August 28, 2015

Meal Plan - Week 8

= Vacation!!

I do have a few easy meals planned to cook while we're away. I figure we'll cook 4 nights and eat out the other 3. Of course this is subject to change but I think it will be a good thing to have a rough dinner plan.

Meals planned:

Hamburgers/hot dogs
BBQ Chicken/side/local produce
Spaghetti/Meat sauce (prepping and freezing sauce before we leave)
Steak night/side/local produce

August 26, 2015

Barkbox Review ~ 4th (and final) box

Our subscription has come to an end.  Our last box arrived in the mail late last week.  I really have no complaints about the boxes at all. All of the toys and treats have been enjoyed by my pups. My only complaint is the cost.

I realize it's not feasible to send all of this stuff to you for $10 but for $24 a month, I can buy a lot more treats than what is provided.  It also doesn't help that I have 2 large dogs. The tiny packages of treats just aren't enough to justify the cost.

But it was definitely fun and I haven't ruled out renewing the subscription for a short time in the future.

Thanks for the fun, Barkbox!

August 21, 2015

Meal Plan - Week 7

Still on a roll, 7 weeks and counting.

Sunday:  Pork chops/rice

Monday:  Salmon/fish, depending what's on sale

Tuesday: Macaroni & Beef

Wednesday: Leftovers/sandwiches (changed around the schedule due to soccer practices!)

Thursday: Hamburgers/hotdogs

August 19, 2015

Railings Repainted

I finished up the 1st phase of this project over a week ago but kept forgetting to take a daytime picture. The pictures I took aren't the best (because I took them in the early morning) but whatever. A photographer I am not!

Over a year ago (yeah, that long), I repainted the spindles and the lower part of the railing. It too was that honey oak we all hate.  I couldn't decide what to do about the top part of the railing so it just stayed that way. I had no interest in sanding the railing and re-staining it - too messy. And I wasn't sure if using regular paint was the way to go. Then one day I came across milk paint and how it's the preferred paint to redo furniture - it was the perfect solution!

So here we are before:

And after:
And The Husband agrees!

It does appear that milk paint is hard to find in a store so I just ordered it.  I used "Dark Chocolate" (brown) because I felt black would be too dark (lol) ... and I was right. As you can see, the dark chocolate looks black in photos. I am very, very, very happy with how it turned out!

Here's what I did, step-by-step:

1.  Thoroughly cleaned the to-be-painted area with clorox wipes.
2.  Painter's tape is your friend - use it!
3.  Using a clean rag, carefully wiped paint deglosser on the to-be-painted area. Allow it to dry for about 15 minutes - it dries fast.
4.  Apply the milk paint with a foam brush. Depending on the coverage you get, you will need 2-3 coats. It dries very fast. But I did let the area dry overnight before I did Step 5.
5.  Apply the polyurethane top coat (flat) with a foam brush. Don't over brush, but work carefully to get a smooth even finish.
6.  Done!

Here's a link to the paint products I used:

This project isn't quite done. I still have 2 sections of railing on the 2nd floor to complete. I hope to get that completed during the month of September.

Milk paint for the win!!

August 14, 2015

Meal Plan - Week 6

Yep, still doing it! Because the Chef I've been wishing for hasn't arrived.

Sunday:  Shrimp Scampi

Monday:  Chicken/white wine sauce - repeat recipe from week 1

Tuesday: Manwich

Wednesday: Breakfast for Dinner

Thursday:  Leftovers/sandwiches

I suppose it would be helpful and more interesting if I took a photo of each of our dinners. No photo means it didn't happen, right? I find the notion of documenting everything through a lens exhausting.

I'm officially showing my age.

August 13, 2015


I've come to a fork in the road. I wish I could say I'm surprised but I cannot. The Husband's retirement has not been easy. I'm all for taking some time to recharge but that doesn't mean you get to skip out on other responsibilities, sleep until 2pm every day and then watch TV until 5pm while your other half goes to work each day.

I feel like a damn maid and it isn't fair. For added fun, we aren't seeing eye-to-eye on parenting issues right now either. When I try to talk about why I think "xxx" is wrong, I'm calling him a terrible parent - and that's not what I said at all. We're currently spinning in circles and getting no where.

Before the retirement, we spent a great deal of time apart due to his schedule and our marriage has worked that way for over 10 years.  I know he misses his job to some extent and that may be the root of some of this, but you know what? Be an adult. Start looking into what's next. It just might improve your mood.

So I've been feeling glum, frustrated, and angry.  I'm a joy to be around. Our upcoming vacation should be fun. I'm considering just taking the boys and going alone.

August 7, 2015

Meal Plan - Week 5

I seriously can't tell you how much easier meal planning has made my life and my shopping. No more fretting over what to make for dinner each night. I have a plan and for the most part, have stuck with it.

Last night I was supposed to make BLT's but we had so many leftovers in the fridge, I didn't make them so they will be our dinner on Friday or Saturday night.

Last week my son requested a "special" dinner on Sunday to I bumped last week's Country Fried Steak dinner to this week.

Sunday:  Country Fried Steak

Monday:  Stuffed Shells

Tuesday: Baked Flounder

Wednesday:  Hamburgers/hotdogs

Thursday:  Leftovers/sandwiches

p.s. My son's special dinner? His favorite meal ever - Hamburger Helper Tomato Basil Penne. It's the only variety he likes. He looooooves this stuff to the point it's almost embarrassing!

August 6, 2015

Minor Whining Below

I'm lacking content this week, since I'm sure no one wants to hear me whine about how I want summer break to end. Yes, I'm aware that's a crazy notion and I'm in the minority but when you still have to work all summer long and everyone else in your house is on summer break, it sucks.  I hate the lack of routine and the lazy. I'm much happier when school is in session.

However, I do have our vacation to look forward to and it's time to start thinking about some solid plans and a pack list for that. So that's a good distraction, right?

Soccer practice kicks into full gear next week. Son #2 may just die. He's been a slug all summer long. The team has been moved up from Flight 3 to Flight 2 ... so here we go again...

Son #1 has decided to NOT play football this year. I have mixed feelings about this but I understand why he doesn't want to play and we didn't force him.  But it's weird. For the past five years, football has dominated our lives (and my washing machine) from August - November. My Husband is still coaching though so I didn't get off scot-free!

He will play lacrosse though but the Fall lacrosse season is almost silly. The Coach is trying to put together some extra training and 3v3 play together to help keep their skills up in preparation for the spring 2016 season.  I'm hoping that's enough to keep him engaged (and off his phone) this fall.

School starts 9/8. I can't wait!