Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Birthday Surprises!!

Wow! This weekend shaped up to be one of the busiest most impromptu weekends I’ve had in ages!

My mom turned 50 this Sunday and my brother and I had spent weeks trying to figure out the best possible gift to give our mom for this birthday because we wanted to make it really good. Mom has been under a lot of stress recently. She works a stressful job with long hours and my grandmother, who has been deteriorating mentally, recently got into a car accident. While she is physically fine her car it totaled and she doesn’t know how to handle not having a car.

So Friday afternoon my brother and I were joking about how awesome it would be if I could just be there for her birthday and how we could put me in a big box on mom’s porch and I’d jump out and surprise her. That’s when my practical thinking sister in law says, “Well, why can’t you?” First thing Saturday morning I was on a plane to Texas!

We did actually put me on the porch in a box, I popped out and my mom cried she was so surprised. We went and got a ton of decorations and decorated her apartment, got her a cake, took her out to dinner and played board games. It was so much fun but the trip was just too short! I was back home by Monday morning (thanks to my awesome brother and sister in law for driving me to the airport at 4am!) and was doing makeup for two different photo shoots at 12pm and 4pm.

I’m so tired from the trip that I think it’s going to take me a while to get back my energy! Now off to clean this house and make some cupcakes for my wonderful family!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Post-It Note Tuesday and Blog Hop!

Also, welcome to all those from the Totally Tuesday Blog Hop!!

Monday, January 16, 2012


It feels like we just here to Colorado and it’s already time to leave. The hubby got orders to Fort Irwin, CA so that is where we’ll be heading in just 7 short weeks. The plus side is it’ll make trips to see his family much easier and the downside is we’ll be in the middle of the desert.

I’ve been in hyper drive mode since we found out. There is so much to get done. March seems like it is so far away and yet right around the corner. I’ve got to get to the optometrist and get new glasses and contacts, get through Snuggle Bug’s birthday and get her an updated physical and TB test for the preschool there, get the dogs to the vet and we’re still waiting on the hubby to get his official orders so we can get on the housing list and schedule things with transportation. There is more to that list but I’m just not thinking clearly at the moment.

Oh and I scheduled our “big” ultrasound…..February 9th and hopefully we’ll find out what we’re having!

Honestly, I’m really sad we’re leaving. Our time in Colorado has been absolutely amazing. We’ve met some great people, had so much fun, Snuggle Bug loves her preschool, I love my university…..it’s hard to say goodbye. But such is the nature of the hubby’s job. I’m sure California will prove to be just as fun as Colorado if not more. It’s all about a positive attitude!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Foray into slow cooking

I love to cook. I’m the kind of person that gets inspired and will spend hours in the kitchen creating meals. Usually my meals come out pretty good and my family is happy. But Pinterest has changed all that. Thanks to Pinterest and my foray into slow cooking, not very many good meals have been coming out of my kitchen lately.

Pinterest has been my latest obsession. I joined after my friend told me about it and didn’t think I would love it as much as I do.

So many recipes, craft ideas, home d├ęcor pictures and makeup tutorials to keep me busy for ages!

I stumbled upon a popular pin with a link to a blog that talked all about make ahead crockpot meals. Meaning, I could put everything raw into a bag and then into my freezer and then into my crockpot and be done. So easy! Between school, an almost 4y/o Snuggle Bug and my 18 week pregnant belly, easy sounded good!

So I went to the store and got everything needed to make six meals, three kinds. Beef stew, Italian Beef and BBQ Chicken. After lots of veggie cutting, meat cutting, seasoning and bagging I was ready to go…….six cheap meals in my deep freeze ready to go into the crock pot first thing in the morning.

I should have thought about this a bit more as I was following the recipes. No blanching of any veggies? Potatoes going in with meat to cook the entire 8 hours? “They’ll be fine” I thought. Not so much.

Night one, a few weeks ago, and I pull out my beef stew. Actually not bad. Soggy mushy potatoes and it needed a bit more meat and seasoning but overall decent. But still not as good as the one I can simmer on the stove that I’ve been making for years. We all ate it, the hubby actually seemed to enjoy it and only remarked that it needed a bit more beef. But it’s generally not hard to please his Army man palette after the years he’s spent eating MREs and DFAC cuisine.

Night two, the next week, BBQ chicken. “Is this supposed to be a soup?” I thought to myself as I looked into the simmering crock pot. I supposed this wouldn’t be going on the buns as I had originally planned. Taste tests showed that I needed to add a few more things to this meal to give it some flavor and those zucchini’s I had put in the bag were nowhere to be found in the crock pot.

Then we make it to tonight, Italian Beef. Toss it in and add the beef broth. Once again I come back and ask myself, “Is this a soup?” Once again, serving over bread may not be an option. So, with the help of a can of tomato sauce, bell peppers, carrots, celery, fresh garlic and seasoning, I turn this base into what eventually became a decent mock ragu. But it was still lacking something.

I couldn’t even finish it. Snuggle Bug took a few bites and wanted no part of it but she did enjoy the crusty Italian bread I served with it. The hubby, well he ate it.

I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong. Other reviewers raved about these meals and I was so looking forward to them being as good as people said. I don’t know what’s wrong but I’m thinking it may be time to give the slow cooker a rest for a while and pull out Mastering the Art of French Cooking again. Julia Child and I seem to be a better fit together than the crock pot and I.