Thursday, February 23, 2012

Baby Proofing!!

OK so it seems like everybody is pregnant these days. Women who had babies around the same time as I did are now going on there second. Some chicas I know are having there exciting! I can't help that I'm a little jealous. I would love to be able to go on and have a second child. I wish it was a feasible option but at this time... unfortunately it is not. BUT for all those ladies out there who are enjoying a little him or her swimming around there bellies, Congratulations!  It's a happy time! It's a scary time, no matter if it's your first or fifth, baby's can get you a little over anxious and overwhelmed. Still in any case every women goes though her nesting period while pregnant. Whether it be cleaning the house ( I hand scrubbed my walls from top to bottom), decorating a nursery ( eh I made do with what I had), or purging your house of all things "dangerous" in your home (mostly heard of as baby proofing!)  

A little insight of my thought process:...... I was looking at a corner of a wall in my house and noticed a strip of blue tape that has been there for at least three years now. I was trying to figure out why I had blue painters tape just chilling on the bottom of my wall. Then it came to me!!! Yeah when my Lil slug a bug was just learning to walk he fell ... a lot. One time he fell right into the corner of this very wall and banged the side of his head by his eye. This was the start of those *gasping* moments. When he fell we noticed that a piece of paneling was loose  and that was when the blue tape came out. We taped up the corner of the wall until we nailed it, glued it.. whatever , I obviously was not the one to fix it. 
I remember a couple weeks of my wall being taped A close friend was over my house. We were in the middle of a movie when she just looked at me and said "Why do you have  blue tape on your wall?" well without missing a beat I replied with this "It's baby proofing tape!" No Lie My friend gave me a look and just said "They make baby proofing tape?" Me: "of course you can go to babies R us and get it." Hahahahahaha Oh My just thinking about this has me rolling. I had her so good. This almost never happens to me. Nobody ever believes what spills out of my mouth and for very good reason, I say nonsense things to get a rise out of people. Haha I guess they call that sarcasm. 

SO ANYWAY............. Back to the after thought of my intial thought process....... I was thinking why not making baby proofing tape! Hey they make cabinet lockers (hate those), door knob handle things ( hate them as well), socket covers, baby gates ( I actually love these and have a few),  and I'm sure there are other inventions I know nothing about or have never used. So why not tape!
Maybe someone already invented it BUT if not a little mothering tip. .... Invest in Blue Painters Tape (or green) and go to town. Warning: Tape peels easily and may become a tool for your child to tie you up and have full run of the house. Nah.. just kidding ...... But be careful.........

Side note: I'm linking up My Turkey Spinach and Artichoke stuffed shells. Check out this linky party over at Kitchen Fun with my 3 sons.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Are you up on your current events???

OK so I kind of took a dark turn with my last post but I want to explain myself.
Our economy is changing and has been for sometime now I'm sure you are all aware. I am not completely convinced that come December we are all on a direct path to doom. Although I do live with a man who is totally convinced!! I deal and I watch the shows he watches and I learn

What am I learning??? 

I am learning different ways to be self sufficient. I am learning that it pays to be strong and fit so I can outlast the weak. All this knowledge I'm gaining CAN be helpful for living life now. 
Gardening, farming, botany, sewing, first aid, purifying water, basic camping skills, these are all things that are worth learning about to just be smart. 
How many people in this world If you asked them to go camping they would crinkle up there nose and scoff usually saying something along the lines of "Me, sleep on the ground, in the dirt, No Thank you!" 
I'm one of those people who loves to camp thanks to my oh... about seven years of girl scouts. 

I guess what I'm trying to really say is how did our world come so far from the basics in life. You know all the basic knowledge our ancestors relied on to survive. The Simple Life most could call it. I'm longing for a life of simplicity. I think that has become my ultimate dream life. Weird I know. I'm all for technology. It has been saving lives and doing all sorts of incredible things but it seems it has been enabling the newer generations. I mean I know babies and toddlers who learned how to use an I-pad before they could talk!

Sign of the times??? I guess. 

And I guess it's just up to parents to teach the new generations about the simple ideas.
Thats all good but I have to teach myself first.......
So short term goals are set. Keep filling my little noggin with information. Keep up with current events. (so you know what the hell is going on around the world and your neighborhood) You know how many of my friends tell me they don't watch the news because it's too depressing. OK.... I understand not wanting to be upset but this is real life people!!!! You should know whats going on around you! (I'm yelling a little at this point) AND another tip... go ahead and READ your local paper. Reading the paper has become a lost hobby. But hey if you read the paper you can pick and choose what news article you want to read.

Speaking of......
While I was reading my local paper last night I came across an article that has a very personal effect on my family and my city. With the presidential debates in full swing its hard to tell the good guys from the bad guys. Nothing new there. Politicians have almost always come out to be heartless goons. The article below explains about how throughout every debate the topic about city unions (which Philadelphia has been built on) have been overlooked and never discussed. No one discusses the fact about how corrupt the unions have become. How jobs are hard to come by and the restrictions to "unify" strikes are ridiculous. If your a middle class hard working family No matter what city you reside in take a gander at the article it's short sweet and too the point!!!
Election Rhetoric and what it means to the folks of philly.

Also I'm linking up to Taste This Thursday linky party
Yummy recipes!!!!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Are you Prepared?!?!

Have you ever had one of them days where you don't want to move? 
Today was one of them days. 
I was a miserable cranky mess and rarely moved off my couch except for the occasional potty break for the little guy and to let my pups out.
So in lieu of my lazy day I got sucked into the National Geographic channel.
They had a "Doomsday Preppers" marathon on all day.

Now do you all remember the millennium? Y2K and all that crap. 
I do! and I also remember my mom gathering jugs of water, face dust mask, first aid kits, and whole smorgasbord of items that we might have needed in case of catastrophe. 
Of course the turn of the century came and went and we all survived without needing to open one jug of water!
No offense to my mom at least we were prepared, right?

Well this new show is all about people around the country preparing for said such disasters. 
One man was preparing for a catastrophic volcano event while another man was preparing for a possible solar flare caused by a electromagnetic pulse. Craziness right? I have to admit though the show was addicting.
Some people had some smart solutions for being self sufficient. For example a family was making their own bio-diesel out of used vegetable oil.  Cool  right?

Photo: Fishing in the greenhouse
In this picture they converted an in ground pool into a green house/ fishing pond.
Thats what their doing... fishing...... in their pool..... umm yeah.

Photo: Paul Range feeds his brood of livestock.
Feeding the livestock!

It makes me want to start my own little farm. I realized that if the S*@t does hit the fan I am not smart enough to be self sustainable. I'll probably go loot the library first. Get all the books on botany, wild life, and anything else that might be of use.
I know if things really got bad my family and I would be strong enough to survive.
Hopefully nothing will happen to get that bad BUT in retrospect with the way this 2012 presidential race is going and all the debt that our country owes maybe just maybe something is definitely going to change the way we know life to be today.
Of course it doesn't hurt to start my own garden and start learning how to acquire a "green thumb." 
I just had to share what I have been thinking about all day.
BTW I do realize it is Valentines Day so Happy Happy...... 
Hahaha nice post for today... huh?
I wonder Is anyone else this crazy preparing for doom? 
Apparently according to the Nat Geo poll says that a whopping 25% of Americans have NOT done any preparations for widespread catastrophe. So most of use have at least thought of what we would like to do.... Just food for thought. Good night all!!!
Here's to the end of the world!

All pictures compliments of  National Geographic.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Today's forecast .....

Today was Sunny and definitely chilly but our little family bundled up and made our way to the park!

We had fun running off all that pent up energy.

Here's the Gang!!!!

Lil slug a bug really hates getting his picture taken these days. It's starting to get frustrating but maybe I'm just the only person in this world that still uses her camera phone that takes about ten seconds to actually take a picture and by then my over-energetic child is already half across the park!

So I have endless amounts of back and of course butt shots!!
Here he is climbing up the jungle gym.

Can I just say how much of a relief it is that he is old enough to play around the playground without me following him around. 
Maybe I'm just a neurotic mother but My boy has a way
  of making me gasp. You all know the gasp. That moment where you can see the start and ending of a tragic fall from a foot or so more off the ground. You know when all the other parents are starting to ask "who's kid is that?" You realize its your kid teetering on the edge of the monkey bar platform trying to do it himself. Even though he falls, gets up and laughs he'll ask to do it again. Meanwhile momma is still trying to recover from the slight heart failure just moments earlier.  At least my boy is learning to be an individual. Right? All in all I don't expect the "gasps" to dwindle away any time soon.

This is daddy getting the sticks to throw for the pups.

Oh hey look there!!! Yep He's doing it all by himself!!

OH wow He let me take his picture........ Nice!

I love my city. 
(note: I am aware that the picture is showing the Jersey side of the river)

Here Lil slug a bug was grabbing some leaves and throwing them up into the wind.

Of course I had to inspect his pile of leaves before He could even step into them.
It's a damn shame. I do love living in the city but when there are so many people in one area and not all of them respect the land on which they are living on its cause for dangerous objects, unwanted trash, and broken bottles ending up in areas like our beautiful park.

We still make the best of it. All the trash surrounding us in the city just means, as parents, we have to be a little more diligent to where our son roams.

The dogs love going to the park. In the warmer months they jump right into the river and catch big ol' logs floating by. 
Today the pups made new friends and had a blast running around and catching sticks!

Today was a good day for the park. Sunny and a little chilly but all around great day to soak up some vitamin D.
 Hope you all had a good Monday!!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Pinterest anyone???

See over there >>>>>>>>>>
My new "follow me" button .>>>>>>>>>>
I bet if your a fan of pinterest you"ll probably like what I have to offer!!!!!

So without further ado ... Follow me on Pinterest!!!!!!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Short and sweet!

I was in the kitchen this morning taking inventory and realized that my Lil slug a bug had nothing to eat for snack. Then I found this in the cabinet.

Whats better then a jello cup?!?

HOMEMADE jello cups.. thats what.

Why didn't I ever think of this before?? 

DUH ME!!...... didn't spend a dime and johnny has snacks for the next six days!!!  
Frugal living is hard work... hahahaha
Thats all for now Today is The By My Side playgroup valentines dinner/ dance for the tots and My mom and sister and of course the kiddies are coming down to party with us!!!! It's going to be a good day!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Tips Tricks n Tweaks

Ever since I moved into my home and started a family I have been on a constant search for "healthy-fied" living solutions.  This means cooking, cleaning, and all around safe living. Throughout the past few years I have gathered up my own tips tricks and tweaks that I use everyday  for a healthy living. I feel that these ideas, if read by the right people, can help others make a few tweaks in their daily lives to help get on the right track for a healthier existence.
I know diet and exercise are the most dreaded words to hear from your doctor but it's not rocket science. Those two words are the truth. If a person eats foods that haven't been processed and gets a daily dose of moderate exercise the changes that will happen within your body will be unbelievable. It's all in the mind. Laziness plays a big part in obesity. If a person who is struggling just changes the way their thought process works when it comes to eating, drinking, and moving they will discover a life long change and will ultimately start living the way they want to. I mean who honestly likes living without having energy to play with your kids or constantly depriving your family of all the good nutritious foods their are to offer because you rely more on the blue box mac and cheese and ordered out pizza to satisfy the hunger needs. Not too mention ordering out for a family of four can cost $35 and up per order. How about making you own pizza dough one night and letting the the kids fix them up and everyone has a personal pizza. Making pizza at home $10-$15 if you have to go out and get the ingredients. But most of the ingredients people already have on hand.
Just some things to think about. 
So here we go........


When it comes to cooking I'm definitely someone who does not dig the taste of salt. I don't mind using it to season meats. A little sprinkle and thats about it. I use a pinch of salt when I saute veggies because it helps draw the moisture out of the vegetables. Other then that salt is the one thing that takes a place in the back of my spice cabinet. I always purchase canned veggies, stock/broth, and butter with "no salt added" or "low sodium" on the label. This way I feel like I'm in control of my families salt intake.
Dried or fresh, herbs are a great substitution for salt. You can season anything with herbs and still get some great flavored meals. Or if your like me I just add garlic. 

Fresh minced garlic has incredible flavor potential and also benefits your cardiovascular system. I mean if you don't mind your finger tips constantly smelling of garlic start chopping! But you can always get the jar of already minced garlic. Buying fresh is just easier on my wallet.
Like I mentioned before when I buy butter I always choose unsalted. Now I know people are making a disgusted face if you are stuck in your ways. Honestly, I taste no difference. Plus I can add my own pinch of salt while cooking and I know that there is only one pinch in my meal. I tend to only use butter for baking and when I make a rue for pan way to make a gravy!
Olive Oil
I use olive oil for everything. It's actually considered a "good" fat and has been said to be good for your heart. Make this small switch to use olive oil instead of butter or vegetable oil and you already are on a better track.
Here is a tip that I learned growing up as a kid. My mother never served a dinner without a green vegetable and if it wasn't green it was corn. This has been something I have carried on into my new life as a mom. I also make sure that the veggies are the largest portion on everyone's plate. Of course I load the plates up with good intentions but not everyone eats them all. Oh well we are still learning and living right?
So did you know that the recommended daily water intake of 8 glasses is really a myth.
It's not that drinking water is a bad thing but everybody is different and everyone needs different amounts. My opinion on drinking water is simple. Drink water to stay hydrated. Lack of hydration can cause tiredness and sore chapped lips (on me anyway.)  See I don't know how much water I actually drink during the course of the day because I drink when I'm thirsty! And I'm not just drinking water all day I do drink other beverages but I drink mostly water.  Especially before meals. Why you ask? If you drink a glass of water right before a main meal you probably won't eat as much. 
Tea is my go to serenity.I drink it in the morning. I drink it in the evening. For me there is nothing better then a warm cup of tea. When I said I drink other beverages I mainly meant tea and coffee. Both have antioxidants essential to the body and heart health benefits along with a ton of other reasons that having a cup of tea a day is a smart and healthy option. Instead of grabbing a soda brew a cup of tea. Not to mention it can aid in relaxation as well. Plus tea comes in different flavors as well. I like regular tea hot but I love cold iced green tea!!
Home-cooked Meals
Nothing is more satisfying then having a home-cooked meal on your kitchen table being enjoyed by your family. Picky eaters are hard to please I understand but when there are no other options the kids will eat. They won't go hungry they will eat whats available after the tantrum of course. Also cooking at home can not only save you from unwanted calories and fat but can help enormously with your budget. It's just simple facts. Cooking at home is the frugal option these days but it's a feasible option!
I know here come the excuses. I'm too tired. I have no time. It's too late by the time I get done work.
Bull!.. Enough with the excuses because you only hurting yourself. Make the time. I'm not saying go join a gym or start training for a marathon. I'm simply saying whats the harm in a short walk around the neighborhood right before dinner or after. It doesn't matter what you do just DO IT! Once you start it will become a habit and I promise you you will start to feel a lot better.

I think that will be all for now but its a great start. These tips and tweaks can help anyone out who may be struggling health wise. I know they have helped me tremendously. Once you start making the changes you will start to know your body again. After eating healthy home cooked meals you body will start to reject the processed sugars and fats. I mean I'm no professional, I'm not a doctor but I have made the changes and these are my experiences. I'm doing good and feeling great!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Pork chops and Patience

"Patience is a virtue".  ... That is what I was taught with my catholic education.

"Patience is key".  ... That is what I was taught when I first had my son.

 But nobody ever teaches you how to be patient because I definitely should have been given a lesson.
My lil slug a bug is getting into that stage where pushing my buttons has become a game to him. He knows what he's doing because he thinks it's funny but all this pushing of my buttons is wearing me thin.

I'm at a breaking point. My three year old has no intentions on listening to me or paying attention. He drives me crazy. I'm only 24 and I'm getting gray hair, pardon me when I say..... wtf!!!

 Everyday starts off the same. We rise early in the morning with sweet "good mornings" and "I love yous" while we still snuggle in bed. Then we retreat downstairs and then all hell breaks loose. Making breakfast becomes an issue. Trying to get ready and get out the door becomes an issue. Behaving during playgroup becomes a huge issue. Then it's lunch time but Lil Slug is usually on a time out from misbehaving earlier.
 He doesn't listen unless I raise my voice and threaten him with timeouts.
 I mean I get it my son has an incredible amount of energy that I seriously can not contain. It feels like this happened over night though. I think this is the mom guilt but maybe it's my fault. Maybe I was too stressed out around the holidays to give him my full attention. Maybe I've yelled at him one too many times by now for him to not even be affected. I don't know but I've lost all patience and today was another one of them days. 

Constantly asking him to be good and listen, two timeouts, and a very frustrated mommy. I feel like I give him my undivided attention for the most part of the day. We take walks, go to playgroup, go to the rec center and have play dates. But when it comes down to mommy to take some time to blog or make a phone call forget it. Hence why I don't blog everyday.

 He still insist on making his favorite word "No" or this actually makes me smile a bit when he says "No Thank you" instead of just "no." At least he's polite right? 
I keep the thought in my head that "this is only a stage" and I'm constantly repeated the phrase "this too shall past." Whats a frustrated strung out mess of a mom supposed to do. 
I'm tired and out of options.
I realized though that this is just another one of those teaching moments that I can only get from my boy.
I will learn to be more patient because thats what good moms do.
I will learn to handle his non-listening better without getting so furious and walking away.
At the end of each day I am extremely grateful to have my family but I always need a little de-stressing.
Thats when I turn to my computer and waste away a few hours surfing the net catching up with blogs and finding new recipes.
Here's something I threw together for tonight's dinner. Cooking is my de-stresser too. 
I find something very relaxing in cooking up a good home healthy meal.
Tonight was mustard pork chops with pesto rice and cheesy broccoli and cauliflower.

First I had some boneless pork chops that I seasoned with some salt and pepper. I then had some ground mustard in the fridge that I used to coat the chops before sauteing on the stove top.

I cooked up some easy white rice when it was done I mixed in some dried tomato and garlic pesto.
Pesto from Tastefully simple... I'm in love!

And for the last side dish I boiled a frozen bag of veggies, drained when done, then tossed the veggies with a sprinkle of red pepper flakes and shredded chedder cheese. 

And there you have it. We had a very delicious and healthy dinner cooked and on the table in less then twenty minutes. Heck yeah thats what I'm talking about!!!!
Hahaha literally the best part of my day.  (thats a little sad)