Monday, February 28, 2011

Swapping Dinners

I just joined a meal swap.  What a genius idea that I am so excited about.  We'll meet once a month and each bring 5 of the same meal to trade with the others (there's 6 in the group).  Obviously these will be frozen until ready to serve.  Also, we'd like to not eat only lasagna.  What's your favorite freezable meal?  I found a few good websites but would like other ideas from you :)  Have you ever done one of these?  Any tips/tricks/things to watch out for? Was it as awesome as I'm expecting ;)
PS- Only rules are no peanuts or pork.  And it can't be too difficult to make (but you should have assumed that last part ;)

Friday, February 25, 2011

shopping from home

Harris Teeter is having a week of FREE "Express Lane" pick-up, their online shopping.  If you have the option in your area, and especially if you've never tried it, now is the time!

Pop Pop Pop

I LOVE popcorn.  Love.  It.  I have been making the lazy AND cheap (hooray!) homemade version of it (click here for how) and spraying on it Pam Butter Spray and adding salt.  According to, 3 cups of plain popped popcorn is 92 calories, 19 carbs 1g fat  3g protein.  Heaven.  Obviously not for the low-carbin' girls, but for me, when I need SOMETHING to chew on, this is much much much better than most alternatives.  Love.  It.  Tell me if you try it.  And, seriously, the staples don't explode in you microwave.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Egg-celent Dinner

 Click *here* for a recipe I found on  I, of course, didn't really follow the ingredient list at all, but instead just dropped into my pre-made (a la Betty Crocker or whoever in the world makes pie crusts that you buy in the freezer section) crust the required number of eggs (3), some sausage I'd cooked this morning, a handful of shredded cheddar and some fresh baby spinach I have left-over from not eating nearly as much salad as I told myself I would this week.  Oh, and I dropped in my triumvirate of perfect seasonings, of which I put in almost everything:  onion powder, garlic powder, and Italian Seasoning.  Even with "help" from the TinyTwo, it took me 10 minutes from "hmmmm, I think I'll make a quiche" to quiche in the oven.  Now we're waiting an hour but I'm not counting that time because, obviously, I'm sitting here at my computer, writing to you, and, obviously, not cooking.

Actually, I doubled the above and froze one of the pies in the freezer for a time that I, a) want quiche/eggs but are out of them or b) want to bring a meal over to someone but don't have the time/ingredients for it.  I wrote the directions on the top of the foil, because you can be certain I've already forgotten them and will not want to look them up when it comes time to cook it or I'll forget to tell whoever I give the quiche to.

So, if you get a quiche from me someday soon, you'll know I made it today ;)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Geranium's in the sink

This is what I commented to "this post" about "Terrific (non-thing) Things".  I am a weirdo.  I know.  But I thought I'd share anyway ;)

I bought Mrs Meyer's Geranium dish soap yesterday and I am close to intoxicated by it.  What a difference it makes in cleaning!  You're brilliant!  I tend to do a lot of cleaning with a vinegar/water/few drops of soap mixture, so I (albeit wastefully ;)  poured it out and made it again with the Mrs Meyer's and now my entire house smells wonderful :)  My husband, yesterday, commented, "What's with your cleaning today?"  I couldn't get enough.  Of cleaning!  When has THAT ever ever happened!    

I LOVE it.

Monday, February 21, 2011

My little secret

I have a secret.  I don't separate my laundry.  GASP!  But how do you get your whites as blinding as Tom Cruise's smile?  I don't.   Whaaaat?  That's right.  I don't.  I occasionally will soak whites in biz or bleach or help them get their sparkle back.  Most of the time though, I don't tend to care if my white's glow in the dark.  For me, what's more important is just getting it done.   If I do laundry everyday, starting a load while my coffee is pouring itself (I love my Keurig) then my laundry gets done.  If I worry about sorting everything, then it doesn't.  Don't worry, Mom, I will add this disclaimer:  my mother is horrified at this and wants you to know she taught me to do laundry "correctly".  She also tried (very hard) to teach me how to make a pie crust, yet there are 2 store-bought ones in my freezer. Some lessons just didn't take I guess.  I suppose one day I'll return to sorting laundry, most likely when the kids are big enough to do it themselves and I will be compelled to teach them the "correct" way to do it.  Until then, if you see me with socks that are more "mother of pearl" than "white as snow" you'll know why.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Spinach for the Kids?

My mom was watching Giada the other day, and she had a recipe (here) for "Grilled cheese with spinach and pancetta".  Mom said "Maybe Mr. 'I don't eat vegetables' would try this." I said, "Its certainly worth a try."
Of course I totally demolished sweet Giada's recipe and did this instead:

~Crammed the little food processor with fresh baby spinach and shredded cheddar (about half and half) and blended it until it was uniform
~Placed this green goo on tortillas and microwaved them until they were gooey and melty.  
~Wrapped them up and told them Dora's favorite color is green.  In honor of her we were having "Special" green quesadillas today.

The kids One of the kids LOVED them.  Mr "I don't eat Vegetables" still was not thrilled.  Oh well.  I'm going to keep trying with this one though.  As a side note, I try not to have cartoon characters do the parenting for me, but occassionally (like when spinach is involved) I will cave and invoke the power of Dora.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Kitchen Fairy

Where is that kitchen fairy?  Why didn't she come while I was gone to clean up the kitchen?  Seriously, what are we paying her for anyway? ;)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Conversations with myself

I've been doing a couple things daily almost every day... since the only thing I do every day is sleep and eat.

Laundry.  I seriously have been trying to start a load of laundry every morning while I'm waiting for the coffee to make.

Dishes.  I try to get the sink empty at least once a day.  I try to keep the dishes in the dishwasher, but seriously, that obviously doesn't really happen.

Bathroom:  I wipe down the bathrooms regularly and keep all of the counters clear of stuff and either under the counter in baskets or in the cabinet.

Clutter:  I try to keep as little as possible in the house.  The less there is, the less there is to clean.  I keep the kids toys in rotation with at least half their books and toys stored in the closet.

These things keep my house pretty clean and orderly, without much effort.

This doesn't sound very lazy, I can hear you say.  Well, yes and no.  Its not so lazy for the "Current" me, but pretty lazy for the "Future" me.  For example, its a lot less work overall if I rinse the dishes and put them in the dishwasher right away.

I occasionally have this conversation between my current self and my future self

Current me:  I'll do that later
Future me:  no way!  it will take you 5 minutes and me 25 minutes!  how is that lazy??  YOU do it now so that I don't have to do it later!
Current me:  awwwww mannnn..... I don't waaaana do it
Future me:  you know we're the same person right?  you do realize that if you don't do it now you'll have to do it later? if you're so lazy shouldn't you do the lazy thing and do it now?
Current me: ooooooooooh. fine.  but you better thank me.
Future me:  I will.

and that is how i get stuff done.

Thai Peanut Sauce

Another in my list of vegetarian meals, not because they're meatless, but because they're lazy easy.

1/2 c creamy peanut butter
1 c broth
2 T lime juice
2 cloves garlic
1 c yoguart (plain or vanilla)
2T soy sauce
2 T ginger
coconut flakes or cream of coconut
sometimes I mix in spinach to make it a one pot wonder

mix all ingredients and heat over medium heat
serve on pasta

5 minutes- literally.  I timed it when I made it tonight, and that included getting everything out (one at a time... I obviously don't think ahead and have everything ready beforehand) and putting everything away :)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

30 min clean

Click here for a link to the article at "a life your way" about cleaning your house in 30 minutes.  They mention most of the tips that I use.
I, of course, can not imagine taking 3 hours to clean my house- but just in case you do-- or if you think that's what's necessary- read up ;)

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Meal Swap Revisited

OK, so back in April I did "this" post on the meal swap I was about to join.  Can I just say, "WOW".  This has been a success x 100. 

Partly because my friends are the awesomest coolest cooks in the world.

Partly because the meals are often things that aren't in my repertoire, so its not eating the same old thing for dinner.  Again. 

Partly because I don't cook the meals I swap for (obviously), so its kind of like getting take-out 6 times a month.
Partly because I can cook one evening after the TinyTwo have gone to bed and be able to kind of enjoy creating meals without anyone screaming at me that their hungry or that someone stole their toy or that they need to use the potty or that some just hit them or.... 

Partly because I can cook 6 dinners all at one time, which is the ultimate way to "work to be lazy".

Partly because its a lot cheaper to make 6 of the same dinner, which is another ways I can be lazy AND cheap.  You know how I love that.

Partly because I can turn on the oven, throw in a meal and go out to play at the playground here or swim at the apartment's pool.  Please don't lecture me on this if you find it offensive or overly irresponsible that I leave while my oven is on.  I am lazy after all, I never said I was responsible.  Also, I'm not gone that long.  Anyway, we get back from playing and, VOILA! dinner is ready and waiting.

Partly because the meals are in disposable containers, (aluminum trays if they're oven friendly and freezer ziplocks if they'll go into a frying pan or microwave) which means clean-up is fast.

Partly because my kids love it when I say "so and so's Mommy made this for you!" and are more likely to eat whatever it is.

And last, but certainly not least,

Partly because it gives us an excuse to get together one morning a month to do the swap and just happen to spend all morning talking and drinking coffee and eating whatever my "super star friend with 2 little ones and is pregnant with a 3rd and still gets more done in most mornings that I do in a week" makes us to snack on. 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

15 things I don't pay for

I find having to remember to buy certain things a bother.  Yes, I'm that lazy.  Also, I'm pretty cheap (I know, those are 2 ongoing themes here) and I prefer to buy something once instead of over and over and over.
So, here are some things that I don't buy (at least not very often)

  1. Paper napkins:  I bought a bunch of cloth ones.  Plus, I use the ton of kitchen dishrags for the kids faces and hands.
  2. Paper towels:  I use the ton of kitchen dishrags I have to clean up spills.  The tablecloth also catches a lot of spills.  The dishrags get tossed into the laundry with whatever I'm washing that day so I don't have yucky wet dishrags hanging around.
  3. Dryer sheets:  I have 2 of those funny ball-like things that stay in the dryer.  I haven't noticed a difference in static
  4. Water:  We bring our own everywhere
  5. Coffee:  I hate to wait and wait at a drive though to pick up coffee that I can make better at home for almost free and doesn't take but 2 minutes to make.  I tend to take a cup of coffee with me almost every time I walk out the door in the morning.  I *heart* my Keurig. A lot.  Did I do that *heart* thing right?  I've never done it before and kind of think its annoying, but for the Keurig, I'll make an exception ;)
  6. I love my Diva Cup.  Love.  It.  (Girls- check it out.  Seriously. You.  Check it out.  Boys- don't...or at least don't say I didn't warn you)
  7. Storage:  We keep everything we have in the space we have.  I've gotten rid of a TON lately.
  8. Car payment:  We've paid for each car we've gotten since we got married with cash
  9. Interest on credit cards:  We pay it off.  Every month.
  10. Cable:  We don't have a TV so I watch hulu instead.
  11. Movies:  OK, so I pay $1 at Blockbuster Express (like Redbox) We never go out to movies.  We're not against it, we'd just rather watch a movie at home.
  12. Pre-school:  We'll be paying next year for a private Spanish emersion Pre-K program.  Otherwise, we've kept the TinyTwo at home.  I like to teach them colors and numbers and how to read myself.  It makes me feel smart ;)
  13. Books:  Except for text books.  Otherwise we use the library.  I read too fast to make the expense worth while.
  14. I'm testing out making my own laundry and dishwasher detergent.  I'll let you know how that goes.
  15. Diapers:  Hopefully. The Princess is potty training as we speak, though back in the day when I had two in diapers I used cloth BumGenius 
What do you not buy/pay for that lots of other people do?  I'm always looking for ways to cut back...monetarily and work wise - so please share :)