Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Last night and today



 
Last night all of the schedules, forms, PTA memos, and requests started coming in for the upcoming school year. Last night I sat up for an hour, in the dark, thinking about how I have to get wolf scarves, soccer cleats, gymnastics uniforms, and backpacks ready for next week. I thought about all of the volunteer requests; I thought about my seven year old’s busy schedule and how we’ll fit in soccer practice and scouts on the same night.

Today I will pull my calendar back out and start filling it in again. Today I will start thinking about things like school lunches, and meal plans. I will start collecting my recipes for big vats of stew and chili that can cook all day in order to be ready when we drag ourselves home from wherever. Today I will google about kids who cry about homework, and how to stop getting them to cry, before I throw my hands up and say, “Fine. You can just fail 2nd grade. See how you contribute to your 401(k) then.” Today I will breathe, and remember to enjoy the 6 days of summer vacation we have left.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Quick Lit August 2015

Cape Cod National Sea Shore

We've spent a lot of time away this summer, which means a lot of reading time for me. Here are some of my favorites from last month:


I picked up the new biography Sally Ride: America's First Woman in Space when I was on a business trip, and I had hours to kill in an airport. This book made the time fly by (and made me long to do more with my physics degree!)

 
How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk is the parenting book I've been recommending to everyone lately. The ideas are so simple you can incorporate them right away, they feel natural, and they work!
 
 
When I read 11/22/63 a few years ago, I spent some time thinking about what historical event I would have stopped in order to make the world a better place. I never had a good answer until I read Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President. Now I know I would have stopped the assassination of James A. Garfield. This is non-fiction that reads like fiction. I "read"it as an audiobook, and found myself doing extra ironing just so I could listen some more.


The Husband's Secret was another audiobook that had me doing extra chores (although I liked Big Little Lies and What Alice Forgot better.)
 
 


I listened to One Summer: America, 1927 with my husband on a road trip. We both liked it, which is saying a lot. We do not have the same taste in books!

Visit The Modern Mrs. Darcy's monthly reading link up to see what this is all about.  If you want to see all of the books I've read this year (83 so far!) check out my Pinterest page.
{Note: Links to amazon.com are affiliate links. Thanks for your support.}


Monday, August 3, 2015

Menu Plan Monday

 
 
Between my kids eating food as fast as I can make it, and losing my freezer contents THREE TIMES so far this year I don't have my normal stash built up. I'm hoping to remedy that this week. My doctor suggested I try cutting gluten from my diet to ease up on some symptoms I've been having- I did three weeks ago and it's helping. It makes my normal dinner rotation difficult though. Any suggestions for gluten free freezer meals? I miss soup and bread, and sandwich nights.
 
 
Mon -- Meatloaf patties, stewed okra and squash, rice
 
Tue -- Crockpot baked chicken, sweet potatoes, salad
 
Wed -- Scrambled eggs, fruit
 
Thu -- Salad bar
 
Fri -- Carry out
 
 
Breakfasts -- berries, yogurt, muffins (for the kids)

Lunches -- Salad, leftovers, hummus + rice cakes

(Linked to: Menu Plan Monday)


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

July Garden Update

This has been a tough summer to garden. Our weather has been swinging wildly from 90 degrees and humid to cold with flash floods. I have to rip out my tomatoes and beans. Good news is there's still time to try with something else. I'm thinking some swiss chard would be nice. I'm going to start broccoli seedlings too.


I have managed to get a few things. I had enough tomatoes to share with family on summer vacation, and my brice squash is yielding a bit. I barely got any beans, but I did have enough to add to soup.


My herbs on the other hand are doing great. I even was able to get a head start on Christmas by making rosemary sea salt.

Expenses:
Giant: Onion sets $3.34
Home Depot: Mulch, soil, grass seed $40.00
Garden Center: Plants $26.24 + a gift card I got for Christmas
Seeds from burpee.com: $44
Lettuce and broccoli seeds on clearance from grocery store: $3
Mulch: $90

Total: $206.58

Harvests (pricing comes from my local grocery stores and penzeys.com):
1 large jar of dried rosemary: $8.55
2 small jars of dried rosemary: $4.38
1 small jar of dried basil: $3.95
1 bunch of daffodils: $2.49
5 bunches of mixed herbs: $5
2 bunches fresh rosemary: $6
1 bunch dried oregano: $3.09
1 bunch dried thyme: $2.65
1 bunch dried lavender: $7
Mixed greens: $6
Tomatoes: $10
Green Beans: $.50
Brice Zucchini: $2

Total: $61.61

Total Profit/Loss: ($144.97)

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Love Me A Sculpture Garden

 
Sharing photos from a recent visit to the Smithsonian's sculpture garden. 
 
 




Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Quick Lit July 2015


 
Is there anything better than reading outside when the weather is nice? I have been devouring books since summer started, and I don't plan on slowing down any time soon. Here are the highlights from June:
 
Confession time: I was assigned To Kill a Mockingbird like everyone else who went to high school in America, but I only read the Cliffs Notes. I remedied that situation this year when I listened to Sissy Spacek read the audio version. Wow! What a story!

How to Eat a Cupcake was chick-lit with an edge. I appreciated the darkness among the descriptions of organic produce and icing. If you like books like this I recommend Backpack by Emily Barr.

 

Jurassic Park was one of the books I wanted to re-read this year because of the much anticipated movie that came out last month. I still haven't seen the movie, but I re-read this book and still love it. I forgot it ended on a cliff hanger. I need to read the next book ASAP.

 
I enjoyed the recipes for homemade face masks in The French Beauty Solution, but not so much the idea of a grape fast. So wouldn't you know that since I read this book I have been craving grapes, but haven't tried a single face mask yet.
 
 Visit The Modern Mrs. Darcy's monthly reading link up to see what this is all about.  If you want to see all of the books I've read this year (72 so far!) check out my Pinterest page.
{Note: Links to amazon.com are affiliate links. Thanks for your support.}

Monday, July 13, 2015

This Week's Menu & Goals

We had a somewhat cool morning the other day, so I cooked up a boat load of quick breads and muffins for the freezer. Yay!

Here's my menu for the week. The cool weather is over so I'm going back to summer food.

Mon -- Ratatouille with pasta
Tue -- Eggs, muffins, & fruit
Wed -- Pizza with salad
Thu -- Leftover buffet
Fri -- Out with family

Breakfasts -- berries, yogurt, muffins

Lunches -- Salad, leftovers, hummus + rice cakes

(Linked to: Menu Plan Monday)

Last Week's Goals:

Kitchen: Clean out freezer, organize cupboards, make snickerdoodles and freezer jam {made muffins instead}
House: Clean front door, re-caulk shower
Garden: Weed & see what needs to be taken out/re-planted
Work: Write 2,000 words, read & review one book

This week's goals:

Kitchen: Clean fridge, freezer & cabinets
House: Catch up on laundry & ironing, org daughter's drawer
Garden: Weed! Decide on fall crops, and plant some swiss chard
Work: Write 2,000 words, review one book

Have a great week!