Monday, November 30, 2009

Meal planning Monday





I am actually generally pretty good about planning my meals for the week. Truth be told, we only do a big shopping trip every three weeks. We plan enough meals to last for those three weeks, but we don't really plan exactly when they will be cooked. That is done on a weekly basis.

I also only cook about 4 times per week. On Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday I cook enough to make leftovers for the next day. Saturday is reserved for one off meals like fish or ham burgers.

Anyway, without further ado I present this weeks meal plan.

Sunday - Chicken and dumplings.

Tuesday - red beans and rice. I have to remember to start soaking the beans in the morning. This is a new recipie, I'm always a little nervous when I try a new recipie.

Thursday - Chicken tikka massala. I bulk this up with chickpeas so this lasts an extra day.

Saturday - crunchy baked pork chops. This will put a nice dent in the individually wrapped porc chops that I got in sale at Wegmans.

- Posted by Krista from my iPhone

Saturday, November 28, 2009

aaaand we're back

Ahhh....We are safely back in Virginia after our trip to PA for Thanksgiving. I think that traveling to visit one's parents is vitally important if only to remind you why you moved out in the first place.

First a little housekeeping. It seems that my plan to end the design contest on the 25th was ill-concieved. I forgot that my parents painfully slow internet connection coupled with their 13 year old computer (not kidding) that is so ridden with viruses makes me want to strangle myself with the mouse cord every time I try to use it. Anywhoooo....according to random.org our lucky winner is commenter #1, Jane. I will be sending you an email shortly!!

For now I have much laundry and unpacking to contend with. Not to mention two very pissed off cats who somehow ate through a week's worth of food in 3 days.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Quick McDonalds contest

As the result of chairing an event at my sons school, I have 30 coupons for free apple dippers or fruit and yogurt parfaits. The coupons are only good for McDonalds in the Northern Virginia/DC area. They expire at the end of 2010.

Here's the deal, leave a comment down below and on cyber Monday (aka November 30th) I will choose 3 random commentors to receive 10 coupons.

Have a loverly Thanksgiving!



- Posted by Krista from my iPhone

Monday, November 23, 2009

Christmas creep

I'm not a Scrooge, I like Christmas as much as the next girl. I mean I'm not a crazy Christmas person, but I don't dislike the holiday season. What does drive me a little crazy is the (not so) slow advancemt of the start of the season.

Back in my youth, only slightly after the origination of the holiday itself, it was considered gauche to put up any sort of Christmas decorations before Thanksgiving. I still remember the year that a new family on our street put up their Christmas lights the week before turkey day. The entire neighborhood was aghast.

Around the time we all started wishing each other happy holidays, the department stores began to cautiously display wreaths and red and green themed decor items a week before Thanksgiving. You may have even see the occasional blue and silver Chanukah swag laying about.

This year, things have gone too far! Too far I tell you! It all started the day BEFORE HALLOWEEN when I caught several Target employees swapping out costumes and polyester spiderwebs for fake christmas trees and light-up lawn reindeer. I was a little rattled by all this, but managed to convince myself that the entire upper management at Target was suffering from collective dementia and had forgotten about the entire month of November. With the economy what it is, they are probably under a lot of stress.


Sunday night TBS aired "How The Grinch Stole Christmas". I mean come on people....Show a little restraint.

ABC Family Channel is currently in the midst of their "Countdown to the 25 Days of Christmas". What is that? The holiday equivalent of the warm-up for the pre-game show?

The I saw HIM. The big guy himself, Santa, at the mall.

It's official, it's a world gone mad! I suppose I should just cave in and hang up the Christmas lights...and I would, if I didn't think that they would call undesired attention to the rotting jack-o-lantern left over from Halloween.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Solid

This weekend Boy3 had his first tastes of solid food. Well, not really solid, more pureed, but you get my drift.

This is, for me, a bittersweet milestone. Up until this point in his little life #3 has been breastfed. Meaning that I have produced every ounce of food that he has consumed. Some portion of every cell in his little body initially passed through me. This is until Friday evening. He received nourishment that I didn't provide for him. Of course, I bought the food, heated it up, mixed it with juice, fed it to him....I'm still intimately involved in the process, but it's just not quite the same. This is the first little step toward him growing up, and I'm not ready.

Boy3 is, most likely, my last baby. With the first I anticipated every milestone. I eagerly anticipated eating solid food, walking, talking and going to school. With Boy2 I watched with great pride as he moved from baby to toddler and now to preschooler. With Boy3, I would be perfectly content to keep him at four and a half months forever. I would happily endure years of sleepless nights and days when I couldn't put him down even long enough to go to the bathroom just to keep the sweet, cuddly little baby I am currently blessed with.

The time when they will fall asleep in you arms and cuddle with you for hours on end are so fleeting. Today it is solid food, tomorrow it will be walking and then running. I feel like I didn't properly enjoy the babyhood of the first two, so for now, I will sign off...I have some cuddling to do.

video

Saturday, November 21, 2009

It's hip to be square

I am not cool. Never have been, likely never will be.

I went to my first Bat Mitzvah when I was 12. It was a very nice little affair where there was, horror of horrors, dancing. I had never heard the song "Shout" before and had no idea when to jump and well, shout. (I should mention that I am also lacking in rhythm.)

Back in high school when all my girlfriends were swooning over the New Kids On The Block I couldn't tell Joey from Jordan.

Even amongst the tragically unhip I am an outcast. In college when Star Trek: Voyager premiered I was completely uninterested in attending one of the many, many viewing parties hosted by various groups on campus. I was always more of a Next Generation kind of girl.

It should come as no real surprise that I am just now hearing about this Twilight thing. And, even less surprising, I totally don't get it. Maybe I should actually read the book or see the movie. Though that didn't help for Titanic.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

My day in Numbers

10 - Dollars spent on liquid caffeine delivery mechanisms
9 - approximate number of miniature Peppermint Patties eaten (don't judge me)
8 - Miles run this week
7 - Number of diapers changed
6 - Dollars spent to reclothe 4 month old infant at Target
5 - Days until we leave for thanksgiving
4 - hours of driving time to thanksgiving location
3 - children
2 - Parents (You do the math)
1 - Nerves remaining for my children to get on.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

organization achieved

I finished cleaning off the TV thing today. Here is a photo.


As silly as it may sound, this has made a big difference in my general attitude. I don't get to sit down and watch TV very often, but when I do I find that I am more relaxed now that I don't have to see all that clutter. The whole room feels a little more zen, less hectic.

In addition to my household organization, I have been trying to save some money. I say a report on GMA about a woman who feeds her family on something like a quarter a month (okay...not really, but something completely ridiculous.) While I can accept that I will NEVER be able to feed my family for anything remotely that little (She bought a lot more processed and prepared foods than we do.) I am dedicated to trying to save a little. I have been searching the internet for deals and clipping coupons and all that. Today I scored my first really good deal all on my own. Here it is:

Wegmans (My grocery store of choice because I love love love them!!) has cans of Goya beans on sale 2/$1. I also have a coupon for $1.25 off of 6 cans. So if you do the math:

6 cans @ 2/$1 = $3 - $1.25 coupon = $1.75 / 6 cans OR
$0.30 / Can

My family loves beans, and I had 3 of the coupons so I bought 18 cans of beans. I actually think I have 2 more of the coupons floating around so I may go back tomorrow for 12 more cans. This is what the couponing mavens call a "Stockupportunity". I'm totally down with the lingo!!


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

TV thing update

As promised, here is the before photo of the tv thing.


Fortunately, it no longer looks like that. I was nearly defeated by the dust cloud that arose when I attempted to dust the top, but I persevered and was able to subdue the evil accumulation with a swiffer cloth and a can of old English furniture polish. It was touch and go for a while though. I have made some pretty serious progress and, baring and further filth uprising, should be able to finish it of this evening.

In some less harrowing news, I am starting up on my Christmas knitting. I have two major projects going this year. The first is these teeny tiny little sweater ornaments.

I'm hoping to make enough to decorate our small Christmas tree this year. In accordance with my Harry Potter addiction, I also plan to make a set of "Weasley" sweaters as well. Maybe a few Hogwarts scarves too.....

The second Christmas knitting project is the husband sweater....I'm keeping that one close to the vest for now.

- Posted by Krista from my iPhone

Monday, November 16, 2009

Next Mission

This weeks organization mission is the entertainment center....or as it's known in my house, the TV thing. The TV thing is a serious hot spot because it is just so damned convenient. It's way too easy to just set a coffee cup or unused toy on the TV thing. I'm considering erecting some electrical fencing around it after I successfully get it cleaned off because it will undoubtedly be a disaster area again in a matter of moments. The TV thing is going to call for constant vigilance to keep clean...I think I am up to the task.

Speaking of being up to the task (or not), I did take a before photo of the thing, but the batteries on my camera crapped out before I could upload it. This will just give you something to look forward to tomorrow.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Maintenance

Getting something clean is one thing, keeping it that way, I'm finding, is quite another.

I have been trying very hard to keep the buffet clean. This has been harder than I expected. When I initially cleaned the thing off there was a sort of "wow" factor. You know
"Wow! That's where I left my cell phone", or "Wow! who knew dust bunnies could get so large" You get the idea.

Keeping something clean is much less impressive. Once it is cleaned off there is only room for failure. The buffet has experienced a sort of clutter crawl. One day it was a few crayons. The next it was the remote for my laptop. Then my hubby put the crockpot on there. This is how it starts....so small...so innocent before you know it you are back where you started. I am proud to say, however, that I nipped it in the bud and cleared the blossoming clutter this evening.

This marks a whole week that the table has been clean....I believe that may be a record.

Stay tuned for next week's cleaning event...and it's a doozy let me tell you!! Also don't forget to submit your design ideas for the contest!!

Friday, November 13, 2009

November Decorating Challenge

One of my biggest homemaking challenges is my complete lack of style. You know that ability to know what color to paint an accent wall, to match curtains to carpets or to choose art. I don't got it. I don't know where I was when they were passing out the decorating gene, probably playing netrek or something, but I missed out.

So here is the challenge. Remember that buffet table that I so lovingly cleaned off? Well here it is again to refresh your memory.



Notice that bit empty space up there? Well, before today it was just a big empty space - now it is a decorating opportunity. I want to put something up there, but I don't know what. That's where you come in. Leave me a little comment down there and tell me what you think I should put in that space. There are a few ground rules. First off, I don't want to break the bank here. I'm sure that an original Picasso would look lovely there, but that's not really in the budget. Let's try to keep it below $250. Also, please keep in mind that I am not a plumber, electrician or master carpenter. I'm not going to knock out the wall and put in a picture window. (And not just because all you would get would be a lovely view of my neighbor's vinyl siding.)

Comments will be open until November 25th at which time I will randomly choose someone to receive a $10 gift card from the home depot. So get commenting---I need all the help I can get.

note: Just because you win doesn't mean I'm going to use your idea...I gotta live here you know.

another note: I have never actually played netrek...I'm not THAT big of a geek.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Operation freezer Recon complete

Both of our freezers are now officially inventoried and organized. I have developed a new system for keeping track of what is in there. I'm calling it a "list". The concept is fairly simple, you write down what you have so you don't forget. Then, and this is the important part, you have to not lose the list. It's not an overly complex system, but better than the old system that involved throwing stuff in there and never thinking about it again.


(Sorry about the cruddy photos, but the freezer is in the garage, which has some lighting challenges.)

So, what's next you ask? Stay tuned for tomorrow's post featuring my first contest with PRIZES!!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Tis the Season

Its about that time folks - the holiday season is upon us. For us here at the house of delinquency that means...well, in the past it hasn't really meant anything until somewhere around December 20th. At which time I would complain loudly and to anyone who would listen about how much work there is to do and how I have to buy everyone's gifts and wrap them etc. I would grumble as I logged into Amazon and shelled out serious coin for expedited shipping. I would fret about getting my Christmas baking done and getting decorations up. In short I would be miserable and stressed out.

This year, in my attempt at domestic divahood, I pledge that things will be different. Seriously....Don't think I can't hear you laughing. I have already started on my husband's Christmas present. I am knitting him something for the first time in our 11 years of marriage. Hopefully I am past the statute of limitations on the curse of the boyfriend sweater. I have EVEN made some of the dough for my Christmas cookies. I'm on this! STOP LAUGHING!!

The doing of the holiday season is second only to the giving. I'm hoping to be able to give a little more to those in need this Christmas. Last week I worked a sweet deal at Toys R Us that saw me buying 7 pre-school games for only about $3.50. Since my kids already have some of these games, several will go to toys for tots. I'm also looking forward to choosing a child from the tree at my husbands office to buy for. I always try to pick out a little girl, since I buy for boys all year round. This is fun for me and makes Christmas special for a child who probably wouldn't get anything otherwise. (Just the thought of a child waking up Christmas morning and finding that Santa has passed her by breaks my heart).

I know the economy is bad and many of us as just squeaking by this year. For those of us who are doing fairly well, this is even more reason to dig a little deeper and give what we can.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Roku Review

A big part of being a successful delinquent is having a high quality selection of entertainment available to occupy the time you would otherwise spend vacuuming or dusting or delousing your children or whatever. While I am trying to give up my unMartha like ways, I will not give up my Roku box.

The Roku box is a small device that allows you to stream video directly to your television. Currently, Roku supports streaming from Netflix, Amazon VOD and MLB.com. We have only used the Netflix streaming however. Essentially, whatever you put on your Netflix instant viewing queue you can stream right to your TV.

Setup was very easy. I mean ridiculously easy. you plug the box into the TV and into the wall. It detects your Wi-fi (if you have it, if not you have to plug the box into your Internet somehow) and you are off to the races. Not only is set up easy, but the user interface is dreamy! My 3-year-old can find and start Blues Clues or a Scooby Doo movie all by himself.

We got our box about 3 weeks ago. At that time we canceled our expanded cable subscription and haven't looked back. The kids love to watch the cartoons provided by Netflix. Some of their current favorites are American Dragon, Avatar and Angela Anaconda movies.



I like that I get to choose what they can watch, or more importantly what they can't watch (ed, edd and eddy I'm looking at you). I appreciate the lovely selection of Showtime originals such as Dexter, Weeds and the Tudors as well as a bunch of great movies like Pineapple Express and Notting Hill.

New stuff is added all the time, so when I have finally watched all 141 selections currently on my queue there will certainly be new content waiting for me. There has also been talk of adding new channels (though you may have to pay extra for that). If/when Hulu is added I may never leave the house again.

Finally, I have the option to watch what I want when I want. I can pause, rewind or stop the movie and come back later (Netflix will remember where you left off even if you watch other shows before you get back). I also like the fact that my kids aren't bombarded by a million commercials, and I'm not bombarded by a million requests for sugar coated lard cube breakfast cereal or whatever the kids are eating now-a-days.

I don't have any financial incentive for touting Roku or Netflix - I'm just here to make your life more entertaining.

Project freezer recon - update

I have successfully infiltrated the garage freezer. After eluding several million freezer pops that had (clearly) been breeding in the icy cold I was able to take stock of the contents. I won't bore you with the details, but I will say that if we should suffer an extended summer power outage I will thaw enough lasagna and meatloaf to feed most of my neighborhood.


- Posted by Krista from my iPhone

Monday, November 9, 2009

Mission buffet table accomplished


Mission accomplished. The buffet is clean and organized. Don't believe me? Here is photographic proof.


My next task Is a bit more involved. I am going to clean out and organize the freezers. I'm giving myself until Thursday to accomplish this one. Stay tuned.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, November 6, 2009

Confessions of a Domestic Delinquent

I am a rotten homemaker. I'm not proud of this, but it's the truth. I would like to be better, he'll, I'd like to be Martha Stewart. Realistically, that ain't gonna happen. I'm aiming for somewhere between Peggy Bundy and Brie Van de Camp. Currently, I often feel like I'm plumeting toward the housewives you see on cops.

I'm a big fan of small, easily achievable goals. Today's goal is to clean out and organize the drawers in the buffet in the dining room. I may even go crazy and clean off the top - but that would just be gravy.

I'll post a (hopefully) well organized update later.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone