April 30, 2013

Weekend Scenes

The spring season is coming to an end ... just a few games left.


We have become big lacrosse fans. This is Bud's first season playing and he LOVES it.  But this hit, while all kinds of awesome, did earn him a penalty. Eh, whatever. Both hands were on the stick!


We also love soccer. Well, I do. My husband not so much.  Boo's team has done a complete 180 since the beginning of the season. On Sunday, they played the team that beat them in March by a score of 0-6.  But on this given Sunday, we beat them 2-0, giving this team their first loss of the season. It was, well... awesome. Our team deserved the win! We are so proud of them!

April 26, 2013

Monster Cookie Dough Dip

As a person who has zero problems eating cookie dough with raw egg in it (which is supposedly bad for you,)  I feel compelled to pass this recipe along to you.  It has protein and oats in it so really, it's healthy food disguised as dessert.



You only need a spoon and the ingredients listed below:

Monster Cookie Dough Dip - (this is a 1/2 version of the original recipe)

4 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 c butter, softened
1/2 c peanut butter - smooth or crunchy, your choice
1 c powdered sugar
1.5 tbsp brown sugar
1/8 c flour
1/2 tsp vanilla
1.5 c quick oats - use more or less, your choice
1/2 cup chocolate chips - I used the mini ones
1/3 c m&m's for color (optional)

Using whatever mixer you have, beat cream cheese, butter, and peanut butter until smooth. Add powdered and brown sugars, flour and vanilla.  Hand-mix in the oats, chocolate chips, and m&m's.  Store in the refrigerator if you manage to not eat it all!

A few people have reported that this dip freezes really well. So if you're smart, you'll make up snack-sized portions. Seriously though, two spoonfuls of this dip really satisfies my sweet tooth!

NOTE:
Original recipe found here via Pinterest:
http://www.the-girl-who-ate-everything.com/2012/05/monster-cookie-dough-dip.html

April 23, 2013

Can You Say Growth Spurt?

I'm not sure if I've mentioned it, but my 11 year old had a bit of the growth spurt this past year. It wasn't the growth spurt we were hoping for (in height), but he managed to gain 14 pounds while only growing 2 inches this past year.


Take a guess which pile doesn't fit?

It seems as though he has skipped over size 12 entirely. Seriously? Two pairs in that pile were size 8 and most were size 10's. These all fit at the beginning of the school year.  The lone pair of cargos on the right are a size 12. If he gains one more pound, they won't fit either.

The good news is he prefers to only wear athletic shorts and that's pretty much what he wears to school every single day.  Fine by me. They are relatively cheap to buy. But with our cruise coming up, he will need some nicer shorts so off to the stores I go. I figure 3-4 pairs of "nice" shorts should suffice.

I know. What kid needs 15 pairs of shorts. Did I mention I don't like to do laundry? And before this past fall, he didn't like to wear cotton shorts or althetic shorts of any kind? So you see, having 15 pairs of "nice" shorts isn't THAT crazy.

T-shirts is where I really need to have an intervention .... hahahahaha


April 22, 2013

Found!

I know you're all dying to know ... I found the missing flip flops. Now I feel a little less crazy.

The plates and bowl are still MIA.

I have many things on the official to-do list today. I love days off from work. If only I could get paid to be off from work all the time!

I know. I am delirious. But how sweet would that be?

April 19, 2013

My Son, The Comedian

Soccer practice had just ended and my son runs up to me and says,

"Mom! Mom! Did you hear about the kidnapping in (our town)?"

What? Where? When did this happen? Was my jumbled reaction.

"It's okay ... he woke up"

wah
wah
wah

This is what I deal with people ... he's 8!


April 18, 2013

Losing Stuff & My Mind

The other day I saw one of those funny cards on Facebook that literally sums up my life right now:



I consider myself an organized person, probably bordering on anal tendencies, but using the term "organized" is just nicer. But lately, I feel as though I'm losing my mind. Should I blame the 40th birthday? Did I cross some imaginary line that now means I'm slowly losing it?

Back in February I bought 2 pretty plastic plates and a bowl to make a cute cake stand/platter. Gone. Can't find the plates/bowl anywhere.

Last week my son's new flip-flops arrived and I decided he wouldn't wear them until our trip. I have NO idea where I put them. It's driving me insane!

My 11 year old has grown a lot this past winter. We need to do a major closet clean-out to see what fits and what doesn't fit. But I have no time!

Scrapbooking ... I still do this. I mainly scrapbook birthdays, sports and Christmas. It is something I enjoy but I haven't finished scrapbooking Christmas 2010 yet. Sigh.

The powder room redo that I started a year ago is still not done.

I started a semi-major gardening project in front of my house. I removed 90 pavers from one of the front flower beds. 90! All by myself! And I can still walk. Go me.

I wish I had the money to pay someone to do all of these labor intensive time-consuming projects but we just don't. Then maybe I wouldn't feel so pulled in 10,000 directions all the time. There seriously isn't enough time in the day to spend the time with your family, the sports, work, and all the little projects you want/need to get done. 

When I do start to freak out, I am able to take a deep breathe and remind myself that most of this stuff doesn't matter ... the kids are happy, well-cared for and fed. That is most important. But my brain. It's impossible to shut off most of the time. When I'm at work, I think about all the "fun" things I could be doing at home. And when I'm at home, I think about going to work, half-dreading going because that means I can't get this or that done.

I think all of this means three things:

1.  I have too much on my plate
2.  I need a new job
3.  I need to win the lottery

So to all the "perfect" bloggers out there, you're either on some really good meds or just a step away from people in white coats coming to carry you away.

April 17, 2013

1st Birthday

So he grew just a little bit, huh?


Happy 1st Birthday, Gunner!

It's been a wild ten months since we brought you home.

You've peed and pooped in undesirable places.

You've chewed stuff.

You've broken stuff.

You've scared the cats.

Oh the holes you've dug.

BUT

You're always happy to see us.

You're always ready to play.

You're just a big, protective love bug!

The house would be so empty without you.

<3


April 15, 2013

Recipe Book Fail

Recently my son had to submit a recipe to go along with a story they were reading in school. The teacher said she'd assemble all of the recipes into a "Class Cookbook" and send it home as soon as it was completed.  My older son also did this while he was in 3rd grade, so I was looking forward to seeing the recipes compiled by this class.

It's awful. First and foremost, this was a writing assignment and supposed to be written on the form sent home by the teacher. Many of the recipes you can tell were printed directly from websites and/or written by the parents. One girl sent in a "recipe" for chocolate covered strawberries using Baker's Dippin' Chocolate cups.

Now, I realize cooking and baking isn't everyone's cup of tea, but a little effort would have been nice.  Since my son's favorite food is pancakes, we sent in an easy recipe for from-scratch pancakes.

But this, clearly written by a parent, took home the prize:




April 12, 2013

5th Birchbox

April's Birchbox has arrived! Here's what was in the box:


1.  Full size Simple Revitalizing Eye Roll-on ... helps to reduce puffiness and revitalize tired eyes by instantly cooling them. Not sure of the price, as this was a bonus item. Did include a $1 off coupon.

2.  Nexxus Youth Renewal Rejuvenating Elixir ... a shine-boosting hair serum for "aging" hair. Awesome. A reminder that not only is my skin aging, but my hair is too.  Full size = $21

3.  Malin+Goetz Bergamot Body Wash (tall white bottle) ... listed as a glycerin-packed antiseptic cleanser for your skin ... it may work but it smells bad! Full size = $18

4.  Supergoop! (small white tube) Daily Correct SPF 35 CC Cream ...provide corrective & protective coverage Full-size = $32

5.  Kiehl's Antiaging Line-Reducing Serum... I'll report back on this one due to the price ... Full-size = $58


April 11, 2013

Kitchen Tip of the Week

Wednesday nights are our one night of the school and work week when we don't have a sports practice to attend. So I feel obligated to cook dinner on that night.  Cooking dinner has become just that - an obligation - because I am a short order cook. I realize this is entirely my fault but if anyone has been paying attention, you know I have a child with food issues.  And when you have husband that works most nights and it's just me, food issues kid, another kid, plus sports, it's easy to see how I became a short order cook. Son #2 eats decently but I can't get him to eat any seafood. He did recently try fried shrimp while we were out to dinner not long ago but I don't think it counts as "eating seafood" when it's fried!

I threw some nuggets into the toaster oven, boiled some water for the egg noodles, steamed the asparagus, and turned the oven on to cook the tilapia filets.

Ten minutes later, I smelled this:


Yeah. So it's important to always look in the oven before you turn it on, just in case *someone* put clean dishes in there that they didn't feel like putting away in the proper spot. I would love to ban my husband from stepping foot into the kitchen :)


April 9, 2013

Busy Busy Busy

It's the name of the game the past few days.  The weekend was jam-packed with sports, errands, scoping out long-term pet care facilities, and ended with a well-deserved dinner out with friends on Sunday evening. Yesterday I spent the day at an exhilarating auditing conference. I know you're jealous.

Where to start.

Let's start with the animals. It's more fun.  With our upcoming cruise, we need to make pet care arrangements for the dog and the problem cat.  The (easy) cat will just stay at home and my sister will come check on her a few times. She'll be fine. Trying to board her will be a lot more traumatic then leaving her in a quiet house. She's 13, set in her ways, and doesn't like change! Problem cat must be boarded or I have to leave her outside - which would be cruel. I wouldn't want her to think we abandoned her and since she's constantly in and out of the house and no one can stay at my house, I have no other options but to board her.  She's been boarded before and survived!

The dog ... Gunner Gunner Gunner. He's the one I'm most worried about.  He loves attention. Craves it. Expects it 24/7! So I'm a bit concerned about how he'll handle being separated from us (for the 1st time) in a "strange" place while we're away. I did some Facebook polling and some searching online to find the perfect place.  We "surprise" visited the place on Sunday and were given a tour on the spot. It was very clean and the caretakers were very engaging with the animals who were staying there.  Each suite has it's own outdoor run and they leave TV's on for the dogs. Many of the suites face each other in some way so the dogs can see each other. I suppose that can be good and bad but at least they won't feel so alone.

They also have a fantastic outdoor area with lots of room for dogs to run. I think this will be the perfect place for Gunner to stay while we're gone. The boys and The Husband agreed. If you're local to southern NJ and want to check out the place, here is the link:

http://www.halohouseanimalresort.com/

Next! Sports.  This might get ugly. The good news is Son #1 scored his first lacrosse goal on Sunday. He was beyond proud of himself. His team is now 2-2.

And the bad news ... we found another terrible coach. This time is a soccer coach.  Son #2's team played their 5th losing game on Sunday, and with 8 minutes left to go in the game and we're losing 0-3, the coach sat down on the bench. SAT DOWN. As if to say, I'm done with this. What kind of example does that set?!

Livid doesn't even begin to explain my reaction. Two days later and I'm still fuming about his behavior on that field Sunday afternoon. He's a grown man, for crying out loud, and these are 8 and 9 year old kids!!

Needless to say, I had two strong martinis during dinner on Sunday night and they were wonderful. I'm seriously concerned about the people involved in kid's athletics these days. It seems like everywhere you turn, it's full of cocky, immature, drama-seeking "adults."  I've almost had enough.




April 5, 2013

Playing Hookie

I had to take a day off from work this week to get some doctor visits taken care of for the boys. First up was a return visit to the dentist to have a total of 3 cavities filled.  Apparently dentistry has come a long way since the last time I had a cavity filled. They now use a laser to zap out the decay in a tooth. 

Say what? No more traumatizing needle to the gum?  I hate to say it, but I'm slightly disappointed this turned out to be such a fun visit for my boys. Now getting a cavity filled is not a big deal so why bother brushing our teeth well?!  That's exactly what they think now.

The good news for Son #2 was that his 2 cavities were in baby teeth so he gets a second chance once his adult teeth finally poke through.  Son #1's cavity was in one of his adult molars. He needs to be more careful about brushing his teeth thoroughly.

We spent the in between appointment times shopping at Target, eating lunch at McDonald's, and stopping at my brother-in-law's new gym space. The boys had a blast trying out all the equipment he has to use for workouts.

The second appointment of the day was a well visit for #1.  Although he only grew 2 inches in the past year, he gained 14 pounds!  I could swear he grew more than two inches, but I watched the nurse measure him. I'll just rejoice in the fact that he's still a good 7 inches shorter than me!

April 4, 2013

The Search is OVER!

There are SO MANY variations of buttercream frosting out there on the Internet it's absurd. But the weird thing is, they all taste different. Some are too sweet while some are too greasy. I have jotted them all down and have tried m-a-n-y variations. No more. I have found the recipe I will use until the end of time.

Don't dare ask me who posted the original recipe. That would be almost impossible to determine. So let it be known, that I am not taking credit for the recipe; I am merely sharing it with you!


Buttercream Frosting

1 stick salted butter
1 stick UNsalted butter
1 cup crisco shortening
1 tbsp clear vanilla
2 pounds powdered sugar
4-6 tbsp cold milk, added last

Mix butter and shortening until well combined. Add vanilla. Slowly add the powdered sugar, mixing it well. Beat it for at least 5 minutes then add the cold milk to your desired consistency and beat again.




I know there are many people who dislike shortening in their frosting, but I'm telling, this is good stuff ... give it a try. You might become a convert as well!

April 2, 2013

Peeps Easter Cake

I know Easter was a few days ago but Easter isn't supposed to be until later in April so I'm reserving the right to still post about Eatser stuff because Easter should never be in March! Longest. sentence. ever!

It's no secret that I enjoy perusing Pinterest when I'm bored. So this cake idea came together by a few different cakes that I saw using Peeps and candy and I added an extra layer and Edible Easter Grass.



I won't be giving a step-by-step as to how I baked, assembled, and iced the cake layers. I think that's self explanatory for the most part. I did use 2 9-inch and 1 6inch round pans to create the cake layers.  I used a from-scratch buttercream icing to frost the cakes.


My sister-in-law is a bit challenged in the baking arena. She can't even get brownies to come out right. And after a recent Christmas dessert disaster (which was freaking hilarious), she has sworn off baking forever. Since she was hosting Easter dinner, she asked me to bring "a disgusting dessert that no one will want to eat."  When I walked in with the cake, she was cursing me with her eyes and I said, "Just making you hate me more, one cake at a time!"