. Trying to take my Discovery Toys business to new heights before I've even completed my first month as an Educational Consultant, I decided to create a new vehicle for gifting Discovery Toys for new babes. Enter the diaper wreath (I want to try a cake next!) My first customer replied to a facebook post I made about said subject as she has a baby shower to attend this weekend. She chose the toys she wanted, Chiming Charlie, Ring Around, and the ever popular Boomerings. Here's how it turned out once I added rainbow colored ribbons and a Boomering on the back for hanging.
I was pretty pleased! Next time I think I'll use even more ribbon though, it makes it extra fun! Of course they're infinitely customizable from brand of diapers, colors of ribbon, and of course the toys and books chosen. It was a lot easier to ship than I thought. Now taking new orders ;)

I have this online party going on right now to benefit a darling little girl, Leyna, who is in the process of being adopted by her new family. If you were thinking of doing a little DT shopping anyway and it is not yet January 22nd, do it through that party. Shipping will be cheaper for you and 10% of sales will go to help her family cover the expenses of adoption and any free product earned will go to her as welcome home gifts! 
If you have a cause you'd like to support, I would be glad to set up an online party (or in person if you're local) for you to share with your friends and family and make a similar donation if I also support the charity or cause. 

Monday, January 14, 2013

Menu Plan Monday

left to right: kefir, stage 1 blender pancakes, white beans soaking, beef bone broth
aka Sunday's to do list
I subscribe to a meal plan from Nourished Kitchen that I bought when it was on sale. I highly recommend for anyone trying to get into eating real food who has a hard time doing their own meal plans. I usually pull one or two recipes off it at a time and keep the others stored away for later. This week though every single meal appealed to me, so I'm taking an easy route and just following it straight for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday dinners. I don't think the recipes are posted on her site yet, and I'm sure it would be illegal for me to publish them but if you are curious about any, leave me a comment and I'll email you back.

Breakfast - Blender Batter Pancakes (this is past, and they were the very best pancakes I have EVER made! Try them!) using whole wheat berries, rolled oats and milk kefir
Lunch - PB&J sandwiches, mandarin oranges
Snack - grape kefir smoothies
Dinner - Chard & Whitebean gratin, braised turnips with parsley, green salad  with cider vinaigrette
to do: thaw steaks, grocery shopping


Breakfast - scrambled eggs
Lunch - Annie's macaroni and peas
Snack - cinnamon roasted apples
Dinner - Pan fried steak, mushroom sauce, roasted broccoli, green salad with kefir herb dressing
to do: pick up eggs and milk, soak oats, thaw pate, soak rice


Breakfast -soaked steel-cut oats w/banana
Lunch - chard soup with beef
Snack - pate on crackers, cherry tomatoes
Dinner - broiled salmon, roasted carrots w/ honey and orange, brown rice, salad
to do:


Breakfast - herb baked egg cups, kefir
Lunch - grilled turkey and cheese sandwiches, carrot sticks
Snack - seasoned popcorn
Dinner - Lemon Chicken (made over with real food ingredients), pea pimento casserole
to do: soak oats, thaw pumpkin


Breakfast - steel cut oats w/ pumpkin and pecans
to do: load up whatever we have left that's portable and bring it with us out to West Texas for the long weekend! 

Monday, January 7, 2013

Menu Plan Monday

Breakfast - Soaked steel cut oats with cranberries and almonds
Lunch - butternut squash, turkey slices
Snack - hard boiled eggs
Dinner - Terae's beef stroganoff
to do: soak almonds


Breakfast - herb baked eggs, kefir
Lunch - out with friends
Snack - string cheese, apple slices
Dinner - spiced slowcooker chicken stew from Nourished Kitchen, orange and arugula salad
to do: soak oatmeal, thaw pumpkin, thaw stock, dry almonds


Breakfast - soaked steel cut oats with pumpkin stirred in
Lunch - egg drop soup, fruit
Snack - cinnamon popcorn
Dinner -  Pan fried pork chops, Buttermilk scalloped potatoeskale salad with honey mustard dressing
to do: bake pumpkin bread, thaw beef , make almond meal


Breakfast - Pumpkin bread, kefir
Lunch - tortilla pizzas
Snack - almond apricot bars from Nourished Kitchen
Dinner - shepherd's pie
to do: soak beans, make eggshell calcium


Breakfast - Scrambled eggs and tomatoes
Lunch - grilled cheese sandwiches and grapes
Snack - leftover pumpkin bread
Dinner - Navy bean soup


Breakfast - kefir smoothies
Lunch - Pea Pimiento casserole
Snack - Apples and butterscotch sauce
Dinner - leftovers