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Sunday, August 24, 2014

Menu Planning- Make Ahead Rice

Like most people I love spending weekends with my family but I know that if I put in a little extra effort cooking on Sunday for the rest of the week, I'll be ahead of the game and less stressed in the long run.

Today I very quickly and easily busted out 5 meals of rice. I do not like to use Minute Rice any more and I discovered that freezing and thawing rice tastes just as good as the day I made it originally, so now I cook it and freeze it in batches. It is also a great substitute for those tasty, yet not so nutritious, rice packets that take 5 minutes to cook.  This might seem like a "duh" recipe to you, but I really was just so used to buying quick processed meal items that I didn't even think this was a possibility.  It was like I thought only the magic grocery Gods could prepare food for me.

It's a insanely simple process to do.

I use a full 2lb. bag of Basamati Rice and add a little olive oil vs. butter.

Cook rice as directed, portion out into quart sized freezer bags.

Freeze.

Thaw/cook until done in microwave.

Straight from the freezer takes about 5 minutes in the microwave and all I do is throw the bag in there with it vented open.

Dress it up anyway you like but now you won't have to wait 20+ minutes for water to boil and rice to cook making your meal prep time easy peasy.


I was able to get 5 quart size bags from the 2 lbs.

Some dishes we like with rice include:

Stir Fry
Pepper Steak
Taco night (using Chipotle's copy cat Cilantro-Lime rice recipe)
Chicken Cordon Bleu w/Rice
Broccoli Cheese & Rice
Fried Rice

Enjoy!


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Sunday, August 17, 2014

Kitchen Makeover

Perhaps I got him to say "Yes" because I was a whiny 9+ month pregnant woman, but who cares the why because Scooter finally agreed that it's time to redo our kitchen! Wahoo!

We were going to start this in the spring but our HVAC needed replace so our savings took a big hit.  Now we're ready again and actually it will probably be better that we are going to be at work during the mess.

We're looking at a complete gut:
  • New Cabinets
  • New Floor
  • New Counter
  • Taking out a Wall
  • Soffets gone
Those are the main points.  We are keeping our existing appliances because they are not really that old and can gradually be replaced to fit into the design. No more Citrus Kitchen for us! Bah Bye yellow Formica!



From the pictures above, the main thing to go is the wall where the fridge is.  That will soon be a bar peninsula and the fridge will be next to the stove where the small pantry currently is.

We are scheduled to get underway here soon at the end of September and it should hopefully be done by our anniversary in mid-October. *fingers crossed*

I'm lost on color schemes for the wall and back splash but I think once I see the cabinets in with the counter tops I'll get a better idea of the direction I want to head in.

Stay tuned for updates!  I'm so excited!

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Friday, August 8, 2014

Summer of Sanity- Week 8: Camp

Week's Theme: Camp
With only 2 weeks left of summer, this week was easily filled up with Day Camp.  The boys went for half a day everyday and had a blast.  In the meantime I worked out, worked on my super secret project, had breakfast with a friend and went into see my classroom for the first time since March.

Camp was a great way to get Cameron ready and excited for Pre-School and I was very happy that his teachers had such good reports for him.  He attended a session named "What Did the Fox Say?" where he learned more about animals and made several crafts.  Alex enjoyed his "Scooby Doo" session which dealt with solving mysteries all week.  A perfect fit for my little logical dude.

Next week is our last week home together and I'm so torn between desperately needing my work routine back and being there for my kids.  In the end I know I'm not cut out to be a SAHM but it just pains my heart to know that they will never be this age again.  It just feels like time is stuck on the fast-forward setting.

Tune in next week to see how we ended up our Summer of Sanity including the success and rewards of using the sticker charts.
Thursday, July 31, 2014

5 Reasons Teachers know it is August

I don't need a calendar to remind me what time of year is approaching...



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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Summer of Sanity - Week 7

Week's Theme: Pool Parties!
I told you that the weeks would fly by and that our scheduled themes would go by the wayside.  This week we recovered from vacation by finally getting some warmer (notice I didn't say hot) weather.  Thankfully 2 of my friends own pools and were gracious enough to invite us there along with all the other toddlers in our co-workers circle.

The boys are doing so good at swimming now and are at a great age where still supervised, but I'm not the hovering helicopter I once had to be which means I can enjoy my burger hot vs. warm.  I fear for next summer when Lady Cora will be walking and wanting to keep up with them.

The hostesses need a shot out too.  One is a grandma of 3, but you'd never know it with her energy.  She's who I consider my "work mom" and I talked about her in this post.  She has a wonderful garden that she showed me might be so difficult for me to pull off in my own backyard someday.

The other hostess is 37 weeks pregnant so I give her props just for hosting a slew of us.  It was my first time visiting her new home and let me tell you I fell in love.  I felt like Nicole Curtis in Rehab Addict "Oh My God" around every corner of charm her cute 1940s house had.  Add to my bucket list to rehab an old home from that era.  Sorry no pictures to share of it, but I didn't want to be a creeper and bust out my phone snapping here and there.

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