Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Birthday Cake Boss, and Other Thoughts

Hello Peeps!
Since I last wrote, we had another birthday in our house. My baby girl turned 8. I kept telling her all month that I wasn't going to allow it, that we'd just say she was 7 for another year, but she wasn't having it.
This kid is very tech savvy and likes to search for video tutorials on line. She found the cake she wanted for her birthday and that was that.
I can bake, but I am no cake boss. Didn't matter, this kid wanted this cake, and it had to be done.

So, here are a couple pics so you can ooh and ahh about how awesome I am as a mother...

Why yes, those are Peeps all around the outside, and pastel M&M's around the top. Because that's what the kid wanted, so that's what she got!
This sucker took 2 cake mixes, an insane amount of food coloring, and a truck load of frosting.
Are you wondering how much cake I ate?
Nope, remember sugar is my crack, so all the left overs went home with the parents.
I did steal a few M&M's off the top, because I am human after all, but felt I made a good decision to send the rest away so I wouldn't be tempted. I even tossed out the extra frosting.
I wish I had a pic of before it was cut, but those are on my phone.

Honestly, the cake wasn't that hard to make. The most time consuming part was placing the M&M's on the top in such an intricate pattern. However, all the parents and kids were totally impressed and couldn't believe I made it, so I'm now the mother of the year. I have them all fooled!

In other news...
I'm learning to say NO.
I've decided life is too short to do things that I don't enjoy.
Example: I've been teaching Sunday school here pretty much since we moved in and found a church. I don't particularly care for the job, and me being in Sunday school leaves my husband in church alone. I'd like to sit with him during worship. I know it's a small thing but I've decided I'm not going to do it any more.
Also, I help out in the library one day a week at my  kids school. I don't like that job either. I do plenty of other volunteer things in the school all throughout the year, but the book shelving thing isn't my favorite. So, I'm not doing it any more. I'm learning to say NO.

My time is precious. I could be doing something else that I find more rewarding. I might sign up to do a shift at the local food pantry instead.
Who knows what it will be, I'm just happy I'm learning to say no to the things I don't really want to do!

And more other news...
I signed my kids up for zumba at my gym.
How fun is that? I really hope they like it. It's only 30 minutes,once a week, but hopefully it'll be a fun form of exercise for them and they'll enjoy it.
Parents are not allowed in so I'll use that 30 minutes to work on the leg machines. I did already to to Pump this morning, but my legs could use the extra help for sure!
Then I'll be right back there before the sun rises for my Wednesday spin class. You'd think I would be skinny, right? Ha!

That is all for now. I must go mop my kitchen because, as I tell my kids "If the president came to visit, I'd be so embarrassed right now!".

Have a great night.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Lots of Catching Up to Do!

Wow, it was March 20 the last time I wrote!

Right after that last post, I was hit by a horrible sinus/upper respiratory infection that knocked me off my feet. It was just awful. I didn't even have the strength to shower for 2 days.

Luckily I was all better in time for my hubby's 40th birthday. He didn't want a party so the kiddos and I surprised him with a super fancy dinner when he got home from work, and then sent him off for a one hour massage. That was one happy man.

If you've followed me for a while, you know the hubs is a super healthy eater. He's into all natural, nothing fried, no chemicals, etc. So, it was my mission to make a dinner that we would all enjoy and would pass the husband health test.
I am happy to report, I succeeded! It was fantastic. I even had to take a picture of my plate because it looked so good.

It was broiled salmon and a new quinoa dish I tried and loved. Don't let the portion on this plate fool you, I definitely went back for more salmon and more asparagus!
Here's the recipe for the quinoa. I skipped the jalapeno and cilantro since we don't really like either of those flavors.

Giving up meat for Lent has forced me out of my comfort zone in the kitchen. I didn't want to just put pasta on the table every day and call it vegetarian. I made lots of new dishes and nobody really missed the meat. In fact, now that Lent is over, I haven't felt the urge to go out and buy meat. I wonder if I'll feel sick eating it now after 40+ days without it.

Yesterday was Eater and we hosted some friends at our house. I instinctively made an all vegetarian meal, not even thinking about the fact that I could have meat since it was Easter. Everything turned out great, especially the egg dish. There were no left overs, and we were wishing there were.
Here's my little dessert tower which the kids loved.

Those little balls on top are called Carrot Cake Bites and I found them on some raw/vegan website. I don't have the recipe here but they were made of carrot, dates, raisins, orange zest and almonds, then rolled in coconut. I just had some of the left overs for breakfast! They were awesome, and not too sweet.
The birds nests were mostly for the kids. I thought they were cute.

The weather here has been great so we had an egg hunt outside. We have a HUGE yard, so there was a lot of running around to burn off the breakfast and sugar.

Oh, speaking of sugar. You know I also gave up sugar for Lent. I made it all the way to Good Friday, and then I caved. I was putting together Easter baskets for the kiddos and without thinking, tossed a few jelly beans in my  mouth. Well, you know what happened next. I had a few more, then a few more. Then you know what I did? I threw out the rest of the bag. I had put just enough in the baskets for the kids, and really didn't need or want the left overs in the house, so in the trash they went.
I noticed after 40 days of not sugar, that my right eye almost immediately went blurry. Wow. Weird and scary all at the same time.

After all our friends left, and we all took a short nap, we went for a family walk. It's funny to hear from our friends on the east coast about how much snow they have because it's definitely spring here. It's cold in the mornings but warms up nicely during the day.

I got up early today and went for a good brisk walk and got to see the sunrise, which is my favorite part of the day. I even got to see a beautiful cardinal, and he was singing his morning song.

So, we've had some wonderful family and friend celebrations over the past month. We're all healthy and happy, and grateful. Things are not about to wind down any time soon since the in-laws are on their way to visit and will be here for 5 days while we celebrate my little one's birthday.

I hope you all had a wonderful Easter and are enjoying some spring weather where you are.
Happy Monday!