Thursday, March 20, 2014
Friday, March 14, 2014
When he was one his favorite color was red. His favorite book was Barnyard Dance by Sandra Boynton. His favorite food was pickles. His favorite toy was an airplane his Aunt and Uncle got him. His favorite activity was anything outside.
Now that he is two his favorite color is blue. His favorite book is Art & Max by David Wiesner. His favorite food is cheese and pickles. His favorite toy is his train from Gramma and Pampa or any ball. His favorite activity is bug hunting outside.
So happy birthday to my little boy who will not always be little, but will always be my little, even when he is taller than I am. I hope you travel farther than I have, see more than I have, love bigger than I have, help more than I have, and learn more than I have. Stay curious, stay fearless, and keep your hugs full and free. I love you.
Thursday, March 13, 2014
Dirt goes primarily in your hair or down your shirt, try to avoid your eyes.
Flour goes everywhere but in the bowl.
Pompoms and rocks are really the only toys you need.
Paint goes primarily on your hands and is also good on your face.
Someone will always poop in their fresh diaper when getting in the car, especially if you want to be on time.
Bugs are yummy but it's sad when you eat your friends.
If there are geese at the pond, the groceries are going to have to wait.
You can fit at least six grapes in your mouth at once, anything less is a disappointment.
Roar your way through the grocery store, you will hear people laughing in every aisle.
Dirt on your hands is approved. Dog poop on your hands is not.
The "right" spoon is always the last one that mom chooses.
There is no such thing as "too little."
Cheer for everyone, including the mail man and the landscapers.
Always say "thank you," even if you are saying it for someone else.
Water dries. Even a lot of water eventually dries.
Snow is magic.
Deodorant goes on your neck and face and takes about a week of baths to get off.
Blueberries are ear hole sized.
The milkshake song is the best song.
Everyday there is a reason to say "Wow!"
Strollers aren't nearly as much fun as running.
Cookies do not need to be cookie shaped to be delicious.
You can't see it if you can't touch it.
If you fill your pockets with "treasure" your pants may fall down.
So to begin with this is my basic list of go to supplies that I always have on hand because our older son (2 years old now, was probably about 6 months old when we really started doing projects) asks to do art every single day. I started doing some really basic projects when he was born and we have been doing simple but fun stuff ever since.
I always have:
-colored construction paper
-non-toxic tempera paint
-a variety of brushes to experiment with
-non-toxic crayola water color paint (the 8 color one is plenty)
-watercolor paper (usually I get Strathmore watercolor paper when it's on a good sale, Michaels just had it for 60% off so I got a big pad for $4. I also cut the paper in half or smaller so it fits on his highchair tray)
-Speedball block printing ink (Please note that I use the water soluble type, but I do NOT think it is marked as non-toxic. I do help with every project that we do with the ink and we thoroughly wash hands/feet immediately after we are finished.)
-a pad of bristol board (also always purchased on sale).
Owen also has his own sketch books (these are legitimate spiral bound sketch books, not coloring books.) that he draws in every day. All together I spent less than $30 on these items and the only things I buy more of every few months are the papers.
Here is a photo of our supplies.
1 can of tomato paste
1 can of diced tomatoes (I can and freeze fresh tomatoes but due to a lack of space we never have enough to last us how often we eat spaghetti so any store brand will also be just fine)
2 tomato paste cans of water
About 2 teaspoons of olive oil
A dash of salt and pepper
Fresh garlic if you have it, otherwise some garlic powder will do
About 2 teaspoons of Italian seasoning
A pinch of thyme
Put it all in a pan, and cook on low heat stirring occasionally. I like to cook my sauce for at least an hour, but really as soon as all the ingredients are combined and the sauce is hot, you can eat it. You can also add anything to this sauce, I like to add frozen spinach, leftover ground turkey, sliced and lightly sautéed bell peppers or mushrooms or both! Including the pasta this costs about $1.00 per person depending on your add ins.
We also like to make home made bread to have with spaghetti. It can be really easy and some recipes only use flour, water, yeast, and salt.
Saturday, March 8, 2014
I have been making a one pot, baked rice and chicken dish that we are loving. You can easily make different variations to mix it up and change the flavor profile. It also doesn't create a ton of dirty dishes so it saves us time on that front too. We also do not eat huge portions, so while this may be enough food for us, it is not a normal American sized meal.
Here's the basic how to:
1. In an oven safe dish with an oven safe lid I put about a tablespoon of olive oil. I add a cup of brown rice and stir it up. *Please note: the cook time for white rice is much less and your chicken will not be cooked through or your white rice will burn if you put the chicken and the rice in the same dish. Use brown rice...it's delicious and will cook properly with the chicken.
2. In the microwave I heat two cups of water, sometimes I add a bouillon cube, sometimes I don't.
3. Pour the hot water over the rice, I add either some soy sauce or teriyaki or balsamic (pretty much anything you would normally add to rice), and some seasonings to accompany whatever is in it. Stir it up again.
4. Put one large chicken breast in the center of the water, it can be thawed or frozen (for frozen it will just take a bit longer to cook as the frozen chicken cools down the water you heated up in step 2.). I drizzle a little olive oil (and/or more sauce from step 3) over the chicken and add some seasoning.
5. Cover and cook at 350 for 1 hour for thawed chicken or 1.5 hours for frozen chicken.
6. When there are about 15-20 minutes left of cook time, I add some frozen veggies around the chicken, and usually drizzle on a little olive oil. If I have fresh veggies I want to use I usually add then with about 40-45 minutes of cook time remaining.
7. When the rice has absorbed all or most of the liquid, it's done. Plate and enjoy.
Total prep time: 10 minutes
Total cook time: 1-1.5 hours
Serves two adults (and one toddler) at a cost of about $1.00 per person.
Friday, March 7, 2014
At the end of each month I sit down with a calendar, I use an old frame with a white piece of paper in it that is divided into the days of the month and I use dry erase markers to fill it in. I fill in the whole month of dinners. Yes I know what I'm making for an entire month. And yes I love it. We have a couple of standards that we have each week. We instituted spaghetti madness on every tuesday, and my almost two year old toddler can make it (almost) completely on his own (can openers are hard though). Spaghetti is cheap to make and delicious, I make the whole meal for less than $1.00 per person. It doesn't always have meatballs with it, but we do different variations with veggies or leftover ground turkey in the sauce, home made bread, and sometimes we do have turkey meatballs (also home made). We make chicken and rice with a veggie every week. We love rice. Rice is cheap. We could probably eat rice for every meal if we had to because rice is so easy to make in a lot of different ways.
Once I get the whole month of meals laid out, I make a list of everything I need to make all of the meals and list specifically how many of each item I need. I do all of the grocery shopping in one day. Usually I have to make a few small trips for things like milk, fruit, and bread, but everything else I buy enough for the month and either freeze it or store it in air tight containers. My big trip usually costs about $120 (at either walmart or target and a local grocery store) and then from there I spend about $20 a week on milk (Owen drinks a lot of soy milk), eggs, bread, and fresh fruit and veggies. I usually get our fruits and veggies at our local farmers markets.
In a typical month, in addition to the meals mentioned above, we will have things like lasagna, shepherds pie, salads with chicken breasts, southwestern stew, pulled chicken BBQ, empanadas, stir fry, tacos, shrimp Alfredo, chicken pot pie, turkey burgers, salmon, and beans with rice and chicken apple sausage. As I said, we eat good food via this method and a decent variety.