Thursday, February 28, 2013

Getting Ready for Spring

For the last few years I've started a veggie garden using a method I found in Organic Gardening magazine. Our start of growing season here in the Charlotte area is around February 15th so I'm already behind schedule, but the date always creeps up quickly and I end up planting in March every year.

I needed to get the soil turned over first so made that yesterday's project. Bryan of course wanted to "help" so we enlisted the assistance of Tonka and gang. Ethan said he'd help by taking a nap.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Busy Life, Great Times

Well here we are another 8 months since I've posted anything- but it has been a good busy 8 months. We had our new baby boy born in September and so I've been all about babies lately. With so much to squeeze into a day we have even taken to dinner while soaking in the tub. The soaking helps the allergy rash issues both my boys have suffered with and yet trying to squeeze a nursing session dinner session and two baths and bedtimes is challenging if I don't get started by 530. So we learned to consolidate on nights where we get a late start. At least Bryan finds it fun to eat in the tub, and Ethan goes with the flow like with everything else.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Saturday Night Dining Out

Eating is such a big part of the day with the young'uns as I have found.  I think my kitchen is only clean from 9 at night till 7 in the morning and the rest of the day it's in a perpetual state of progress. Dirty dishes waiting to be loaded into the dishwasher, out of the dishwasher, dishes to be handwashed and counters to wipe down, food to put away. Since we seem to have 6 meals a day, it never is all done at once. 

So last night we took dinner out of the kitchen and decided to make it a fun event somewhere else. With "Else" being at the park at the Blakeney shopping center. They have bands come in over the weekend in the evenings and people flock from all around with picnic blankets, food and games. And if you don't want to bring your own food? Don't worry, there are plenty of restaurants around the green to accomodate the luxury picnic. 

Bryan just learned to dance last week, so he was groovin and eating and thouroughly enjoying his Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich with a side of broccoli, carrots and pineapple.

I have to pat myself on the back because other than forgetting the picnic blanket in the hallway, I brought everything, including water shoes, clothes to get wet in, a bedtime diaper, a pair of pajamas to change into afterwards and bedtime cup of milk for the drive home.

This water jet play area at the park is ingenious and keeps the kids really entertained.  Here I am explaining the procedure to Bryan:

 He watches the other kids for a minute... "Oh I see what you do."
"You catch it like this."

"Oh, Man! It was a facer!" 
"Where did it go?"
We all had a great time getting out of the kitchen on a Saturday night. Maybe we should do this more often!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Guacamole on the Half Shell

Bryan and I came up with this brilliant way to have fresh guacamole. He likes this recipe because he can have it more often and I like it because it's fast, easy, is a single serving, uses no bowls, fewer ingredients and it's almost just as good as the full recipe.  I don't normally make guacamole dip often because 1) it goes brown if you don't eat it immediately 2) I don't like the flavor of lemon or lime that can be added to preserve it longer 3) I don't have a crowd over very often to justify making it because of reason #1. So this is what you can do in 30 seconds with one avocado, some salt, pepper, garlic powder and cumin:

1) Cut the avocado in half. If you only want a small portion, save the half with the pit in it covered with saran wrap and place in the fridge.  Since Bryan and I both indulge, we use both halves. 

2) Season the half with salt, pepper, garlic powder and cumin

 3) Add some more if you think it needs it

4) Mash with a fork in the shell until seasoning is well mixed
5) Dip in your chips and enjoy!

After Guacamole on the Half Shell, take a siesta and then play hard! In our case, today we washed the car to get ready to go to the Honda Dealer. We are interested in trading it in for a bigger car for upcoming Baby #2... shock! Yes! I know, it's been forever since I've posted anything, but mainly because of lack of energy. Bryan and pregnancy have zapped me and blogging has seemed to strenuous...hahaha. Soo we are having another baby in September.

I have always thought a small car is better. Better for the environment, better on the gas mileage, etc., but I never travel light and am feeling the effects of tight quarters. Paul has to ride in the back seat with Bryan because the car seat leaves no leg room in the front of the Civic. Let's not even try to describe how hard it is to go camping in the Civic. So sadly, we are probably going to trade it in, maybe this weekend.

After car washing I introduced Bryan to the joys of a sand box, by dumping a bag of play sand into his blow up pool. What a hit that was!  He was hesitant at first..

 ...but he caught on real fast. Before we knew it sand was flying ...

... and in the mouth. Uh-oh. That's when we called it a day, rinsed out the mouth and had some milk.

Friday, November 25, 2011

A Visit from Nana and Grandpa

October and November have been busy with lots of action, travel and visiting galore! Some naps were required though, even during all that. I, Bryan, did not like my naps to start with, when Nana and Grandpa arrived, but I got used to having to take them if I was going to be any good at having fun.. and there was lots of fun to be had!

Nana and Grandpa came out to take care of me while Mommy did her field work season. We went to Greenville, NC and also to Charleston, SC. Grandpa took me all over the hotel grounds in my red car while Nana showered and geared up for my entertainment.
Sometimes we went in the stroller too, and he let me wear his fuzzy hat!

Then there was lots of goofy playing with Nana..
Nana and Grandpa also introduced me to the thrills of riding the coin rides at the mall!But at the end of each day, I got to see my Mommy and get some more spoiling!

And of course it was always great to see Daddy at the end of the week!
I also had my first birthday party to squeeze in there. I had a knight's party... but I was the only knight other than Daddy!

Mainly all the fair maidens came to my party, so that was good too.

There was so much that we did! No room to write the whole story, but we did have a great time!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Pampered Chef in October

Not too many of you may know this but I am doing a few side "jobs" to subsidize my income now that I'm only geology-ing two days a week (and field work only twice a year now, as opposed to three weeks out of every four). I started a custom embroidery business called Teague's Embroidery with a website in progress specializing in children's embroidery called My other very fun part-time job is being a Pampered Chef consultant. It made sense for me because half of my kitchen is Pampered Chef, I love to cook/bake (although my baking stinks), and I very much miss waitressing and taking care of "my regulars".

So pardon my occassional bit of advertising that I'll write in blue in case you want to skip! This month is a very good deal for those of you, like me, that enjoy the stoneware from Pampered Chef. Stoneware is what got me hooked to begin with way back when I was 18 or 20, or whenever it was I decided I liked the kitchen and bought my first piece of stoneware. This fall they released a limited-time taupe glazed stoneware collection that is beautifully neutral and will go with any kitchen decor in my opinion. I ordered the deep dish pie plate and covered baker for myself.

If you are interested in earning some free product plus the host special of 60% off of stoneware items, plus discounted items and a 10% discount for a whole year after the show, please consider hosting a cooking show! If you live in Charlotte, I will bring my gear and do a cooking show for you and friends, neighbors, co-workers, family... etc. If you don't live nearby, you can host a catalogue show which is basically rounding up orders from anyone you know. Contact me for details at

I am hoping to get to making that zucchini bread today, maybe pulling out my tomato plants for composting and enjoying the beautiful weather here in Charlotte. Have a good day, people!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Zucchini Bread Revisited

Over the past few weeks, I have received 3 zucchini bread recipes from helpful readers and I am so excited to try them out! The ingredients are all similar, but with varying amounts of spices added. Since I am a spice person, I am posting below the recipe sent from Liz in Vermont which includes all the fun fall spices, with a blending of Colin's recipe from England of added walnuts and honey substitution for the sugar:

Liz's Zucchini Bread with Colin's advice:

3 cups of flour
3 cups of shredded zucchini
1.5 cups of honey
1 cup of oil (I use grapeseed oil for everything, but canola or veggie oil should work too)
3 eggs
1.5 tsp. of salt
1 tsp. of baking soda
1 tsp. of baking powder
2 tsp. of cinnamon
0.5 tsp. of cloves
0.5 tsp. of nutmeg
4 tsp. of vanilla
1 cup of chopped walnuts

Liz says to go on and throw everything in together and mix well with an electric mixer. She also suggests squeezing out excess water of the fresh zucchini. Bake in 2 loves or 3 small loves at 350 degrees for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.