Saturday, December 29, 2012

You got to move it, move it...

As close family and friends know, we like to move this treadmill. Well, we don't really like to move it, but we do. A lot. It's been assembled, disassembled and reassembled. It lived upstairs and down, been pushed to the max, then left to sit many moons after the birth of our children. And it still works. 

Since it's the time of year for reflecting, rejoicing and renewing, we'll give it a new home, again. It'll make some much needed space. Plus, it might just reinvigorate us to get back in the exercise routine. I hope. 

How are you spending your weekend? Reflecting, relaxing or moving heavy equipment? Enjoy it, whatever you decide!

Photo on it's way!

I've actually used this thing once since we moved it. It makes a funny sound now whether I increase or decrease speed, but blasting music through the headphones seems to do the trick! 

Monday, December 24, 2012

Not a creature was stirring...

After a day full of anticipation and excitement about tonight's gift-giving guest, our kids are nestled all snug in their beds. Sounds nice, but our long winter's nap will have to wait. Parents, you know what I mean. 

It's Christmas Eve. We're all excited about Santa's arrival and the morning festivities. So excited in fact, we've cooked, cleaned, stuffed, wrapped, set-up photography and it's not yet midnight! That doesn't always happen. So why write a blog? It's important to make note of these milestones. It's also important to share some good. 

So, if you need a boost to get across the holiday finish line try reading 5 things to enjoy this holiday, laugh at a Twelve Days of Christmas Remix, or reminisce about all the things between chaos and Christmas and be thankful for every moment.

Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Twelve Days of Christmas (Remix)

I’m a fan of music and the holidays. This year I’ve got such a long To-do list, it inspired me to rewrite “The Twelve Days of Christmas” to reflect how fun and crazy the holidays get around our house.

Whether you’re young or old, a parent or student, it’s the time of year to celebrate, just try not to take everything so seriously. Here’s my rewrite and the original in case you can't remember the words.

The Twelve Days of Christmas (Remix)

12 Toy assemblies
11 Missing pieces
10 Without instructions
9 Batteries needed
8 Trips to Target
7 Cookies later
6 Gifts not wrapped yet
5 Hours ‘til dawn
4 Pounds of coffee
3 Broken light sets
2 Tired parents
And a Brand New Vacuum Cleaner!

The Twelve Days of Christmas (Original, I think)

12 Drummers Drumming
11 Pipers Piping
10 Lords-a-leaping
9 Ladies Dancing
8 Maids-a-milking
7 Swans-a-swimming
6 Geese-a-laying
5 Golden Rings
4 Calling (or Colly) Birds
3 French Hens
2 Turtle Doves
And a Partridge in a Pear Tree

Misfit Toys

Friday, December 7, 2012

Write a blog post, earn a nickel!

Less than three minutes after my last posting I found a nickel! Sounds crazy, but it's more than I expected to make blogging about family, food and fun. To be honest, I found it in the dryer, so I guess it's actually laundry money, but I don't usually make any money washing clothes, so it's all good. 

You might wonder, what is she going to do with that five-cent haul? I could buy a pack of gum if I lived in the 50s or had a time machine, but I don't. For now, I'll stash it away for college/retirement/vacation/coffee, all are top priority investments around our house.

Maybe my nickel will be a dime tomorrow and soon I'll find millions tumbling around in the dryer or in some other part of the house I've neglected while writing. No matter, surprise money is always welcome. :)

Try them! Try them! And you may (like them).

Bored with plain old green beans? Put away the can opener and try these Mediterranean Braised Green Beans from Cook’s Illustrated. They have the flavor and texture of long-cooked beans in less than an hour's time.

I liked the flavor and the recipe was easy to follow, but something was missing. I'll add some meaty olives or crunchy nuts next time and see if it punches them up even more. Try them, you may like them. Here's the recipe I tested. You can find more in Cook's Illustrated magazine and online. Enjoy!

Mediterranean Braised Green Beans
Serves 4 to 6


5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped fine
4 garlic cloves, minced
Pinch cayenne pepper
1 ½ cups water
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 ½ pounds green beans, trimmed and cut into 2- to 3-inch lengths
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained and chopped coarse with juice reserved
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
1 to 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar


1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 275 degrees. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and cayenne and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add water, baking soda, and green beans, and bring to simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Stir in tomato paste, tomatoes and juice, salt, and pepper.

2. Cover pot, transfer to oven, and cook until beans are tender and sauce is slightly thickened, 45 to 50 minutes. Stir in parsley and vinegar to taste. Drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and serve (Beans can be cool to room temperature before serving).

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