Thursday, March 28, 2013

Superbowl Party pics- it's never too late

The Superbowl? When was that, a hundred days ago? 

superbowl party menu

I know, but if part of my goal in having this blog is to use it in lieu of a scrapbook, then I better remember to write about our parties. Pay no attention to the fact that we just had a St Patrick's day party with an insane amount of corned beef, and I took *no* pictures. Total blogger fail, but I was a very relaxed hostess. Ahh, sometimes it's tough tp balance real life and blog life:)

Back to the Superbowl. 

I made 150 various types of hot dogs and we had 4 left over, so I think that was a great success. I followed my Superbowl meal plan pretty closely, and even added my green bean, fennel and grapefruit salad at the suggestion of my friend Jessica, who thought I needed more green things:)

green bean grapefruit and fennel salad

The Margarita Cake was phenomenal  and 2 different friends brought cookies to supplement the dessert side of the table.

Margarita Cake

Huge success all around, and I'm going to do it again next year. 

Of course, we were sad with the final game result, but at least it was fun:)


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Monday, March 25, 2013

My Favorite Passover Snacks

With the Jewish holiday of Passover starting tonight, I thought I'd share a few of my favorite snacks.

I love to make my own homemade coconut macaroons. These are light and fluffy and taste almost nothing like the ones you buy in a can, delicious!

Coconut Macaroons

I also plan on making these cookies this year. Instead of using peanut butter, I'll use almond butter. How can you go wrong with a 3 ingredient cookie?

Flourless Almond Butter Cookies

Thankfully the kids are off of school, but I might whip up a batch of Knockoff LaraBar Muffins, for them to snack on during the day.

larabar muffins to make at home

Of course I'm making brisket as well, although no beer in it, I'll use wine or homemade chicken broth instead.

Anything you are making special this week?


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Thursday, March 21, 2013

How to Enjoy your Birthday as a Mom

Today is my birthday!!!!

I know, I said that with way more excitement than I actually feel, since birthdays when you are a parent inevitably suck.

Tips for enjoying your birthday, even with little ones underfoot!

One year I got a kidney stone, the next my daughter was super sick, on my 30th birthday, I had the flu so badly I had to go to the emergency room due to dehydration. This year I have 2 or 3 sick kids (hard to tell since I'm pretty sure the 3rd one is just pretending to be sick so he can watch TV). The universe conspires to make birthdays pretty awful for parens so we can instead focus on our children's birthdays, planning elaborate construction birthday parties and the like.

So here are my top tips for how to enjoy your birthday when you are a mom.

1. Plan multiple celebrations. Dinner with your parents, a different night out with your spouse, lunch with girlfriends, cake decorating with your kids. You get the idea. And if one of them goes off without a hitch, then declare that your birthday celebration and move on.

2. Throw a kid-free party. I did this last year and it's really refreshing to have a party with no children attending. Since we usually gather our friends with children for the aforemetioned birthday parties, 4th of July, etc. it's nice to relax without having your conversation interrupted a million times.

3. Lower your expectations. I mean really low. No one throws up? That's amazing! Your husband remembered your birthday anytime before dinner? Great. Homemade card from your kids that they insist on keeping to themselves? A total win.

4. Find some "me" time. Even if that means going to school pickup early and reading a book in the car for 15 minutes. Ideally, I have time for myself a bit each day, but on my birthday, I make sure to schedule it in.

What do you do on your birthday?

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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Sick in Springtime (Round 2)

The baby has a cold with awful green snot coming out of her nose and she's given it to me. It's one of those killer colds where you can't move off the couch, and just want to lay in one spot and moan.

Since my head isn't capable of forming complete thoughts right now, I thought I'd share a post about how I dealt with sickness in our house last year. I was WAY more prepared, and totally on top of things. For some reason, being sick at the end of March just feels so WRONG...


If I put the medicine on a silver tray will that make them better faster?

Here is how this day came to be.

Day 1: My daughter's "neck" (read:throat) hurts
Day 2: sniffles start
Day 3: She is incapacitated on the couch with a massive cold, cough, and fever
Day 4: Stays home from school, but feels good enough to re-organize the baby's room
Day 5: Back at school
Day 6: My son gets a little sniffly
Day 7: He has a cough
Day 8: He is incapacitated on the couch with a cold, cough and fever
Day 9: Slightly better, but he is still sick
Day 10: The baby gets the sniffles
Day 11: Baby and boy are both sick
Day 12: Today. He is home from school, on the tail end of the cold, the baby is sick, and my older daughter wants medicine because her brother is getting it. She is the only one who will tolerate saline drops in her nose, so that's what she is getting.

If there was ever a universal cure for the common cold, it's chicken soup. My family's version comes from my German grandmother, Clunky Soup. I has a much longer, German name, clunkersomethingsomething, but we can't remember it, and Clunky sounds better to a sick kid. It's basically dumplings; or matzoh ball soup without the matzoh:)

The recipe can be expanded to accommodate more children, or adults, I generally go with 1 egg per person.

2 eggs
2/3 cup flour (possibly more)
1 quart chicken broth

Bring broth to a boil.
Beat eggs (I do this with a fork)
Add in flour, a bit at a time. You want to achieve a pretty thick consistency.

Spoon mix a teaspoon at a time into the boiling broth.
*Tip- I dip the spoon into the broth each time, it helps the sticky mixture come off the spoon.

Cook 3 minutes.


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Friday, March 15, 2013

Teacher Appreciation- a Pencil Vase

Pencil Vase

I signed up for a few too many commitees at my daughter's new school, but the one I'm so excited about is the teacher appreciation committee.

We provide lunch for the teachers twice a year plus snacks on parent-teacher conference days.

To brighten up the teacher break room, I decided to make some very teacher appropriate vases.

teacher appreciation pencil vase

Here is what you need:
a glue gun
a jar ( I used a jar of peaches from my chicken and peaches dinner)
Lots of pencils (This jar took 29)

supplies needed to make a pencil vase

Of course I purchased the #2 Pencils on Amazon, because you know how I like to save 10 hours a week by using them:)

glueing on the first pencil for a pencil vase

Just line up the first pencil very carefully, and hot glue it on.

glueing on pencils for a pencil vase

Then keep working your way around the jar, occasionally glueing from the right and then the left, to make sure it's even.

pencil vase from a jar

At the end, space out the last few evenly, so your aren't left with a gaping hole 3/4 the size of a pencil:)

pencil vase from a jar


Any crafts you are working on lately?


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Monday, March 11, 2013

Detox Bath Salts

Marble tile master bathroom

While making these bath salts, I also decided to re-shoot my master bathroom.

Marble tile master bathroom

So much prettier, and I think you actually get the idea of the window in the shower now.

Marble tile master bathroom

Dont' worry, we are so high on a hill that no one can look in:)

Detox Lavender bath salts

To make the bath salts, just combine Epsom Salts, baking soda, and ginger. I added dried lavender I had laying around, so it smells nice:)

How to make your own detox bath salts at home

According to the original post, where I got the idea from, this is supposed to draw out toxins and prevent illness.

How to make your own detox bath salts at home

That didn't exactly work for me, but with 3 kids in the house, I'll take any excuse for a nice bath.

Marble tile master bathroom

"Sorry honey, I need to take a detox bath so I don't get sick. That way I can take care of you and the kids better".

How is your family holding up this season?


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Friday, March 8, 2013

Framing Out an Elevator Call Button

No complaints on my end that we have an elevator, I use the thing all the time for groceries or for transporting tired and cranky kids up or down quickly.

elevator door

The one problem is that the call buttons we not exactly in tip-top shape after construction. Can you see that exposed drywall edge on the side? And this was the best looking one, the others were even worse, but had bad lighting so no pics of those:)

exposed elevator call buttons

Soooooo, 20 months after moving in, I decided to do something about it.

Enter a few frames I got at Aaron Brothers on sale. I took them apart, so only the white frame was left.

taken apart white frame

Added mounting tape to the ugly metal panel,

and just pressed it on. 

using a frame to frame-out an elevator call button

A million times better.

Have you ever put off a quick, easy, and cheap fix for 20 months? It's way too long, just do it!


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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Birthday Gift Idea

Just in case you als noticed that spring is birthday-party season...

birthday gift ideas for little girls

My newest gift, the lovely book, Sky Color, by Peter H. Reynolds, with a set of watercolors.

And grautitous pics of the baby-love:)


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Monday, March 4, 2013

A Backyard Update

This post is theoretically about the fact that we put a coat of cement on our back wall, so the backyard is a bit more fixed up.

Of course, while I was taking the photos, my little ones got in on the action. Although this is a good shot of the ipe bench seat we had made:)

So then this post became a montage of adorable baby photos, since she is the one that will happily pose for me.

Although, the backyard, IS looking awesome, and we are using it more now that the weather is getting warmer.

You can tell by the cute little spring dress baby-love is wearing (purchased from Target, in case you need it too!)

Any springtime activities in your neck of the woods?


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Friday, March 1, 2013

Purim Costumes and Homemade Hamentaschen

This year Purim came early, so I waas bit unprepared, baking Hamentaschen (the traditional 3 cornered cookie) on the morning of the holiday.

This is a wild and crazy holiday, where everyone dresses in costume, so I went as my baby:)

See how we matched?

The bigger kids went as "a baby-princess-pajama-formerly-Angelina-Ballerina" and a fireman.

Sometimes the simplicity of a 3 year old boy is so refreshing when compared to the complexity of a 5 year old girl, you know?

For the cookies I used a new sugar cookie dough recipe that I don't recommend, but pretty much, the process is as follows:

Assemble dough, flour for rolling, fillings (jams, jellies, chocolates, the traditional poppyseed was nixed at my house).

hamentaschen cookies- 3 cornered cookies for Purim

Cut out circles of your dough.

how to make hamentaschen cookies- 3 cornered cookies for Purim

Place filling inside.

how to make hamentaschen cookies- 3 cornered cookies for Purim

Fold up 3 sides and pinch corners to create the triangle shape.

how to make hamentaschen cookies- 3 cornered cookies for Purim


how to make hamentaschen cookies- 3 cornered cookies for Purim

In my case, they fell apart, but still tasted pretty delicious:)

how to make hamentaschen cookies- 3 cornered cookies for Purim

We took these pics after sampling the cookies, so baby-love is a happy-bappy:)


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