Holiday pic

Holiday pic

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Not Just a Stay at Home Mom...

9 years ago, this month, hubby and I made the decision that I would not go back to work full-time.. Instead, I would take on the challenges of being a mommy...full-time.  At the time, we had DJ (who was almost 2) and Kyra (who was 3 months old).  We did the math and figured out I would pretty much bring in very limited income with 2 kiddies in daycare.  Mentally, I don't think I was quite ready for it...but...we did it. And here we are with 2 more kiddies thrown into the mix.

It wasn't too long after our decision was made, and I no longer had a job, that we realized we really couldn't make it on 1 salary.  Sooooooooooo, this momma has been on a quest to bring in an income as well.  In the past 9 years I've done what I can, when I can to bring in an income.  In our family structure, my income needed to cover groceries and gas for my car.  I've done everything from bartending, waitressing, baking, picture taking, cleaning, birthday party hostess, babysitting, library work...etc.  Just last year, there were some weeks where I worked 4-5 jobs and basically never had a day off.  We all know parenting is a full-time job, so that is NOT included in my 4-5 job description.  lol

And, we all know that just being the MOM means tons and tons of juggling and scheduling and planning and budgeting.  There is a limitless supply of unpaid (monetarily speaking...hugs and kisses are always there for the taking) chores to do.  Since we all know about those, I'm not going to bore you with them...

Recently, though, I find myself at a crossroads of working.  I no longer babysit (there are so many pros to this... only con is that constant salary) and the temporary bartending gig has ended (I am only the back-up person now with no weekly shift).  I continue to work in the library...but that means Saturdays and Sundays and also means I miss a lot of stuff (ie. soccer, bday parties, events, etc).  I love the just sucks that I basically can only work on weekends (with 1 night thrown in there when I have a 'free' babysitter). And, with no other income coming in, these library checks cannot shrink too much and my budgeting must become very imaginative. Ahhh, yes, budgeting... I hate that word!! I even have a gas budget...

And so, now I must figure out my next step in doing my part.  I don't think hubby knows just how bad I feel when I can't 'bring home the bacon' every week.  Working full-time, during the day would completely change the dynamics of this house...and quite honestly, I am not willing to do that right now.  I want to be home when the kids get off the bus and I want to be home with Franny until she goes off to Kindergarten.  I hate working my 1 night a week b/c it means I am not there to see them and check homework and get them to afterschool activities (I'm a control freak and really hate leaving this stuff to other people...super hard for me...).

But, alas, my thinking cap is on and I know we will get past this.  Everyone has daily struggles in this world.  We all work hard to make sure we do what we can (and I believe that's different for every mom out there...we are all made differently and struggle with our own demons on a daily basis).  So, I will push some cookies and photo sessions and see where that takes me (both are my passion)...And, I will continue to look for that perfect job for right now (you know, like a Facebook Game tester...or maybe getting paid to sleep at night...etc)  The world is still my oyster:)  lol

On a final note, this is what most of us Mom's look like when no one's looking... um... maybe... ok, at least this is what I look like at night after a long

And now I leave you as I must do some dishes, and sweep Franny out the door:)  Have a great day... I will post a recipe later tonight!!  I'm thinking a dessert is next:)

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Adult Hot Apple Cider... Revisited:)

Whew...I am only about 14 hours late for the Recipe Wednesday I promised you.  AND, I am going to be lazy with it...  It has nothing to do with the 2 Polish Dance practices, 1 boot camp, 1 adult ballet class and a twisted ankle..and I didn't happen to just pass out last night or anything..nope...not at all... LOL..

So, with fall coming along quite nicely, I thought I would revisit my Adult Hot Apple Cider recipe.  You know, in case you're having a get together or anything like that..this is perfect in the crockpot... Oh, and the original post was somehow 'Pinned' on cool is that???

Here's the original post along with recipe:

With all the new vodka flavors out there...I'm thinking that Caramel Vodka might go nicely as an added 'adult' flavor...and, I'm thinking that I may need to make this really soon:)

I've also made this and let simmer for a few hours before refrigerating it into a container.  You can always heat up back up in the microwave...just make sure you shake well as apple cider tends to separate.

Hope you're having a great day!!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Dirty Dozen... years, that is:)

Wowza... Can you believe it's been 12 years since I vowed to love, honor and cherish my hubby until death do us part???  I know I can't... 12 years... Awesome, don't you think???

Thinking back on the last 12 years, I have to admit that there were some ups and some downs.  We've come so far in our relationship...especially this past year.  If you recall, last year, I pretty much was fed up with  hubby.  BUT... together, we communicated (big thing in me), hashed things out, and moved forward.  Marriage isn't easy...we are constantly changing, growing and adjusting.  So far, we've been able do this together.  And I see us continuing to grow, fight, adjust, love and move forward for the rest of our lives..

I know I've been known to complain, and even bash, hubby.  But, I am his wife and it's my right, isn't it??  When you live with someone for so long, there are bound to be things that get on your nerves.  And as his wife, I should warn you that no one else is allowed any negative thoughts towards him or I will kick your A$$.. lol..

But, alas, I wanted to let you all know what a lucky woman I am to have him in my life...and how lucky my children are to have him as their dad!!  So, here are the TOP 10 things my hubby does that I'm pretty sure not many other men would do or do do (hee hee.. I said do do)...ready, here goes:

1. He goes grocery shopping with 4 kids in tow on weekends while I am working

2. He will help me color icings for my cookies and can even outline and flood them...oh, and recently he 'glued' edible images to cookies while I was bartending so I wouldn't be up all night long..

3. He will give baths/showers to the kids if I am not home and I ask (although he may complain a bit, he does it)

4. He doesn't complain about his dinner...even if it's over-cooked, left-overs, or just plain shitty... he sits and eats it w/o complaint

5. If I leave a list, he does everything on it... (I just have to remember to leave a list otherwise I get annoyed he doesn't do anything I think he should do...lists...they are important)

6. He lets me sleep a bit longer in the morning and will get the kids up for school AND will make their lunches AND will make the coffee!!!

7. He gets up with any kid in the middle of the night...b/c that was the deal after I spent so many nights up with them nursing and stuff when they were babies... Trust me when I say, he's got the good end of this deal:)

8. He does dishes...not everyday... but every once in awhile...even without it on the list:)  Oh, and he will fold laundry...especially after it's been sitting in baskets for more than a week in our living room (laundry is NOT my forte...)

9. HE LOVES HIS KIDS!!  And, they, of course, love him... some days, he is all they want!!

10. HE LOVES ME!!  And I know he would do anything for me..

So, with that being said..I will always love him.  No matter how frustrated I get, I know that together we make an awesome team!!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Steak and Goat Cheese Appetizer

Hello all,

As promised, I am going to begin a Recipe Wednesday thingy with this  Now, it won't always be a food...I may include some drink (adult ones of course) recipes.  They also won't always be some skill might be needed:)

OK... this one is definitely a very easy recipe and sure to make your appetizer one the guests will me:)

1 steak of your choice (a small london broil would me, you won't need a full one)
Salt/pepper  or seasoning of your choice for steak

2 packages of mini phyllo shells (located in the freezer section of the grocery store near frozen pie crusts)

1 four ounce package of goat cheese
1 eight ounce package of cream cheese
Italian seasoning
Minced garlic

Balsamic Vinegar

-Season your steak and let rest to room temperature before grilling.  I grill to a medium rare and let rest a bit
-Mix the goat cheese, cream cheese (both should be at room temperature), Italian seasonings and garlic together until creamy.  Place mixture inside plastic bag and zip it up.

-Pour your Balsamic vinegar into a sauce pan and bring to a boil..  It doesn't matter how much you put in pan (I always make extra so I have it on hand for leftovers or more steak..)  Add a couple pinches of sugar, stir.  Boil until reduced in half.  For this appetizer, you can make 1/4 cup vinegar and about a tablespoon of sugar and reduce it to about an 1/8 will also thicken a bit.  This is a Balsamic Reduction...just in case you didn't know:)   Remove from heat and let cool..
It will be finished when the vinegar starts to coat the pan

-Slice your steak thinly and cut into1 inch pieces

Now you're ready to assemble.  If I am bringing this appetizer to somewhere else, I bring all the separate ingredients and put it together upon arrival.  With that being said:
-place your phyllo cups on your serving tray
-Snip a hole in the corner of the bag you placed your goat cheese/cream cheese mixture in and begin squeezing it into the cups...just enough to fill the bottom.
-Place 1 piece of steak on top of each cup
-Drizzle the Balsamic reduction all over dish

Some notes:
-I've tried a few different bases for this appetizer but the phyllo cups are the use and to eat.  But, you can also try those bagel chips, italian bread sliced thin slightly toasted, etc.
-Leftover steak and cream mixture??  maybe, maybe not...but in the event that it happens you can make yourself a little flatbread- spread the cream mixture on a soft tortilla, toss on the steak pieces and broil for a few minutes..drizzle with balsamic reduction
-If you want the balsamic reduction thicker, try adding a pat of butter once it has reduced.
-You can store the extra balsamic reduction at room temperature for several months (though, it most likely won't last that long).  Put it in a squeezy bottle or one of those glass bottles meant for oil.
-Don't walk away from your appetizer unless you've already taken one b/c there won't be any left when you come back!!

Hope you all enjoy this's one of my favorites!!'s the first little appetizer that I created all by myself and am pretty proud of it:)

So, hope to see you next Wednesday with another recipe.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Back to School Time...

Hello all... hope you are all doing well out there in Mommy Land:)  Things have been crazy busy hectic around here.  But, alas, the new school year has begun.

I'm sure some of you are happy...ecstatic even.  And I know some of you are sad to see them go off into the big bad world.  This year is a little different for I am usually pretty happy with shoving them up the steps of that big yellow bus.  But, alas, this year I have a Kindergartner on my hands.

Yes, it's true.  My little man Max has grown up way too fast and entered the land of school.  My Max.  I know.  I know we shouldn't have favorites among our own kids.  BUT...he's my little mush ball of love that has entertained me from day 1.  He's never been in daycare and I've always been with him.  AND... he has this little charismatic way of keeping me entertained throughout my day...even though there are times when I just needed him to stop talking...I will miss him.  I know Franny will miss him too... She keeps telling me that she's 5 and going to Kindergarten too:(  Nope...not yet Franny Girl!!

I like to call the year of Kindergarten:  'The year of Conforming to meet Societies Expectations'.  Once you enter school, there are rules and expectations of the little people.  There can be no streaking down the hallways, no pooping in the nude, no walking around in just your undies...nope...this is the year they learn to keep their clothes, shoes and socks on.  This is the year they learn that the sky really is blue and you should color your skies in your pictures blue as well.  This is the year where grazing throughout the day is not OK. eat lunch at the same time every day and get your snack at the same time every day.  This is the year you will learn that papers need to be put in their proper place (your folder...or mommy gets mad)..

But...this is also the year where you learn to leave the nest a bit and test out everything you've learned in the precious 5 years you were home.  I know, I know...he went to preschool, so some of these things he already had figured out...but not everything.  Not yet.

I hope he can keep his little personality and all his quirks and not drive his teacher Mad.  I hope he makes new friends and learns to read and write a little better.  I hope his teacher enjoys him as much as I have!! I hope he has a blast!!

I's not the end of the world.  But there is a little piece of me that is missing with him gone all day!!  I even cried this year when he hopped, skipped and laughed onto the bus.  He's excited about all this Big Boy stuff and so am I .. really.. I am... just a little sad at the same time.

The 2 older kiddies were somewhat happy to go back but not happy about an earlier bed-time and an earlier wake up time.  I wish for a great year for both of them as well!!  Oh, and while I'm wishing...not so much homework this year.  Lol

I hope, if you have kiddies in school, that you had a great beginning.  Here's to a great school year!!

Oh, and just so you know, this momma has already screwed up this year.. yup..on Max's 1st 1/2 day of school, the momma forgot to send in a lunch.  1/2 day for the past 5 years meant no lunch.  Completely forgot that these 1st two days of school for kindergarten, lunch is served.  Oops..

PS- I have a goal...yes, it's true.  My goal is to do this at least once a week with some recipes thrown in there..  including some drink specials:)

And here are a few more from the 1st day of school:)