Saturday morning funnies

We are sorting through all the random stuff in the older boys’ room. I found a note in James’ handwriting that read,

Despicable me
Stupid
I survived

My goodness, I had no idea it was such a traumatic experience.
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John Micah(3) climbed up in the chair with Katie Rose (5). Katie Rose points to her book and says, “Here’s the story of Snow White cause you don’t like it!”
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John Micah is a rough and tough boy. He doesn’t sit still for tv except for Chuggington and Little Einsteins. But lately, if I put Sofia the First on for Katie Rose then John Micah instantly bursts into tears.

What’s the state of your sock drawer?

Now, if you know Veggie Tales then the title automatically takes you to their movie about Joseph. The mayor (Pharoah) determines who should help prepare for famine by the state of their sock drawer. Now personally, if you had asked me a few weeks ago about drawers like this then I would have assumed someone had way too much time on their hands or needed a hobby. But after living with drawers like this for the second week, I love it!

I got a book by Marie Kondo titled The Life-Changing Magic of tidying up. It’s such a great book! Approaching organization in a very different way. At first, I wasn’t crazy about her ideas of thanking your possessions and thinking of their storage in the way you would think of caring for a person. I reasoned people should be treated better than possessions. But then it struck me that if you treated things better, then how much better would you then treat people. It would improve from the bottom up. So I gave it a try.

A few of her ideas are to store vertically, never ball up or tie socks and store like things together not for ease of taking out but for ease of putting away. I had already pared down clothing so I started with drawers in my bedroom. I found extra room for things like my husband’s cell phone box and my jewelry boxes. I can easily see what I have so I am not wearing the same things over and over. I can even pick out an outfit in the dark in a matter of seconds. I even laid out clothes one evening for the next day. I’m sold! Great book! Much of my clothes are in my drawers since I needed to give half my closet for my daughter’s clothes. So they needed to be organized well.

My husband’s sock drawer with socks folded. Ties are folded neatly in the back. There are a few odds and ends like handkerchiefs,  watch box, cell phone box and old scarf

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My smallest drawer, which always seemed inadequate to me, has room for my denim apron, pajamas and scarves.

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My deepest drawer has my workout clothes, pants, skirts and shorts.

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My underwear/accessories drawer is my favorite. I have some odds and ends with my swimsuit on the left, a shoebox of bras, another box of socks, panties,  bandanas and my jewelry. Things I haven’t used in a long time can easily be found. They have been buried in the bottom of the drawer for way too long.

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I attempted to apply her idea of ordering from light to dark in my drawer of tops. I love how easy it is to choose the best match for the bottom without dragging everything out.

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So the state of my sock drawer is pretty good. It may take a while longer to apply all the organization to the rest of the house. But I am sold. We have also started thanking our shoes when we get home which makes a fun thing for the little kids to say as they put their shoes away in the utility room. Everything is more fun with a little diddy attached.

Crocheted headbands

I had some random flowers in my stash that I had crocheted a while back. I used some different colors of yarn to make headbands just perfect for embellishment. I just love the red one with fabric yoyos, felt and buttons. I used a pattern by The Lovely Crow. The pattern is so simple but very cool. My daughter loves them. They are so quick to whip up and so fun to embellish. And a better summer project than hats which make you hot just thinking about them. I’m enjoying these!

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Babystep #27 Eat more Indian food

It’s been a month since I’ve posted! I have been working on being more active. My brain is saying, “Go, Go, Go!” So it’s been hard to sit down to crochet or blog or anything like that. But I got back to crocheting yesterday and blogging today. Striving for that ever-elusive balance to my life.

One thing that I’ve been doing over the past couple of weeks is trying new recipes. In particular, a lot more Indian recipes. I had started back watching some of the Bollywood romances on Amazon Prime. My favorites were Vivah and Ek Vivah Aisa Bhi. Thank goodness for English subtitles. I had watched several Bollywood movies back a few years ago and they just seem to do a better job at a clean romance than Hollywood. So anyhow, I got to looking at some Indian cooking blogs and trying out some new things.

The first thing I tried was Chicken Breyani (Biryani). Now I have one Indian acquaintance and zero experience with IMG_20150217_185719authentic Indian food. But the best way to describe this recipe is ‘some kind of fabulous’. The picture does not do it justice. Everyone loved it. I let the meat marinate in some oil and spices overnight before cooking. I didn’t have saffron for the first two times I have made this. But I ordered some through our health food store since Amazon’s option was nearly $100. I doubled the meat prep last time and have it in the freezer ready for a third batch.

IMG-20150303-WA0009I am working on my chapatis. I didn’t have the right kind of flour but Amazon IMG-20150219-WA0004should solve that in a few days. I’ve made them twice but I still have some work to do to get them right.

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Chole

A Curry of a life is such a great blog. I tried her Cardamom Cookies. So scrumptious! I tried the Chole which after Breyani didn’t seem all that impressive but it was good. I also made the potato dumplings in the Malai Kofta.  I had a lot of potatoes so I doubled the batch. I have a bunch of lunch containers in the freezer so I can have some more whenever I want to. Yay for homemade freezer meals for convenience.

Malai Kofta

Malai Kofta

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Dal

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Rajmah

Indian as Apple Pie is becoming a favorite as well. I tried her recipe for Dal. It was really good. My 3-yr-old got seconds. Everyone else said, “It’s spicy!” I also tried Punjabi Rajmah. I made it a little Southern by adding some cornbread. Reminiscient of chili but with more spices so cornbread just seemed to belong.

The best health benefit from Indian food is all the anti-inflammatory foods like garlic and ginger. I made a ginger garlic paste with my mini food processor. I put it into a half pint jar to keep in my fridge. It seems to work in anything that calls for garlic. I have also used it in enchilada sauce and lasagna meat sauce. This is super convenient to not have to chop garlic or ginger every single time.

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Babystep #26 Taste the Rainbow

Babystep #26 Eat a rainbow of colors regularly. Now the good news is that over the last couple weeks, we have definitely been eating a rainbow on close to a daily basis. Bad news is that I totally overshot my budget! Between more fresh produce and birthday cakes, I averaged over about $25 each of the past two weeks.

My husband worked many years in the grocery business so I know that meat and produce are the areas for the highest profits for the store. So if you’re going for more protein and fruits and vegetables, then it’s naturally going to cost more. I did end up buying some things that lasted two weeks instead of one so I think I can get it back down some. I’m just have a learning curve right now.

Red – fresh tomatoes in sauce, chili, salads and wraps, red bell peppers sauteed with eggs

Orange – carrots as snacks and in sauces and slaws, orange bell peppers sauteed with eggs, canteloupe

Yellow – squash and bell pepper sauteed with eggs

Green – bell pepper and zucchini sauteed with eggs, green beans, and spinach, lettuce and cucumbers in salads and wraps, avocado in chili and wraps

Blue – blueberries in smoothies and blue corn chips (I got these at Sam’s and David exclaimed, “Blue corn chips! This is the best day of my life!” His fav color is blue.)

Purple – purple cabbage in salad and to make a simple slaw with grated carrots, Bubbies relish and mayo, grapes for snack

I am learning more of what I can fit in my fridge and how to arrange it so that we have the variety we need for all meals throughout the week. So ready for warm weather so I can plant some lettuce seeds.

 

 

Birthdays

I had read about the Jeub family’s Birthday Bash. I’ve mulled it over for a while. Talked to my husband and we both thought about it more. And finally decided that this is a good fit for our family.

I’ve found I work better in set parameters. I am more efficient. I am more creative. It just works for me.

In celebrating birthday months with two of the boys in February, two in September and our daughter in May, there is a lot of variability. Some plans fall through because of illness. The quality of the party can depend on funds, energy and time available.

But if we put our efforts into one party a year then there is one party to make amazing. Extended family get one invitation instead of being worn out with 3-5. And their actual birthdays can’t be ruined because of another siblings illness.

Like yesterday, a couple were a little sniffly and my husband felt really rough. An actual birthday party would have been canceled. But our plans were for a cake from Sam’s Club, opening cards, receiving a book from us and eating a special supper.

John Micah is not old enough to really tell me clearly what he wants to eat but I know he loves turkey so yesterday was turkey, parsnips, green beans and purple cabbage slaw. Today, James wants homemade mac and cheese. That will be made fresh to go with the turkey leftovers.

I took the birthday boys to Toys R us. James got some Star Wars stuff. John Micah got a car that lights up and rolls across the floor. John Micah got a balloon and I’m not sure who ended up more happy over the balloon, him or Katie Rose.

They really enjoyed their cards especially ones from their aunt with a picture of them with her.

Despite illness, it was a great day.

Today I’ll be taking cupcakes to James’ school.

Birthday Bash

1) Pick a theme that can translate into costume ideas for Halloween. This year since Star Wars is coming to theaters in December, Star Wars is our theme. This may be more fun than the year we went as the Scooby Gang.

2) Each child gets a book from us for their birthday. And books can come with craft supplies or toys. James got a Star Wars Origami book. John Micah got a Cars busy book. I became a Barnes and Noble member in anticipation of our future purchases.

3) Cake and supper of choice for the birthday child – no restaurants. Some times may be a little more lean than others so I would hate to take one to a restaurant and then have to tell the next one that we can’t.

4) A big celebration at our location of choice. This year, we’re planning to celebrate at a lake back near family in Mississippi. We might do a museum party one year or a trip to family further a way in future years.

5) A flexible date….shooting for a weekend in June and thinking about camping out. That means that we must plan the actual date closer to time to take into account weather.

6) Treats at school during elementary school years.

Happy Birthday John Micah and James!

Veggie prep

This past Saturday, I decided to get some of the veggie prep done and out of the way. It was so pretty and inspiring. Just think of how simple meals would be to put 10953148_10152962276622492_8628218264246034362_ntogether. I would have less washing dishes since I wouldn’t need to drag out the cutting board and knife every day. I actually figured I would use most of the fresh veggies for salad plus soups and casseroles. But it inspired a dish that we’ve made daily.

Sauteed veggies with scrambled eggs has been made every day this week. I put a bit of olive oil in the skillet. I pull out all my containers of prepped veggies from the fridge and toss in squash, onions, peppers, mushrooms. I let that saute until tender. I add Himalaya pink salt and fresh ground pepper. I then break eggs over the veggies. I break up the yolks and cook until the eggs are done to our liking. Never takes more than 15 minutes!

It is absolutely scrumptious. I have exactly enough left to make eggs in the morning and then I shop early before breakfast on Saturday. Between eggs, fruit, smoothies, garden salads and broccoli salad, I bet we have eaten more fruits and veggies this week than some whole months in the past. Such variety! I’m hooked.

I am inspired by this fridge. I have a whole bunch of mason jars. They are going to get put to great use this next week. I have a huge list of veggies and fruit to get. I am planning for Saturday to be my prep day.

I learned this week that we will take the path of least resistance. It’s probably encoded into our DNA for survival. So we have to use our brains to make the path of least resistance also the best path. This week, using veggies was easy peasy. But I didn’t add cheese to my eggs which I have often done in the past because the cheese required grating. It was available but slightly less convenient so we opted to go without the added calories.

Here’s to another week of staying on the healthy path.

 

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