Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Last day of March

The sun is finally shining, it is starting to feel like spring, and we are drying out today after all the rain we have had in the last few days. I dont know how much it rained, but hopefully it is done for awhile. The girls are ready to go outside and play, and I am ready for them to get out of this house and run some energy off.

Check out Cliffs daffodils. Arent they pretty?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

My blonde moment

So sometimes I have no brain at all.
I was just trying to be helpful. I finally dropped the rent for the condo we are renting on craigslist, and I guess that was the lucky price, because we got a lot of inquiries about it right away. MJ was going to show the apartment after work but the keys where here at home across the river. He had another showing later in the evening around 8:30, so he came home for dinner and then was going to head into the city later.

I wanted him to look at some paint samples while he was there, and decide what color to paint the kitchen in the condo. (If I remember, I will take some pictures of the colorful paint job it has now. Let just say the kitchen and hallway is lemon yellow... no sunshine yellow. It is bright! Which by itself doesn't look too terrible, but the trim in the hallway is what makes it hedious. It's bright blue. The first time I saw it I thought MJ had taped off the trim with painters tape. That's how blue it is.) MJ suggested that maybe I show the apartment, so I could decide the paint color for myself.

I agreed to show it and away I went with a blank lease and some paint samples. It was only once I had arrived, 30 minutes later, did I realize my mistake.   I didn't have the keys to the apartment.

So after I kicked myself a few times, I jumped back in the car and headed back over the river to retrieve the keys, and then back to the condo. The girl looking at the condo, bless her heart, was able to meet me 45 minutes later.

She even liked the apartment! Filled out the lease right there.

Looks like I have some painting to do.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Crab Yummies

At the closest Chinese Restaurant to our house, they have Crab Rangoon listed as Crab Yummies. That’s because they are the yummiest thing on the whole menu. At least that’s what I think. Unfortunately, we don’t order takeout very often. So what’s a girl to do when she gets a craving for these delicious little things? I guess I’ll make my own at home.

Here is how I did it.
I took a block of cream cheese and softened it in the microwave for a few seconds. Then I chopped up some imitation crab (because that is all I had) and scallions and mixed it all up. That was it for my filling. I like it plain and fresh.

While I heated some oil to fry them in, I started making the little pockets. I took wonton wrappers placed at an angle, and put about a tablespoon or so of the filling bottom point, right in the middle. Then I wet the upper edges with a little water. I rolled up the filling so it looked like a little tube with filling in the middle. The empty sides of the tubes I folded over onto the part with filling, and sort of tied the ends together.

This forms a little pocket that can carefully be placed in the oil. I fry these for a couple minutes, watching carefully, until they are golden brown.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Mongolian Beef

This is one of my favorite recipes right now. It is a copycat recipe from PF Changs. I haven't had PF Chang's Mongolian Beef, so I really cant compare the two, but I can tell you that this one is good, and it's easy to make!

Here is the recipe:

P. F. Chang's Mongolian Beef

2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon ginger, minced
1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
vegetable oil, for frying (about 1 cup)
1 lb flank steak
1/4 cup cornstarch
4 large green onions

Make the sauce by heating 2 tsp of vegetable oil in a medium saucepan over med/low heat. Don't get the oil too hot. Add ginger and garlic to the pan and quickly add the soy sauce and water before the garlic scorches. Dissolve the brown sugar in the sauce, and then raise the heat to about medium and boil the sauce for 2-3 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Remove it from the heat.
Slice the flank steak against the grain into 1/4" thick bite-size slices. Tilt the blade of your knife at about a forty five degree angle to the top of the steak so that you get wider cuts. Sprinkle the steak pieces with cornstarch to apply a very thin dusting to both sides of the beef. Let the beef sit for about 10 minutes so that the cornstarch sticks.
Heat up one cup of oil in a wok. Heat the oil over medium heat until it's nice and hot, but not smoking. Add the beef to the oil and sauté for just two minutes, or until the beef just begins to darken on the edges. You don't need a thorough cooking here since the beef is going to go back on the heat later. Stir the meat around a little so that it cooks evenly.
After a couple minutes, use a large slotted spoon to take the meat out and onto paper towels, and then pour the oil out of the wok or skillet.
Put the pan back over the heat, dump the meat back into it and simmer for one minute.
Add the sauce, cook for one minute while stirring, and then add all the green onions.
Cook for one more minute, and then remove the beef and onions with tongs or a slotted spoon to a serving plate. Leave the excess sauce behind in the pan. I add a bag of Asian cooked noodles to the sauce, and serve these beside the beef. You could also serve it with rice.

Even the girls love it...

this one however was being picky.... oh well, you can't win them all!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Sushi Night

I have a five year old that loves to eat sushi. She claims that it is her favorite food. I, coming from small town Iowa, had never tried sushi until I went to college. Can you really blame me? In fact, I think I was on a date with said five year olds father the first time I'd ever tried it.
Since its a Friday in Lent, she has conned us MJ into making sushi for dinner. I made the rice and he did the rolls.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Easter Plans

So Easter is right around the corner and I am really ready for some sweets. I have done so well during this whole Lent season and I am really proud of myself. But the girls and I are ready get back in the kitchen and bake some yummy treats. They are also looking forward to opening whatever baskets the Easter Bunny brings. (note to self... buy Easter baskets)
Unfortunately, my Easter plans are up in the air right now. MJ is hoping to get the bid for a job in WV. If this happens he will be out of town for the next 6 weeks. So I guess I will patiently wait to hear about the job. Do you think MJ will mind if I call him again? Here is how our last phone conversations have gone...

Me: Hi honey! How's work?
MJ: It's fine. What do you need?
Me: Oh, nothing. Just called to see....
MJ: I haven't heard anything yet. I'll call you if I do.
Me: Really, no word?
MJ: Nope. Gotta Go
Me: Ok honey. Call me if you do
MJ: Yeah yeah ok bye

So I don't think I'll call him again. I know, nagging wife... but really I just want to make some Easter plans. Cut this girl a break and just give him the job, would ya!

Thanks for listening to my rant.

Now just for you I'm going to let you in on a secret. Here is the first thing I'm making Easter Morning.
(I am borrowing PW's picture until I can make my own. Check her out at )

I would make them the night before so they are ready in the morning, but why tempt fate? I might eat them all before midnight.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Happy Birthday Grandma Patti

Today is my mother's birthday! I won't share with all of you how old she is, because sometimes she reads this blog, but lets just say she qualifies for a few more discounts. Don't feel to sorry for her because she is enjoying the nice sunny weather in Florida this week. We wish we were there with you.
So in honor of Grandma's birthday I'll post some pictures of her grandkids! Love ya Mom!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Book Sale

At our house we like to read, we really like to read.
Little Miss borrows 25+ books each time we go to the library. She just can't get enough.
Miss Loo loves Dr. Seuss. She will be reading on her own soon.
Peanut just likes to chew on the books right now, but I blame that on her teeth.
I love to read when I have time. My house suffers from it but I try to make up for it in between books.
MJ loves to read also, but we have slightly different tastes when it comes to books.
I like fiction, he likes non-fiction. I like easy reads, he likes difficult ones. (I don't know that he actually likes them difficult to read, but I usually can't get into them.)

So we need lots of different books to keep us all happy.
Books used to cost us tons of money at Barns & Nobel or Borders, but then I found out our Library has a Book Sale four times a year. Some of them are old library books, but most of them are books that have been donated. We went last fall and picked up tons of books for all of us. They had the sale again this weekend and I took full advantage. Check it out!

Now we can play my husbands LEAST favorite game!
Guess how much I spent!
To make it fair, I'll give you a hint....
The first book I''m reading is a newer Nicholas Sparks book.
Borders price $24.99

I spent less than that on all of them!
You should check out your local Library and find out if they have book sales.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patricks Day!

Well, seeing that my husband is Irish, and I have doubts about my pure Dutch heritage (come on, I have red hair!) I will be making an Irish feast today. Corned Beef and Cabbage, Soda Bread, and Irish Coffee. Strike that. Mike = no coffee.  Darn, Guinness will have to do.

We have a crazy day with lots of things going on so I am going to cheat and use my slow cooker. Here is what I am going to do...

First I rinse off the corned beef. Then I put it in the bottom of the slow cooker. . Rub some brown sugar on the corned beef to coat entire beef, including the bottom. I didn't measure the amount, but I would estimate anywhere between a half cup and three quarters of a cup. Add the seasoning packet that comes with the beef. If there is not a seasoning packet in your package, do not rinse the beef in the beginning. Pour a bottle or two of Guinness beer around the beef. Then add water to cover the beef. (I have heard that if you don't cover the meat, it will get bitter. I don't know if this is true but I'm not taking any chances) Let this cook on high for 6 hours or so. With two hours left in the cooking time, add the carrots, onion and potatoes. Don't add the cabbage until you are about 45 or 30 minutes out, unless you like mushy cabbage. I like my cabbage to still look like cabbage, so I wait till the last 30 minutes.
Just before you are ready to serve, take the beef out and let it sit a few minutes before you cut it across the grain. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

New Teeth

Finally! Peanut has been working on her two top teeth for the past 3 weeks or more, and today I can finally see one. Let’s hope that this will help her sleeping habits. Her mom could always use more sleep. I will try and get a picture of them after she gets done with her nap. Just a heads up, we have colds again here so expect lots of green snot in the picture. Now that is dedication if you check back later. Just don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Wedding Weekend

MJ and I had a wonderful time at our friends wedding this past weekend. I would be lying if I said everything was perfect, but despite all the obstacles we had a great time.

There was a bad storm here in NJ, not a thunderstorm but a Nor-Easter. The rain was coming down in every direction. Just running from the parking lot to our room with our bags left us completely soaked. Luckily this prompted me to take a shower and dry my hair before going to have a drink with everyone. I really should have finished getting ready at this point, but we were in a hurry to see some friends.

We went up to our friend’s room for a drink or two, and while we were up there the power went out. No big deal, right? We all just waited for the power to come back on, and waited and waited. Still no power so we got ready in the dark. All that worrying about my dress and my white legs was in vain, no one could see me in the dark.

The wedding was beautiful and very romantic. They said their vows by candle light. The bride was gorgeous! We celebrated well into the wee morning hours. Unfortunately, the morning came even quicker with daylight savings time springing us forwards an hour.
So a big Congratulations to Michelle and James, we wish you all the best!

Here is a picture of MJ and I. Please excuse the finger. It is his way of showing affection!


Friday, March 12, 2010

Dress Decisions

I may be the worst decision maker in history. Really, I rank way up there; right behind my mother (sorry mom, but you know it's true!). I am having the hardest time finding a dress for the wedding this weekend. I say that like I have plenty of time to decide. The wedding is tomorrow.
I think I have it narrowed down to two dresses. One I really like, it is a really pretty jade color that goes well with my hair. The other is just ok; it is the standard black dress with some ruffle detail on top. Sounds like an easy decision, right? Not inside my brain. I was silly and asked my husband for advice. He chose the wrong one, I mean, the black one.

He has some valid points on wearing the black one, and I am sure he is right about the comments I will get if I wear the green one. (Some people don't comment positively when I get dressed up. I think they are trying to be nice but it usually sounds something like.. "OhMyGod you are soooo skinny! Here, have a piece of cake." Seeing that I gave up sweets for lent, and I will not even get to eat the cake at the wedding, it is kind of a sore spot with me. If this happens, I may fling the cake right at the person handing it to me.)

So what do I do? Should I wear the one that I really like, and look past any comments? Or should I wear the basic black and blend in?  Oh decisions, decisions. How I loathe you.

I am going to stop over thinking now and just wear the one I like.
Here is  a picture of it!   Yes Lyndz, I will send it to you after this weekend.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Thankful Thursday

 Lots of things to be thankful for in my life....

MJ made dinner after driving home from West Virginia today. He made hamburgers on the grill. He makes a mean hamburger. Did I mention he also cleaned up after dinner? I am thankful for my husband (and his hamburgers)!

My Girls.

Good Health. Sure we have a cold here and there, with runny noses, the sniffles, and sneezes but we are all relatively healthy.

A weekend getaway with my husband. MJ's friend from college is getting married this weekend! Grandma and Grandpa J are coming to watch all three girls, while we stay at the hotel and enjoy being with friends.

Living close to family. When we lived in Texas, it was hard not having family around. Fortunately, we had great neighbors and friends. Having Grandma and Grandpa J within driving distance now is great, and I am praying that MJ's sister gets a job nearby. I just wish Iowa wasn't so far away.

Good Girlfriends. The kind of friend that you can pick up the phone and call anytime. The kind that knows everything, and then some!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood

It's a beautiful day in this neighborhood,
A beautiful day for a neighbor.
Would you be mine?
Could you be mine?...

It's a neighborly day in this beauty wood,
A neighborly day for a beauty.
Would you be mine?
Could you be mine?...

I've always wanted to have a neighbor just like you.
I've always wanted to live in a neighborhood with you.
So, let's make the most of this beautiful day.
Since we're together we might as well say:
Would you be mine?
Could you be mine?
Won't you be my neighbor?
Won't you please,
Won't you please?
Please won't you be my neighbor?

Thanks for that, Fred Rogers. You just made my day!

Anywho... Where was I?
Oh yeah, it was gorgeous here today! It made it into the 60's and was sunny. The girls got to play outside. I finally got some errands done. I even found a dress for the wedding this weekend! It looks like we should have another nice day tomorrow as well. Going to bed and looking forward to tomorrow!

And here is one more for you... Just because you're my friend.
Come on, Sing it with me... you know you want to.

It's such a good feeling to know you're alive.
It's such a happy feeling: You're growing inside.
And when you wake up ready to say,
"I think I'll make a snappy new day."  (snap, snap)
It's such a good feeling, a very good feeling,
The feeling you know that I'll be back, when the day is new,
And I'll have more ideas for you,
 And you'll have things; you'll want to talk about.
I will too.

My apologies, in advance, if these songs are stuck in your head for the rest of the day.
I promise, no more Mister Rogers!

On my own

MJ left early this morning. He has to work today, and then tonight he is driving somewhere for work. So it is just me and the girls today. This should be easy. It is only one night. When we first got married, he traveled a lot. It never bothered me back then. So why, you ask, is it causing some concern now?

Well, let's just say, I didn't have a very good day yesterday. The little one had some crankiness and crabbiness, and I guess she shared it with me. Boy was I in a mood yesterday. So here is hoping my attitude improves. I did finally get some sleep last night. I took my mom's advice and laid peanut back down with my new blanket. I didn't want to share it, but at 1am, I was desperate. Turns out that's what she wanted.

So let's hope my new found sleep will keep me happy and productive all day and night.
Otherwise, we're all going to bed at 6!

Friday, March 5, 2010


While I am thankful that it is Friday, I am looking forward to Saturday. We are going to NY to see family. A much needed get away. Can you call going to your inlaws a getaway? I have great inlaws, so I can.

Before we can leave for NY, I need to get some things crossed off my list. So here I go to...

Mail Packages
Buy new baby gate
Get new library books
Produce Junction
Target - 2 Birthday Presents
Freecycle stuff
Eyebrows threaded
Wedding present for next weekend
RSVP to Birthday Party

If that isn't enough to fill up my day, I also have some laundry, dishes, and random housekeeping stuff to do. Did I mention that all of this needs to be completed by about 1:00pm? Wish me luck! Here I go.

Maybe I should add "tackle bed head" to my list? It was another rough night last night for peanut. Can you tell? At least she is in a good mood this morning.

ps. I realize that you don't really care about my to do list, but in order for me to get my butt in gear, I post it here for you all to see. Then I have some incentive to get some of it completed, so I can come back and update. If not, I would just sit here and eat bon-bons all day...

Thursday, March 4, 2010

I'm back!

Sorry about the delay with the posts. My laptop needed a few things. Now that I have them, we are good to go. I have posted some other stuff from the past week. Just scroll down to read them. I hope you enjoy!

This next part is for Courtney:
Here are some pictures of the outfits. They are yours if you want them. Just send me your address. I have given up on having a boy, and I'm working on spring cleaning/decluttering this house. They all run about 6-9mo. One of them says 18mo but that brand runs really small. They really are too cute!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Potty Time with Dr. Seuss

Little Lexa-Loo Who, who was a big girl of two,
Needs to go pee pee in the big girl potty!

Did you like my tribute to Dr. Seuss? His books are essential around this house. Little Miss was reading his books at only three years old, and Little Lexa Loo is well on her way to reading early as well.

(All credit to goes to MJ on this one. He is great at reading with them. )

Where was I going with this?

Oh yeah! The Potty!

So, Miss Lex went potty in the big girl potty today! I did the happy potty dance! Called everyone I know that would care. Then she promptly told me that she doesn't "yike" the potty, she doesn't "yike" pull-ups, and she would like a diaper.

I guess we will try again another day.

Monday, March 1, 2010

The Month of March

Wow. Can it really be March already?

Things I love about March...

St Patrick's Day
Warmer Days
Spring Cleaning
A wedding on the calendar