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Showing posts from March, 2012

What's in a Name?

Being a teacher I have lots MILLIONS of names that are off the list for ever being the name of my children.  But shouldn't it figure that just when I think I have picked out a name that isn't too overused, it becomes popular.  Why is that?

In my Sociology class, we start the semester by exploring what is in a name and the trends that baby names seem to follow.  I'll spare you the sociological mumbo jumbo behind it, but the short and sweet version is that we hear names we like and then we name our little bundles of joy that exact name, or a slight variation to it. (Eva is totally different than Ava right?)

This website is really cool to see some trends for names.  Look up family member names, your favorite movie stars or popular ones now.  See anything interesting?  Why is it Bentley was practically non-existent until 2009, conveniently enough until a little show call "16 and Pregnant" appeared on MTV.  Thanks Macy.  The statistics and data are fascinating and sho…

Meal Plan Monday

Monday: Out to Dinner w/ friend to the Garden of Olives
Tuesday: BBQ MEatballs & Twice Baked Potatoes
Wednesday: Stuffed Mexican Shells
Thursday: Crockpot Chicken breast w/ roasted potatoes
Friday: Baked Pork chops w/Sweet potato fries
Saturday: Boys Night In / Moms Night Out












Slimming Down Sunday -- Week 12

Week 12

Weight Change: No Change

Total Difference: -6.2 pounds since post-Thanksgiving Day

Goal Progress: 3.8 pounds to go before mini-goal #1 -- this week wasn't my week :(

Notes: 3 months in and not real significant progress.  At least the scale is not going the opposite way...



Spring Risotto

Here is a tasty dish perfect for this time of year. Don't let the leeks intimidate you, they are tasty but can be omitted. http://tastykitchen.com/recipes/main-courses/spring-risotto/
Ingredients1 1/2 tablespoons good olive oil1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter3 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts (2 leeks)1 1/2 cups Arborio rice2/3 cup dry white wine4 to 5 cups simmering chicken stock, preferably homemade1 pound thin asparagus10 ounces frozen peas, defrosted, or 1 1/2 cups shelled fresh peas1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest (2 lemons)Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice1/3 cup mascarpone cheese, preferably Italian1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra for serving3 tablespoons minced fresh chives, plus extra for serving DirectionsHeat the olive oil and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the leeks and fennel and saute for 5 to 7 minutes, until tender. Add the rice and stir for a minute to coat…

March Madness? -- Not Here

I love March because I finally get some time to myself and so does my husband.  I love that during this month my lovely husband gives into all that is basketball and thus leaves me to my own hobbies.  I have no idea why I don't like college basketball, but I don't.  I never have, probably never will.  In fact, I kind of hope that my boys don't play basketball because I just can't seem to get into it.  If they play, that would be the only way I'd be mildly interested in it.  Now college football is a whole other story (Go Cocks!).  Anyways, I realize that the productivity of this great nation suffers during this month as brackets are scrutinized over, but I don't mind.

I suppose I should care a little bit considering 4 of the Sweet 16 teams are from Ohio (thanks for the info dear husband)

Do you get into the madness?

Obsess Much? -- Baby Books

Cameron is now 1 day away from being 14 months old.  He has been fond of books for a little bit now, but he is officially obsessed with this series by Karen Katz.  It was a gift from my supervisor at work and he can't get enough of them.  No other "lift the tab" series of books can compare to these.  I'm on the hunt for the Easter one for his basket this year to feed into his craving.

What books are your little ones into?




Baby's Box of Family Fun: A 4-Book Lift-the-Flap Gift Set: Where Is Baby's Mommy?; Daddy and Me; Grandpa and Me, Grandma and Me








Link up to see what other babies and toddlers are into these days.

Pinning Mad Men

At Last season 5 of Mad Men returns in less than 6 days. I don't get excited with too many shows, but this is my major exception.

This week's pins pay homage to the style and sophistication that oozes from every episode of Mad Men. Whether it be the set, the costumes, the actors, or the lines, this show has it all. If you aren't a fan tune in!

Source: laughingsquid.com via Amber on Pinterest
Source: Uploaded by user via Amber on Pinterest

Source: ladypeachblog.blogspot.com via Amber on Pinterest
Source: esteelauder.com via Amber on Pinterest
Source: bananarepublic.gap.com via Amber on Pinterest


Meal Plan

This week is based around 3 meals and the rest are leftovers. The 3 meals are so YUMMY that we all don't mind eating them more than once!

Sunday:  Tacos / Taco Bowls

Monday: Out to Dinner w/ Big Brother
Tuesday: Lemon Chicken & Pasta (didn't get to this one last time)
Wednesday: Slow Cooker beef stroganoff
Thursday: Chicken Potato Bowl (look for recipe soon)
Friday: Movie Night Out --- Hunger games!!
Saturday: tbd -- extended family may or may not be here









Linking up with The Organizing Junkie today!

Slimming Down Sunday -- Week 11

Week 11

Weight Change: +2.6 lbs Gah, so close last week and now this.

Total Difference: -6.2 pounds since post-Thanksgiving Day

Goal Progress: 3.8 pounds to go before mini-goal #1 -- this week wasn't my week :(

Notes: I had a stressful week and didn't get to workout as I had hoped, although I was outside a lot this week.  I have had 2 friends on WW and they have had crazy good results.  One has lost 23lbs in 15 weeks!  I was so jealous when I heard that.  I know what it is going to take to cut that amount of weight and I *think* I'm getting closer in my schedule where I can fit those things into my life.  Those other moms aren't chasing after 2 little ones nor are they having major work issues.  Again, excuses, but it is the truth.




Blog hop.


Do you have a post about weight loss tips/tricks/struggles/etc, nutrition, fitness, or related? Link it up!

2 rules:

1. You must be a follower of Blissful and Wishful via Google Friend Connect.

2. Link directly to any weight loss/nutri…

Death by Chocolate Trifle

Ok, this thing is Ah-mazing. I haven't made it since Christmas a year ago and I'm still in love with it.  I must make it again soon.

Ingredients:
1 box of brownie mix (prepared and cooked as directed)2 (3.3 ounce) packages instant white chocolate pudding mix1 3/4 cups cold milk tub o' cool whipheath bar bits (or other toffee bits)  - or about 3 of the candy barschocolate sauce (Hershey's is just fine)caramel sauce
Directions Prepare brownies according to package directions. Bake and cool completely. Cut into 1 inch cubes. In a medium bowl, whisk together milk and pudding mix until mixture begins to thicken. Fold in whipped topping. In a glass serving bowl, layer one-third of brownie cubes, one-third of pudding mixture and one-third of candy. Repeat layering until all ingredients are used. Chill 30 minutes in refrigerator before serving. Lo…

Meal Plan

This week is based around 3 meals and the rest are leftovers. The 3 meals are so YUMMY that we all don't mind eating them more than once!

Sunday:  Leftovers

Monday: Spring Risotto
Tuesday: Crockpot Buffalo Chicken w/ Macaroni & Cheese
Wednesday: Spicy Sausage & Leek Casserole
Thursday: leftovers
Friday: pizza
Saturday: family night out







Linking up with The Organizing Junkie today!

Slimming Down Sunday - Week 10

Week 10

Weight Change: -.8 lbs somewhere during the week.  Seriously, I can't believe how much my weight fluctuates during a day, but this ties my lowest in 9 weeks.

Total Difference: -8.8 pounds since post-Thanksgiving Day

Goal Progress: 1.2 pounds to go before mini-goal #1 --- I'm thinking week 11 is going to be THE week!

Notes: I didn't have much of an appetite this week and I also worked out a couple of times.  I'm looking forward to pushing myself this week to make it to my goal!




Blog hop.

Chasing Fireflies and Blissful and Wishful have teamed up for Slimming Down Sunday!


Do you have a post about weight loss tips/tricks/struggles/etc, nutrition, fitness, or related? Link it up!

2 rules:
1. You must be a follower of Chasing Fireflies & Blissful and Wishful via Google Friend Connect.
2. Link directly to any weight loss/nutrition/exercise related blog post. (No weigh-in necessary!)

That's it!

Then feel free to visit as few or as many of the other linked blogs to h…

Witty Wednesday

Source: Uploaded by user via Elizabeth on Pinterest

So fitting given Monday's Post.

The Inheritance - TAT

When I was 13 my mother opened an antiques store named The Inheritance.  It was rather aptly named since it was filled with inventory from my grandmother's estate.   Within 18 months the store was no longer and all of my grandmother's possessions were gone with it too.  I thankfully have a few key pieces of hers.  God, did that woman know how to buy antiques.  So did my mother for that matter.

Anyways, sorry to digress.  The topic for this post is what my Inheritance will be for my boys.  I don't want to think of it in terms of materialistic things just yet, maybe I'll save that for another post.  Instead I will name of a few of that non-material items I wish to leave them with.  Even though I have two boys, I wish for them both to carry on these traits in whatever degree or fashion they choose.

1) Humor 
2) Selflessness & Kindness -- it is far better to give than receive, but don't be a pushover
3) Self-discipline
4) Assertiveness -- not to be confused with ar…

Perpetual Pinners --- Pin Me Away

Sigh, I might be dating my age by admitting that I remember the phrase "Calgon, take me away".  Well this weeks pins are more "Pinterest, take me away".

I'm DH & I are in need of a vacay.  Badly.  Sans kids.  We've got it planned for this June, but that seems so.far.away.  Anyways, I like to view my Pinterest board and all of it's tropical goodness in the meantime.

Here are 2 of my favorites.  I don't even know if this place exists, but I love the thought of it.

Source: flickr.com via Amber on Pinterest

We have been to St. Lucia before and this place was being built at the time, but I'm saving my pennies to return to it...so what if it will be like 2065?
Source: jademountain.com via Amber on Pinterest


Where do you want to go?




Meal Plan

I don't know if I'll be able to post this weekly, but I figure when I am organized enough I will try to share my meal plans for the week. 

Sunday: teriyaki Chicken in the Slow Cooker
Monday: Frozen Ravioli & Tomato Sauce w/Bruschetta Tuesday: meatloaf, Mashed potatoes & green veggie Wednesday: lemon chicken w/ asparagus spears Thursday: Spanish rice bake Friday: Boys night in (probably fish sticks or pizza)  - Mom's night out! Saturday: Date night @ a new local restaurant

Linking up with The Organizing Junkie today!

Slimming Down Sunday - Week 9

Week 9

Weight Change: -3 lbs somewhere during the week.  Seriously, I can't believe how much my weight fluctuates during a day, but this ties my lowest in 9 weeks.

Total Difference: -8 pounds since post-Thanksgiving Day

Goal Progress: 2 pounds to go before mini-goal #1 --- passed the due date, but I'm over beating myself up about it.  Again, I'm trying to get my mental game in check too.  My self-esteem and self-image took a beating by me this week.  I hate being a girl.

Notes:  I started off the week high and no change and ended tied at my lowest I think for the 9 weeks so far.

Spring is almost here and I'm certain that will increase me getting out and moving more.  I've scoped out the parks bulletin and have some ideas for us to do together as a family as well as for me individually.




Blog hop.

Chasing Fireflies and Blissful and Wishful have teamed up for Slimming Down Sunday!


Do you have a post about weight loss tips/tricks/struggles/etc, nutrition, fitness, or related…

2012 Goals - 8 week Check In

So it has been about 8 weeks since I wrote my post that listed out my initial goals for 2012.  Let's see where I stand....

I'm thinking maybe of categorizing these more by season.  The new additions below will be my spring goals to accomplish by Memorial Day when school is out.
obtain my pre-pregnancy weight by February --- yeah this one still isn't happening.  I'm totally depressed about it, but trying to focus on my other accomplishments.obtain my wedding weight by October and my 7 year anniversaryparticipate in at least one 5k walk/run -- None in my sights yer, but there is one for sure I'll do in October, although that seems too far off.  Hopefully I can do one in sooner too.take a vacation with just the hubby -- we've got a destination wedding in June that we are finalizing reservations for :)read 3 "fun" books  -- 2 down, and 1 to go thanks to the Hunger Games Trilogyde-clutter this mad house --  I'm editing this one.  The room in my house t…

Homemade Beef & Noodles in the Slow Cooker

Oh my comfort food.  A bowl of this with a green veggie side makes me a happy momma!  Have I mentioned how much I love my crockpot?  Swoon.

I adapted the recipe below from the original on found here

Ingredients 1 Beef Roast 1 beer-can or bottle
1 package dry onion soup
3 cloves of garlic
1 can of cream of golden mushroom soup (or the plain one)
8 cups of water (adjust as needed)
1 pound of homemade (store-bought) noodles

Directions
Place roast in crock pot and pour beer, onion soup, and garlic over top.Cook on low overnight. In the morning, break meat apart. Add the mushroom soup and six cups of water. Add salt and pepper to your liking. Cook on low all day. An hour before you eat, add noodles as well as more water. Up to four cups depending on how moist you like it. **Warning, my crockpot turned off sometime during the day probably as a safety feature.  It still turned out ok, but just set me back a little because I had to wait for it to reheat**


Don't for get to head over to The …