Monday, August 27, 2012

Grilling & Art

         Weird combo I know, but that is how I roll.  Last night we had the best grilled steaks and tomatoes.  I found a recipe on pinterest for grilled garlic tomatoes, but there wasn't any real amounts and actually I am not a thyme fan.  So of course I had to change it up to work for us.  We are still doing the clean eating so this recipe fell in perfectly.   Paired with some organic strips from the cow we purchased from my uncle it was amazing! I also think this would be perfect to top on some nice crunchy bread, maybe even some creamy goat cheese!! Yum!!

You will need:
5 romas
1/4 C EVOO 
5 tsp minced garlic
1/4 C parmesan
sprinkling of sea salt
sprinkling of  pepper
 2 tsp of my favorite seasoning Trader Joe's 21 Seasoning Salute 

Slice the tomatoes in half and season with salt and pepper.  
In a small saute pan mix up the garlic and EVOO and cook until garlic softens.  
Add in 21 Salute and parmesan.  When you're done it will look something like this.  

Next place the tomatoes on the grill seasoned side down.  Grill for a minute or so until they are warm and char marks appear.  Flip and spread the seasoning on them.  Grill for about 4 minutes more.  Until skin starts to fall off and they are all warm and melty! Like this.  Eat right away!!

Lastly I have found the most wonderful app for the iPhone called ArtKive.  It is amazing!! I have three children and the first is just getting into Kindergarten.  He brings home about 5 pieces of art and work every day, so I needed a way other than putting in the filing box to save.   I found the link on pinterest an had to check it out.  All you do is take a picture with your phone and it is saved into your account.  You can categorize work by date/grade and child, great if you have multiple children.  You can share the album with family via email. They are currently getting ready to launch a way to convert it to a print album.  How awesome is that!!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

6 days & still going strong!!

     So it's been six days now of clean eating and I have had one slip up, one tiny Skittle leaped out of my candy jar at work...and oops, in it went! Oh well, before I pry would have eaten the whole dang jar before the first bell rang!! 
     It has been very easy to maintain.  I am much more mindful of the foods we are purchasing and read just about every label.  My husband has been helping out looking up recipes and being a bit more mindful.  I haven't made my whole family take the plunge, just me and Elin my almost 1 y/o. Really because I make her food everyday so she gets what I give her.  I think after the start of September when the boys are both in K/PreK it will be a full force adventure.  I am still having struggles with convincing the dear husband that school lunches are atrocious!!! Did anyone else watch the HBO documentaries in which one episode focused on that?? I think its called The Weight of the Nation.  Ugh we do a real disservice to our school children!! 
     I have made several recipes and if you can believe it have stuck to our menu plan.  One in particular that I just love is the homemade granola.  Nothing better than granola atop some plain greek yogurt with a drizzle of honey! Yummy!!  I had to adapt this recipe to fit my liking and that of what I actually had in the pantry.  

Homemade Granola 

3 1/2 cups rolled oats 
2 cups almonds 
1 cup sunflower seeds 
2 tsp cinnamon 
1 1/2 tsp ginger 
1/2 tsp allspice 
6 Tbl butter (unsalted) 
1/2 C honey 
1 tsp vanilla 

Preheat the oven to 250.  Line a baking sheet with either parchment paper or crisco/flour topper. 
In a large bowl mix all the dry ingredients together. 
Melt the butter and honey in the microwave and mix thoroughly.  Add the vanilla.
Add the mixture to your dry ingredients.  
Stir well to make sure your oats get a little moist.  
Spread out on the baking sheet. Cook for 1 hour.  
Let cool and break apart.  Store in an airtight container.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Real Food. Clean Eating.

     I did it, I took the plunge and signed my family up for the 10 day mini pledge for clean eating.  I had taken some time to reflect the past few days and really feel like I have done my children and my body a huge disservice by feeding the junk food. A lot.  We are the family that goes to McDonalds pry three times a week maybe more!  That is ridiculous!! I never grew up eating like that and never did until we moved out closer to the city.  So the laziness has definitely come out of me this summer.  
     I did some reading on 100 Days of Real Food and love the philosophy behind clean eating.  It's not a diet or anything radical. Simple, cut out the crap! And we have a lot of crap to cut out.  I went through my pantry and was a little sad to see some items were not on the Read Food list.  I put those in a special basket, way high up for the one day a week I will let us have a "cheat" day.  ( well after our 10 day pledge)  I think this cheat days serves several purposes.  One it will curb the feeling of being deprived, and then it will also help us to see how we actually feel when crap food hits our bodies.  I am excited to start our meals tomorrow, and really if I'm honest it isn't really different from what we did before, but it will be a little more restrictive on what I use in the prep of my food.  
Stay tuned for some hopefully super recipes and Clean Eating success. 

Week One Meal Plan 

M/T- Overnight Oats 
W/R- Granola & Yogurt 
F- Overnight Oats 

M- Tuna Sandwich w/ veggies 
T- Peanut Butter and Jelly Az Mac crackers w/ appliesauce 
W- Grilled Chicken Salad 
R- Grilled Chicken w/ fruit and veggies 
F- Peanut Butter & Jelly on Ezekial bread 

M/T - Clean Beef Stew 
W/R- Clean Black Bean Chicken Bake 
F/S Clean Spaghetti w/meatless meatballs

Pizza and Play

Today we knocked another thing off our bucket list, a "drive in" movie.  I snagged a few boxes from Lowes at about $1 a piece it is well worth the money for hours of enjoyment, then  the boys went crazy with glue and crayons creating their cars. Forgot to actually get out my camera and take pics...oops!  So you'll have to settle for an Instagram.
What is better than a movie?? How about pizza and a movie!!  So time to try a new recipe.  I had some leftover BBQ sauce, and some grilled chicken.  Throw in a crust, some onion and cheese and viola! BBQ chicken pizza.

 BBQ Chicken Pizza 

1 Pizza Crust ( I like the thin crust, but use what you love) 
2 Chicken breasts diced 
1 cup Cheddar Jack Cheese 
3 TBL chopped cilantro (more or less to your liking) 
3/4 C BBQ sauce 
1/4 red onion chopped 
Pepperocinis or jalapeno for  a little extra heat!! 

Heat oven to 400 or as directed by pizza crust package.  
Top pizza with BBQ sauce, chicken, onion, cilantro, peppers, and cheese.  
Cook for 8-10 minutes ( or according to pizza crust directions) 

** I made two variations one with Famous Dave' Rich and Sassy and one with their Georgia Mustard.  Personally I loved the Georgia Mustard with just a dusting of Rich and Sassy mixed in.**

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Exploding Type of Day

It is finally starting to cool down here, we actually stayed in the 90's today!!!  So today I took the boys outside and tried another pinned idea for exploding bags.  My 5 year old is a science nut so he hears experiment and comes running.  It was pretty fun and they had a great time comparing it to when their volcanoes erupted.  

We also made some of the sidewalk paint I have seen pinned so many times on Pinterest that I had to try.  They painted outside for almost two hours.  Although I did discover when washing it off that the blue is still remaining.  I may have to tackle that clean up tomorrow. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012


        The post title has many meanings at this point.  Torture n: anguish of body or mind.  With the 100 degree heat wave we've had I have definitely had some anguish of the body and the mind... I also took it upon myself to torture my poor child at the swim park the other day.  I am that parent that made the poor guy climb four flights of stairs getting more anxious each step and then proceeded to completely flip when he saw what lay ahead.  
      A water slide, I mean who doesn't love them?? Obviously my 5 year old did not! But we had made it to the top, we couldn't go back down... so me plopping him on the mat with me and just saying it will be fun don't worry.  (yeah right)  And you know what, I think that little guy actually may have liked it, had he not gotten a mouth full of water as we plunged into the pool at the bottom.  Alas the water slide won the battle that day!! But that is okay, we totally dominated the lazy river!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Summer Bucket List

     So now that summer is over half over for me ::sobbing in hands:: I better revisit our bucket list and see what we have left to accomplish.  The boys and I sat down and made this one of the first days of break and have accomplished some, but there are still plenty of things we wanted to do. Here’s our list, what’s on yours???

Our Summer Bucket List
o      Splash park
o      Ride a waterslide
o      Zoo
o      Dollar Store $5 spree
o      Swim
o      Ride go-karts
o      Hike
o      Bowling
o      Go Fishing
o      Planetarium
o      Wildlife Safari Park
o      Make sidewalk paint
o      Pretend “car wash”
o      Learn croquet
o      “Camp out” inside
o      Catch fireflies
o      Make paper airplanes
o      Library
o      Go to farmer’s market
o      Make play doh
o      Make candy suckers
o      Pancakes for dinner & Noodles for Lunch  by Today I feel Silly)
o      Make pizzas
o      Make box cars
o      Drive in” movie

Salsa & Margaritas!!

Could that title make me any happier, I mean it's my favorite snack paired with my favorite drink.  We frequent a local Mexican joint called Rivera’s and their salsa is fantastic, we would spend $7 a pint just to have some to take home.  Finally after some hard work, a couple mistakes, and close calls I think we have nailed the recipe.

Grilled Tomato Salsa
  2 large yellow/orange tomatoes
  2 small red tomatoes
  2 jalapenos
  1 small white onion
  2 cloves minced garlic
  1/8 C cilantro
  1 tsp. ground cumin
 Juice from one lime

 1.  Place tomatoes, onion, and jalapenos directly on grill.  Cook for about 10 minutes until the skin begins to pull away and they get a nice char. Remove from the grill. 
2.  Remove the core of the tomatoes, and seeds from on or both jalapenos depending upon the amount of heat you want. 
3. Place all ingredients in a food processor.
4. Pulse quickly until the salsa has the consistency desired.  Serve warm or cool with tortilla chips!

And , now let’s be honest nothing goes better with salsa and some good Mexican food than margaritas! While docked at Patos Island in the San Juans we met a family that made the most delicious margaritas. These drinks had quite a distinct flavor, not the usual overall sweetness that you associate with a margarita.  I quickly got the recipe and have made it several hundred times over the years. 

  In a blender mix up 1 small can limeade, fill the can from limeade with tequila, one can Budweiser (yes it must be Bud heavy), ice.  Blend up and serve.  Yummo!!

Friday, June 29, 2012

To Do Lists Galore!!!

So my dear husband feels that blogs are ridiculous, and sometimes they are.  But, I found this awesome site where you can turn your blog into a book- how perfect for me to make for my kids! I would like them to see what some of our activities, and daily activities were when they were little. I keep a journal for each child, but this would give them an overall feel to what their daily life was like. I don't know, maybe I'm weird, but I loved looking at old pictures and home videos when I was younger. You can find more information here
I see this as a way for me to chronicle a year in our life, whether it be meals, outings, or other tidbits.  AS a girl who loves home videos and photos I think this would have been awesome to have from a time when I was little.  I think it will give my kids some insight to what our life was like when they get older.
Three kids is a lot of work!!  Here is my list of shame that needs to get done this summer with all my “extra” time;
1.               Finish Cormac’s 1st yr scrapbook (few pages madeno pictures in most)
2.          Start Elin’s scrapbook!!!
3.            Order and organize all photos from 2011 through summer 2012. 
4.           Start & Finish decorating Cormac’s room. 

My list of excuses:
1. In my defense we built and moved into our house in November.
2. I had a baby in August.  Last year I had changed
3. I changed grade levels (again) last year to 3rd.
4. I am changing grade levels (AGAIN) this year to a 4/5 combo.
5. I work full time and do photography part time all the while spending every minute not working or shooting with my three precious children creating some awesome memories. 

Alright it’s out there, you all see my list of things to do and every reason not to, but here it is permanently on the Internet- this list will be complete by the end of the summer!!! 

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Lunch Bunch

You know what I dread most...lunch!  Dinner is the a breeze my family will truly eat anything I make from sushi to Thai food.  I know they are a bunch o' weirdos but I love them!!  Anyway back to lunch, now that I am home for the summer I have the daunting task of planning lunch for the kids daily.  I have turned to my BFF Pinterest for some ideas to keep my kids lovin' lunch time.  The last few years my youngest has attended Montessori pre-k full time, so lunch was something that had to be packed daily- ah stresssss!!  So I  used this planner to keep me organized so the poor little guy wasn't eating sandwiches every day.  It also helps me in planning my weekly shopping list.  

 So this week for lunch we tried out the peanut butter and jelly banana dogs as I had pinned on Pinterest. You know they sure make them a lot cuter on there than mine turned out, but the boys loved them!! Cormac wanted seconds! Score- and the great thing is this will be a perfect alternative to the traditional peanut butter sandwich this school year. 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Organize Me!!!

     Have you checked out! Well you should! I am telling you that woman is the most organized person I have ever seen everything from sorting out Lego's to your pantry.  It's seriously crazy.
       I have tried to become more organized and have taken several of her ideas and done one room/closet/cupboard every few weeks (that's all I can handle).First I developed a kids cupboard in the kitchen, great! Holds all the kids utensils and plates, cups etc.  Sounds simple right, like how did I never think if this before... alas I didn't and she did! Thank you!! I took this withmy phone so forgive the grain. You'd never know I do photography on the shameless plug I know! 

         Then I moved on to meal planning, the most time consuming part of my week.  I spend Sunday with Jack and Cormac planning out our meals, turning to Pinterest for some new dishes, then to the old cookbooks for the standbys.  I had to add a new section to my planner for an activity. Now that I am off during the summer, I try to find one thing everyday we can do together.  I believe the idea for the planner off Pinterest...go figure, but I tweaked it to fit our family and needs.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Cinnamon Meets Blueberry...

   For the last post for today (then it's off to enjoy my margarita) dessert.  Seriously my favorite thing in the world is any cinnamon dessert or snack.  So when I came across this recipe for Blueberry Cinnamon Rolls it was a no brainer! Although hubs did request that I make him some plain old cinnamon rolls...why of course dear ;)  One thing I did wrong, don't use whole wheat flour, not quite the same decadence to the rolls as white flour... boo! Oh well lesson learned.  Eat up! 
Prior to baking--- lookin' good! 

Special (or non-special) rolls for the hubs.

Finished product! 

Okay I should say I did omit the frosting...I don't like frosting GASP! But butter works just fine! 

I'm Hungry!!!

Okay so I hear this daily. A LOT.  I have three kids from 5 years-10 months and someone is always hungry.  So for dinner tonight I turned to my dear friend Pinterest for some inspiration.  I should mention it has been a goal of mine to make at least one meal from there a week.  I am on a roll today, literally because I have made TWO today!! For dinner we made this yummy cheesy broccoli chicken braid.  So delish and super easy! (My kind of meal)  You can find the recipe here it will pry become a monthly meal at my house, so easy to change up to ham and cheese or maybe a garlic chicken...oh my!

At the "Car Wash"

What do you do with four boys all 5 and under?  Well thanks to some inspiration from Juggling With Kids we decided to have a pretend car wash.  A couple of bottles of shaving cream and some water is all it took to stay entertained for almost an hour!  

Blog Schmog!

So originally this blog began as a way to help me develop my understanding of my camera with the 365 project.  Well, it's time to move on... It's been almost a year since I last posted and in order to have purpose for the blog (as all writing must have some purpose), I've decided to turn it into a way to share what happens in a house with 3 kids, a dog, and us who work full time plus some!