Life is more fun when you RAWR!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

This will be another strange Menu Plan Monday entry as I'm off for an amazing girls' weekend Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  I'm meeting my mom and sister in Atlanta and we're doing a "Top Chef tour" of the city.  We will be eating at Richard Blais' restaurant FLIP Burger Boutique on Friday afternoon and doing a 7 course tasting menu at Kevin Gilespe's restaurant "The Woodfire Grill" on Saturday night.  To say that I'm geeked out over this trip is the understatement of the year.  The plan at Flip is to order two burgers for the three of us to share and then order ALL of the sides.  My mom and sister are not interested in tasting the sweetbreads that are often on FLIP's menu but I figure I may never be back in his restaurant again - I'm tasting EVERYTHING... even a cow's thymus gland.  They're supposedly really delicious. 

So with that said we have an abbreviated menu for the week since dad and the boys will have to fend for themselves for the weekend.  I'm guessing there will be a lot of turkey sandwiches, mac and cheese and pasta with butter and garlic on their menu.

Monday: Sausage, brown rice, roasted asparagus, salad
Tuesday: Spaghetti and meatballs, salad, garlic bread
Wednesday: chicken tacos
Thursday: the boys will eat kid food and Drew & I will have shrimp and calamari while we watch the Top Chef finale.

And as I'm reading my list I realize that I do not need to go to the grocery store!  I went to Trader Joes today and we're all stocked up on yogurt, crackers, veggies, hummus and seltzer.  hooray!!  I'm sure I'll hit the store on Thursday so that the boys weekend will not include a stressful trip to the local Food Lion... but having one less errand to run tomorrow is a nice nice feeling.

I'm still looking for non-pasta vegetarian ideas.  Perogies maybe??

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

It's sew-Wednesday

We recently celebrated my four-year-old son's birthday (a week early but he doesn't know the difference) and of course I wanted to make him an awesome shirt and he wanted a hat.  
The idea for a vest shirt came to me the second I saw this fabric (I found it at Hobby Lobby).  There's something so delightful about argyle.  I also knew I wanted the shirt to have a matching bow tie.  My friend Megan knew it needed real buttons.   We worked on the project together.  It's a simple project that involved wonder-under on the argyle, ironing it onto the shirt and sewing around the edges.  Megan actually cut out and sewed on the bowtie.  It was a two step process - first the "wings" then the "knot" but in all it took us less than 30 minutes to make the pattern on freezer paper, cut it out and sew it all on.  I'm pretty proud that we did this from scratch and it came out exactly how I was picturing it.

The crown is also a really simple project that makes your birthday boy/ girl feel special.  There is a tutorial and pattern here.  I did not use two layers of felt.  I used one layer of felt and the cotton (argyle) for the reverse appliqué.  I hand sketched the four on top rather than use a pattern.  He *loved* this crown for his birthday. I thought it was a perfect way to have a birthday boy look dapper without being fussy.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

Time for my weekly menu plan!! But good news!  I have some crafty posts ready for later this week so stay tuned!

But here it is Jennifer.... what we're planning to eat this week.

Monday - we went out (yippee!).
Tuesday - hamburgers and french fries
Wednesday, Thursday and Friday - let's be honest.  Drew will be working late all three days so I'm going to fix the boys beans or meat balls or mac and cheese and I'll eat salads or rice or whatever the boys are eating.  It's a lot less formal when we're not eating as a family.
Saturday: we have a birthday party until 5:30.  It's most likely we'll be full from party snacks and may just have sandwiches when we get home. 
Sunday: Spaghetti and meatballs.

There you have it folks... keepin' it real and honest.  It's not always Betty Crocker around here.
But crafty posts are coming!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

Monday again!  Are you ready with a dinner plan this week?  I'm lost without mine.  Some weeks I shuffle dinners and days based on how much time I have to cook or if I'm craving something in particular.
My husband doesn't really like it when I try new recipes.  He likes the old standbys which is frustrating sometimes since I like to get creative.  Sometimes I try to sneak in something new.  Sometimes it works.
Anyway, here's what we're eating this week:

Monday:  Steak, rice, green beans
Tuesday: grilled chicken, green beans, quinoa
Wednesday: pasta alfredo with mushrooms and peppers
Thursday: grilled kebabs over saffron rice.
Friday: Homemade pizza
Saturday: Take out
Sunday: burgers and fries.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

Here we are again!
Monday... a brand new week.
Here's what we've got cooking this week:

Monday: Pork chops (shake & Bake), homemade mashed potato with fresh cream,   roasted green beans.

Tuesday(meatless): Pasta Alfredo, broccoli.

Wednesday: Chicken Tacos.  (I'll boil and "pick" a whole chicken so as to have enough chicken for Thursday)

Thursday:  Chicken Haystacks.

Friday: Homemade Pizza

Saturday: sausage and pepper sandwiches, beans, salad

Sunday: burgers and fries

We need better meatless variety!!!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

One month without cable

We turned our cable off a month ago and my only regret is that we didn't do this sooner.
Day-to-day it's not something we even think about any more.  The boys love their PBS cartoons and we have several others saved to our DVR that they can watch if they want. 
My husband & I have made a "date night" on Thursdays to watch Top Chef via's On Demand feature.  It's been a really fun thing for the two of us.
There has been a lot of big news going on in the country and we've discovered that we enjoy watching the BBC news on PBS at night for the big stories (not really a big shock since we both love NPR and listen to it almost exclusively).  Also, it's been sort of interesting to see the Al Jazeera English news that PBS airs in the evenings.  It's mostly unwatchably boring but I do love that they provide IPs for people in countries where the government has turned off the internet (so people can connect anyway) on their news crawl.  The perspective is also sort of interesting.
Part of me wishes that the world would wake up and see that life without cable is just as rich and full.  There's no need to spend so much money on television when it takes very little effort to get what you want when you want it. 
Of course, I know that's not realistic and that our choices aren't for everyone.  For our family though this is not only "working" but it's making our home a happier place in general.  No more "mommy I want that" when the kids see commercials.  Now they just don't see commercials.  It's a serious relief.
If you guys are interested in trying this out for your own family - let me know and I can send you websites that talk about mythtv (if you're linux friendly) or some of the other platforms that work better for Mac or Windows.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Super Boy!

Have you been following MADE's "Let's Hear it for the Boys!" month?  I've been excitedly reading the blogs every day and when I saw the tutorial for super hero capes I jumped up and down and cheered.  This is the perfect thing to make for my nephew's 5th birthday.
Economical *and* easy?  It's all true.
I don't have much to add to add to the tutorial.  I did an appliqué star rather than fabric paint (I know, shocker, right?).  I also did not trim the bottom as Michael is really tall.
This is a very quick, very easy project that a non-sewer could do with no issue using a glue gun or fabric glue for the Velcro and fabric paint to embellish the cape.  The best part of something like this is that it can be customized to any personality.  Is your kiddo great at reading?  Decorate the cape with a book!    Do they love broccoli?  Aha! Captain Broccoli!
Here's my youngest modeling the cape before it was wrapped and shipped to Texas.

I purchased a new shirt for this (since it's a gift) but I'll make capes for both of my boys and they'll come from dad's old shirts thus making it a no-cost project.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Thursday weigh in

Time for weigh in again.
And I'm up again.
But the good news is I've completed week 1 of the Couch to 5k program and am on track to run a 5k in April.
My mental weight loss fatigue is palpable.  It doesn't come easy to me despite seemingly Herculean efforts.  I've made a doctor's appointment for next week to see if my thyroid levels need to be adjusted again or if there is anything else I can do with vitamins or, gosh, I don't know what, to get my body to respond to my efforts.
I will say that despite the scale sucking I feel better and have a ton more energy than I did when this all started. 
But make no mistake, I want the scale to respond.