Thursday, February 26, 2009

Simple Salad Dressing

I tried this recipe from my newest Simple and Delicious magazine.  Ben declared the salad dressing "so good you could drink it straight".  We ate our salad with plain red curly lettuce.  I think the dressing would taste wonderful on greens with apples and walnuts.

3 tbsp. olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. malt or rice vinegar
1 1/2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt (I recommend using a little less)
1/2 tsp. coarsely ground pepper

In a small jar, shake together the ingredients.  Pour over 4 cups romaine or other salad greens. Toss to coat.
(I choose to serve our dressing on the side.  That way, if we have left over salad greens they will not be droopy and wilted.)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Quote of the Day

"No. No. No. No!  Do not put your finger in there!"

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Please Pass the Kleenex?

It's been a snotty day around here.

A round of colds has slowly drifted through our family this past week.  So far child #1 and I are the only ones to escape unscathed.  Child #2 caught the cold first (he always does, it seems) and is pretty well recovered.  My poor husband is under the weather with a persistent sinus infection (left over from the last round of colds).  Unfortunately, children #3 and #4 have it the worst at the moment.

Of course, children #3 and #4 are the ones who can't wipe their own noses...


It's not been an altogether bad day, mind you.  We took it slow and made some crafts this morning.  The little guys had a long nap this afternoon and I'm thinking an early bedtime is on the horizon.  

And then I will run to the grocery store and buy a case load of tissues...

Monday, February 23, 2009

Scootin' Along

Our baby boy is just over ten months old.  He's not crawling yet but Ben and I are not terribly concerned.  All of our kids have been late bloomers when it comes to physical development.  Our daughter didn't walk until she was 18 months, and at nearly three she's still very cautious on the stairs.  Mommy and Daddy aren't exactly athletic superstars so we figure the kids come by it honestly ;-).

Our baby is managing to get around, though.  He's becoming a bum scooter!  Our big boy enjoys playing on the hardwood floor.  He rocks his body, swings his arms, and scoots on his bum from one end of the room to the other.  Sometimes he rocks so hard he ends up toppling over onto his tummy, and then our boy gets upset because he can't figure out how to move!  

Our little guy has also discovered that the kitchen cupboards are filled with treasure.  A whole new world is opening up before him! Admittedly, I've been lax about baby-proofing our new house these past months.  This week the locks are going back on the cupboards!  Our timbit is not interested in stairs yet, but the gates will be going up soon there as well.  (However, I want to paint the walls along the stairway first.)  I think it's also time to lower the crib mattress a notch or two.

It's hard to believe our little guy is rapidly moving out of his babyhood and into the toddler years...

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Menu Plan Monday
February 23, 2009

Here's our menu plan for the upcoming week!

Monday:  No cooking (supper with my parents)
Tuesday:  Sausage and kale soup, homemade bread
Wednesday:  Chicken and rice casserole (from the freezer), green salad
Thursday:  Leftover night
Friday:  Beef stroganoff, peas and carrots, crusty bread
Saturday:  Encore performance
Sunday:  No cooking (supper with Ben's parents)

Check out further Menu Plan Monday madness here.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Unclog That Drain!

Here's another easy (and inexpensive) homemade cleaner.  It really does work!  (You might need to repeat the process a few times for stubborn clogs.)

Drain Opener

1/2 C. baking soda
1 C. vinegar
1 teapot boiling water

1.  Pack the drain with baking soda, then pour in the vinegar.

2.  Keep the drain covered for 10 minutes, then flush it out with boiling water.

The last time we used this on our shower drain we had to repeat the process three times.  (It was very badly clogged.)  On the plus side, the foaming bubbles also conveniently cleaned the shower floor!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Homemade Cleaner

I've been experimenting with making my own homemade cleaners.  My favourite homemaking handbook has dozens of recipes for great cleaners but I keep coming back to one simple recipe:

Citrus Disinfectant

Peel from 1 orange, grapefruit, lemon or lime
3 C. white vinegar
1 clean quart jar with lid
1 clean 1L (32oz) spray bottle

1.  Combine the citrus peel and vinegar in the quart jar.  Fasten the lid on the jar and store the mixture in a cupboard for two weeks, giving it an occasional shake.

2.  Remove the peel from the jar, strain the vinegar, and return it to the jar.

3.  To use as a spray cleaner, pour 1C. of the citrus vinegar in the spray bottle and fill with water.

4.  To clean floors, add 1C. citrus vinegar to 7.5L (2 gallons) water.

I use the citrus disinfectant to clean the bathroom.  I spray everything down, let it sit a couple minutes, then wipe everything clean.  Sometimes I require more cleaning power in the battle against soap scum, so I sprinkle a little baking soda and use a green scrubby on the sinks and tub.  (The bubbles are fun.)  I also use the vinegar solution to wash our floors.  I think lemon smells the best and sometimes I'll add a couple drops of lavender essential oil to the solution. 

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Menu Plan (Tuesday)
February 17, 2009

I'm a day behind!  Oh well.  Here's our menu plan for the upcoming week:

Tuesday:  Leftover lasagna, green salad, cheese toast
Wednesday:  Hamburger soup, homemade bread
Thursday:  Salmon cakes, roasted potatoes, peas and carrots
Friday:  Leftover night
Saturday:  Burritos (from the freezer), salsa, corn, southwestern salad
Sunday:  No cooking (supper with Ben's family)  

Menu Plan Monday is hosted by Org Junkie :-)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Joke of the Day

Q:  How do uber-geeks celebrate the Day of Love?

A:  They throw a va-LAN-tines party!

(Or if they are anything like my sweetheart they rent Star Trek IV, the most romantic movie in the universe.  Sheesh.)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Quote of the Day

"Hey Daddy!  I know what we can do this weekend!  Let's go out and get some shotguns and hunt some chickens!"

Friday, February 13, 2009

Joke of the Day

Q:  What do you get when you cross medieval siege weaponry with fuzzy Star Trek aliens?

A:  A tribble-chet!

(Groan.  That one's courtesy of some geeky guy who shall remain nameless.)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

End of an Era

I'm feeling so sad.  Yesterday I learned that my favourite magazine will no longer be published and I am terribly disappointed.  The magazine will continue to exist in an online form.  Sadly, it simply won't be the same.

Craft, your departure leaves a gaping hole in the DIY universe.  You will be sorely missed, my friend.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Joke of the Day

Q:  Where did the sheep go for his vacation?

A:  To Cu-baaa!

(The joke is courtesy of a very silly six-year-old.  Our son was quite disappointed to learn his grandparents were leaving on a tropical vacation without him!)

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Menu Plan Monday
February 9, 2009

I'm wingin' it this week!  No menu plan for us!  Last week I did a fair bit of cooking and put several meals on ice in the freezer.  This week I'm planning to sit back and take it easy (ha!) and enjoy serving simple suppers.  I'll buy a few staples at the beginning of the week, but for the most part, our family doesn't need many groceries.  Hooray!

I am definitely enjoying the return of our Spud orders.  We seem to be eating more fruits and veggies as a direct result.  I also love the fact that I'm making fewer trips to the store.  That can only be a good thing.  

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Mommy's Little Helper

Nearly every day I have a little shadow at my side.  She's small and cute and wears her hair in pig tails.  My only female offspring is most decidedly a mommy's girl.

The thing is, at the tender age of 2 1/2, my girl is genuinely helpful.  (I take no credit for this.)  She seems to have an inborn knack for cleaning and organizing.  (Maybe I can take credit for that.)  She helps me sort laundry, mix pancakes and muffins, shred lettuce, and dust the furniture.  She can even set the table!  In many ways, my little girl is more helpful than her older and more-capable brothers.

I truly enjoy having a tiny helper following me through the house.  She's a cute little pixie and I love her to bits!

Friday, February 06, 2009

Note to Self

It's best not to trip when you're holding a potty full of pee...

Thursday, February 05, 2009


I share this in the interest of full disclosure:

From time to time I have been known to feed my children tater tots.  

(And no, they're not organic.)

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

A Small Inconvenience

My library card broke in half last week.  The thing snapped clean in two.  I nearly cried and felt as though I'd lost my left arm.  

This week I went to the library and asked for a replacement.  It was no problem but I am now facing an unexpected dilemma.  Along with the new card I received a new identification number.  A new number!  I liked my old number, thank you very much.  It was conveniently memorized and I could log on to the library system at a moment's notice.  That number was an old buddy.  A familiar friend. 

I don't believe my fuzzy old brain can remember some fancy new number.  Hmmmmph. 

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Quote of the Day

"Well you know, Mommy, livers can't be chosers."

(And kidneys can't be picky???)

Monday, February 02, 2009

Menu Plan Monday
February 2, 2009

We're fresh out of groundhog around here.  Guess we'll have to settle for chicken...

Here's my meal plan for the upcoming week:

Monday:  No cooking (supper with my parents)
Tuesday:  Roast chicken, brown rice, brussels sprouts, carrots
Wednesday:  Tortilla vegetable chicken soup, corn meal muffins
Thursday:  Leftovers
Friday:  Beef stroganoff with noodles, peas, green salad
Saturday:  Leftovers
Sunday:  No cooking (supper with Ben's parents)

Menu Plan Monday is hosted by Org Junkie.  Check it out!

Sunday, February 01, 2009


So maybe you've noticed the old blog has been seriously uninspiring this past week.  I slacked off, it's true.  But you know what?  I kind of liked it.  I enjoyed taking a break from the computer.  There were actually days I didn't even boot the thing up.

Some days I need to remind myself that this whole blogging gig is a hobby.  It's supposed to be fun.  And it's okay if I don't post something profound / witty / insightful every single day.  Hey, if all I manage is an occasional post about menu planning or crazy kids, then so be it! That's pretty much where I'm at these days.

I'm sorry to disappoint you faithful dozen who check the blog every day. It might be kind of boring around here for the next little while. ;-)