Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Should go back to bed!

Monday morning blues...
My week started with a meeting with my national CEO, my incoming board chair and a pretty important community member-- 135 miles away.

I got ready, popped the princess into the car and headed over to pre-school/day care only to find a note on the front door.


I left myself a little wiggle room, but certainly not enough to find somewhere from my daughter all day. Yikes!

Quickly I called the director's cell phone to find out she got a flat tire and was actually at the tire place having it fixed. I requested that she pick up my daughter when she got done and began to race home to leave the princess with my wonderful niece and the boys.

Race is the operative word... oh yes, clocked going 68 in a 50! And 72 in a 50! Just what I need-- 20 mins taken from my already evaporating morning so that i can have a speeding ticket.

I was about 20 mins late to my meeting-- made it safe and sound, in one piece, however a little frustrated!

I wanted to go back to bed. Maybe tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Welcome SITSta's

Oh my!
I just got the email that I am being featured on The SITS Saucy Blog of recipes...

Glad I checked my email-- I have jury duty this week and almost missed it.

Welcome friends- thanks for dropping in. Feel free to stay awhile.

I love to cook and on occasion I will post a recipe that I love and feel the need to share.

Thanks again-- I will try to come and visit you too!


We went to see one of our favorite bands ever last weekend!


The show was in Arrowhead, California- outdoor venue, easy, easy, easy. The group is family friendly and they create harmonies to die for! The mountain temps sure beat the desert too!

We made it a celebration- it was TDH's brother's birthday and the whole family went, about 20 of us. The kids love their cousin time and the parents love that we all get along so well. It is always a great time.

I am so lucky that I married into such a beautiful family!

We had great fun spending time together with our little clan too...

Venice is amazing... truly, check out their website at:

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Oh my!

Do these 2 spell trouble or what?

How adorable...

The Wild One is giving the Princess a ride on her Barbie 4 wheel drive Jeep.

They are to be reckoned with, these two. He is entering kindergarten this fall and she just turned 3 in March. I may have to chat with my little one about older men, for now
so sweet,
so innocent and truly adorable!

I am sure it will be a different story in High School when Daddy is screening suitors. Trouble is... I think she might be the Wild One!

In the meantime, we will enjoy.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Crazy Hair Day

Tuesday at Day Camp was Crazy Hair Day!

Don't they look adorable? When they look like this I could just hug 'em and kiss their little faces off! (I know not in front of the other kids).
TDH says they they look like girls... sweet boys.

(Sure beats the dog costume of last session)

Silly faces of summer!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Summer salad

My new favorite summer salad

1 cup of fresh strawberries
1 bag of mixed salad greens
1/2 cup of walnuts
1/2 cup of blue cheese crumbles
3 or 4 green onions

Slice strawberries.
Chop grren onions
Toast walnuts until lightly toasted - cool on a paper towel
Add mixed salad greens, strawberries, green onions, and blue cheese crumbles to large salad bowl. Once walnuts are cool, sprinkle on top and toss.

I serve with Trader Joe's raspberry dressing. (delicious and low in fat and calories).
My hubby prefers blue cheese dressing. Vinagerette is nice too.

If you want to make this a meal, add grilled chicken breast.

Delicious and easy... my favorite!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Saving money

I have been skirting the issue for awhile, but the cost of living is definitely going up.

For the most part, I try really hard to feed my kids healthy, non-processed food. I am lucky they enjoy cucumbers, cherry tomatoes and fruit for snack. I try not to buy anything with high fructose corn syrup and I buy organic milk.

I do try not to go overboard, I don't want them to feel deprived and then gorge themselves on junk when they are away from the house.

They seem to make pretty good decisions, so far.

Now my struggle is managing the rising costs and continuing to serve the same food. Typically I shop at Trader Joe's, Henry's and Costco.

I have a girl friend who is playing the Grocery Game and she is saving a lot of money! I am trying it-- I bought the trial for $1, I have clipped my coupons and printed my list. I plan to give it a try. We will see how far I get.

The hard part is that the lists that are available are for Ralph's and Stater Bros. I don't typically shop there.

I will let you all know how it goes-- if I save money and can manage to continue to serve relatively healthy fare then I may continue. I am sure that I will continue to stop in at Trader Joe's- their prices are really reasonable to start with.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken

This is a wintertime favorite and a recipe I use especially when I am working away from my home office.

We have a crazy couple of weeks coming up so I may use it for burritos in the not so distant future.

It is SO easy and delicious and versatile... serve it in tortillas with cheese for the kids, on rice or on top of greens for a yummy salad!

4 frozen chicken breasts

1 container of fresh salsa (12 ounce container)

1 beer (any kind)

Place ingredients in the slow cooker. I usually turn it on high while I am getting everyone out the door to school (about 40 mins) then I turn it to low for the rest of the day.

When I get home, I pull the breasts out and shred them (just pull them apart). I make burritos or a salad or just add them to rice.

Easy and Yummy!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Grumpy Mom

Today is one of those days!
Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my children. I love my life. I am truly very lucky and very blessed- but absolutely 100% human!

I am fortunate to do a job that I love, mostly from home and I get to spend a lot of quality time with my kids.

Today's time with them is bordering NON quality.

How many times shall I have to ask you to:
brush your teeth
feed the dogs
get in the car- we are going to be late
pick up your dirty socks, underwear, bathing suit
stop hitting your brother, sister, or the dog
stop chewing with your mouth open
please let go of your brother's hair
stop bouncing the basketball in the house
please don't throw the ball, the pillow, the hot wheel, the barbie (insert object)
do not jump on the couch, the bed or the dog
PHALEEEZE just listen the first time... I could deal with even the second time.

All three of you are bright young people with perfectly good hearing!

Mommy doesn't want to be grumpy anymore. I am sorry that I yell sometimes. Yes, that is your loving mother with the contorted face, gritting her teeth, under her breath cursing because she is frustrated and tired of making the same requests over and over!

Tomorrow is a new day... for all of us.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Mango Salsa with grilled chicken breasts

Fun and Friends for the Fourth of July

Our friends, the Greens and the Lopez's came over to celebrate the 4th of July! The Greens have 4 kids, 3 daughters and 1 son-- they got along beautifully with our brood. (The Lopez boys were busy this time-- we missed them)

I made mango salsa (which I have been craving for weeks) to go with grilled chicken breasts.

You can do this in the morning- allowing the chicken breasts to thaw while marinating. I have made the salsa the day before too-- the longer it sits, the better it is!

Chicken marinade
6 chicken breasts (I use boneless, skinless- frozen, fresh works too)
1 grapefruit, sliced (any citrus will do)
1 cup of orange juice (again, any citrus will do)
1 cup of Italian dressing
1 red onion sliced
1 or 2 tablespoons of chopped or crushed garlic
salt and pepper to taste

Combine in large zip loc bag and set aside

2 mangoes
2 kiwis
1 red onion
1 bunch of cilantro
2 medium jalapeno peppers (to taste)

Chop ingredients into small chucks, cover and refrigerate.

Grill chicken breasts, cut into strips.
I let them cool, especially in the summer-- this is a cold meal.

Serve with mango salsa.

Can be served with rice, tortillas, or by itself. I combined it with a favorite salad and fresh watermelonfor our meal. I will post the salad on another day.

Happy Fourth of July!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Mother of the Year

I usually don't call myself Mother of the Year in a flattering way, typically I am pointing at myself saying, "nice one"- how did you get to be a mother?

However this time, I am impressed with myself.

You see... Blue Eyes is attending day camp and each Friday of the session the kids dress up in tune with the week's theme. Having run camps a good part of my adult life, I feel it is important for our family to be supportive and to play along. (Blue Eyes doesn't have a chance either- both his Dad and I have made fools of ourselves in front of hundreds of children in the name of camp spirit).

The first theme of the summer was Hollywood Stars, the campers were to dress as a TV, movie or music star. Easy enough... Blue Eyes went as a "Rock Star" -- I think it may have had something to do with Guitar Hero sessions with his brother and Dad.

Costume was easy (remember it is 114 degrees outside!) He wore denim shorts, a Hard Rock Cafe t-shirt with the sleeves cut off and a fleece headband (made out of scrap material) that flowed down below his shoulders. I added a "soul patch" on that virgin chin and he was good to go!

Last Friday was dress as your favorite animal. I thought, cool , we have a costume box in the garage and I know there is a giraffe costume in there and maybe even some other critter costumes. (You know once a camp director...). So... morning coffee in hand, I am searching the garage for the darn costume box... I know it is here, just saw it.... hmm... searching high and low, a little sweaty now, did I mention it is HOT in the desert in the summer? I still can't find the darn box.
Magoo is suppposed to be picked up in a few minutes for his last day of summer school. Now I am dripping sweat and my hair is getting frizzy! So much for the morning shower. I have to get Blue Eyes into a costume, drop him off at camp, drop The Princess off at pre-school and then get to the summer school campus for Magoo's presentation.

No box... now what? Where the heck is the costume box? Can't find it...

We will punt! Do we have black material? Yes, I have some black velvet from a wrap I made a few years ago. Black head band, check. Black T-shirt, check. White towel, check. Glue gun, check, scissors, check. Here we go.

Cut ears out of velvet, glue to headband. Turn t-shirt inside out, cut out tag, cut odd shapes out of towel, glue to shirt. Cut tail out of black velvet, glue to shirt. Almost done- add a few white towel spots to the ears.

Time for camp-- backpack with lunch, towel, trunks, rash guard and sunscreen, check. Now, get in the car! Let's go, go, go!

Here is our puppy!

Not bad for a 20 min effort.

Bad news... everyone thought he was a cow. Did they not look at his ears? Don't some dogs have large spots?
Found the costume box, TDH put it up in the garage attic. (Never thought to look there). My brain cells were dying due to heat exhaustion! Another costume to add to the box- I will be changing the ears on the headband--- we will now have bovine ears.

Mother of the Year- for that day!

Tomorrow's dress up theme...
Red, White and Blue-- I am ALL over that one!