Shew! What a Summer!

Been a while since I’ve had time to post anything.  We’ve been softballin’ it up big time since the end of March and are finally heading into the end of our busy season. Both girls should be finished by the end of July, though I imagine they will probably pick up one or two tourneys in the fall.  They play on different teams (one is 12U and one is 10U), but they are in the same organization, which means that we are usually playing in the same tournaments, though not always at the same parks.  We all enjoy it and we love spending time with our softball family.  But I always do look forward for the slower days that come at the end of the season.

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I’ve been working on a couple crochet projects that I’m really excited about and can’t wait to finish.  I’m also continuing to plug away at exercising.  I can’t tell you how much exercise and a healthy diet have changed my life.  I am 39 years old and haven’t felt so good since my teen years.  Even in my 20′s, I never had as much energy and just general wellness.  So on that note, I want to share a website I recently stumbled upon.  Skinnytaste has tons of awesome recipes.  We just tried the Santa Fe Chicken last night and I served it with brown rice.  It was a big hit.  I think I may just serve it in lettuce wraps next time I make it, as it was very filling.

I went to an informational meeting the other night for parents of incoming 7th graders and it didn’t really hit me until I got there that I have a 7th grader!  I can’t believe how fast the years fly by.  She’s growing up so fast!

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She asks me almost weekly now what she should choose for a career.  She’s throwing around the idea of interior design or a therapist right now. :)  Although when I told her she might have to live in a big city to be successful at interior design, she kind of balked at that one.  I don’t think she wants to get too far from home.  Of course, that may change later.  I think she also is thinking about some sort of sports therapist, which I think would be a fabulous choice for her, but whatever she wants.  I know this, she is super smart, witty, hilarious and talented, I know she will be good at whatever she decides. <3

Microwave Cleaner

I guess everyone probably knows this already, but after reheating some baked beans in the microwave this weekend, and forgetting to cover the bowl, resulting in a bean explosion, I thought I’d share this awesome tip on how to clean the microwave easily.

And this works on stuff that has been baked and caked on for decades too. You will be amazed at how easily everything comes off.

Not that any of us ever allow that to happen. Heh heh…

 

MICROWAVE CLEANER

1 C. vinegar in a bowl

Microwave for 5 mins.

Let sit 1 min.

Wipe out with damp cloth

 

Home Alone on a Rainy Saturday <3

Brian’s at work, Katie’s on a field trip, Hannah spent the night with a friend last night and I’m home alone with the dogs listening to the rain.  It has been SO long since this has happened.  Coffee is going down and I’ve got the thunder for background music.  I love this day and just wanted to take a minute to recognize it.  :)

This is Sugar Dog.  She’s a storm lover, just like her mama.

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Bert & Ben’s Sweet & Sour Green Beans

By far, one of the best, and most favorite, gifts I have ever received is my Aunt Bee’s Mayberry Cookbook.  I’ve found some really delicious recipes here and the book is loaded with pictures and funny stories/scenes from my all-time favorite show.

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We are gearing up for softball season now, so that means we will have quite a few nights where I need to find a quick and easy solution for supper.  Menu planning at my house is at least an hour and a half job.  I love to cook and I don’t like eating the same things every week, so I put a lot of thought into each meal and try to keep a lot of variety. I try to keep us in 80/20 range on the healthy vs. not so healthy meal range.  You know, 80% clean meals, to keep us all healthy and 20% good ol’ stuff we love to keep us content.  Southern Fried Fitness is a great blog that posts recipes for each of those categories.

Making an appearance on the menu this week will be BLT’s with my favorite Mac & Cheese recipe from another beloved book, Autumn From The Heart Of The Home by Susan Branch.  And from the Mayberry Cookbook, I’ll be trying out Bert & Ben’s Sweet & Sour Green Beans.  Sounds yummy, hope it turns out that way.  I usually just make P-Dub’s green beans because they are so delicious and a huge hit around here, but I also want to try new stuff as much as possible.

So, this is what Bert & Ben’s Sweet and Sour Green Beans looks like:

2 cans green beans (I’ll be using fresh)
4 strips bacon (we like Simple Truth brand)
1 large onion, chopped
2 teaspoons sea salt (I’ll be using kosher)
1/2 teaspoon pepper
4 T. sugar (will probably use Stevia even though this is technically a “20% meal”)
1/2 C. cider Vinegar
2 T. flour (all I have is whole wheat)*Original recipe calls for the liquid from one can of green beans, I will just use chicken broth in place of that.

Fry bacon til crisp, reserve drippings.  Crumble bacon.
Saute onion in bacon drippings. Grease.  It’s bacon grease.  Calling it drippings doesn’t change what it is!  But that’s what the recipe says, so that’s what I’m calling it too. :)Stir in liquid, flour, salt, pepper, sugar and vinegar.  Bring to boil.
Add green beans and bacon.
Heat until warmed through.  (I will cover the skillet and let them cook a while since I’m using fresh instead of canned.)

And here’s the yummy Mac & cheese recipe from Susan Branch’s Autumn book.

Product Details

10 oz. elbow macaroni (I’m using whole grain rotini because that’s what I have in my pantry)
2 eggs
1 T. dry mustard
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
2 C. half & half
1 lb. sharp cheddar, grated

Preheat oven to 375.  Cook and drain macaroni.
In large bowl, lightly beat eggs, salt, pepper and mustard.
Stir in half & half, then cheese, then macaroni.
Pour into buttered 2 qt. casserole. Bake 25 min.
Put under broiler 1 min to brown and crisp the top.

Windy

http://klutzymama.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/159d2-blusteryday.png?w=600Wow….what a difference between yesterday and today.  We had sunshine & close to 70 degrees yesterday.  Today is rainy, dark, cold and the wind is wild!  A couple of months ago we had this crazy winter storm with super high winds.  One of the girls had forgotten to close the screen door all the way and in the middle of the night we heard this huge BANG!  It was the screen door hitting the house.  Now that door is all jacked up so that when the wind starts blowing hard, it gets in between the door and the frame and makes a perfectly creepy sound, which I am loving today.

They say winter isn’t over yet and I know this is true, but these 50 and 60-degree days that are sneaking in here and there mean that Spring isn’t too far away. Yes!

So, I’m thinking that today is a perfect kind of day for some Creamy Chicken Soup for supper tonight.

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I’ll get that started here in a bit, get my weights in for the day, then tackle the mountain of laundry and maybe even read a few chapters in my current book over a cup of coffee with the wind howling in the background.  Sounds like a great day to me!

Okay….so as I was typing this the rain has turned to huge snowflakes….madness, I tell you!

Homemade Produce Wash

Chinese scientists report that eating apples extended the lifespan of ...

 

I ran out of my fruit & veggie wash today and was surprised to find that I hadn’t posted it here….what a slacker, I am.

I decided a while back that we were going to go organic completely whenever possible.  Yes, it is more expensive but the bottom line for me is this:  If I’m going to splurge on something, shouldn’t this be the area?  I mean, it’s the food we are eating every day.  Anyway, I shop at Kroger and they have a nice selection of organics, probably the best among the local grocery stores.  I can’t get everything, but I can get pretty darn close.  When I can’t get organics, I especially want to get all that crud off of my fruits and veggies, so I give them a good dousing with my spray, swish ‘em around, and even scrub them when possible.

I bought grapes the other day.  (Not organic because Kroger didn’t have them.)  I rinsed them with water, which basically does nothing.  Have you ever really looked at a grape?  They’re covered with a white powdery film.   I took one and just wiped it real good with a towel and you should have seen how shiny it was after I did that!

I think this wash does a pretty good job and definitely better than  just rinsing with water.  And way cheaper than the kind you can buy.  I’m sorry, I can’t remember where I got this recipe….I’ve been making it for years and I’ve been away from the blogging world for a while, but if I can come up with it, I’ll be sure to post a link.

Here’s the recipe:

Produce Wash

1 C. water
1 C. white vinegar
1 T. baking soda
1/2 lemon, juiced

Pour all into a large bowl or container (to allow for the chemical reaction between vinegar and baking soda).  Pour into a spray bottle, using a funnel.  Spray fruit and rinse well.  Use a scrub brush for firmer produce.

Cardio/Abs in about 40 minutes – yes, let’s kill 2 birds with one stone!

This evening I will be taking my daughters and one of their friends out to run sprints, then back home for an ab workout.  A strong core is the foundation for the rest of the body and it’s really important to establish a solid foundation.  Everything stems from the core, though I’d say it’s an area that a lot of people overlook.  Trying to strengthen other areas of the body without having a strong core often leads to injuries.

So, I will set an interval time for 5 minutes warmup (brisk walking), followed by 8 rounds of 20 seconds work (sprinting as hard as we can) with 10 seconds rest (walking) and then ending with a 5 minute cool down walk.

After that, we’ll come home and do the following ab circuit 3 times:

1 minute crunches
1 minute reverse crunches
30 seconds plank
30 seconds high plank bringing knee up to elbow and alternating left and right

After that we will die on the floor for about 5 minutes then stretch stretch stretch – feels good for those sore muscles!! :)

There I will have my cardio for the week done along with strength training for my abs.  All in under an hour, which rocks because working longer than an hour causes cortisol levels in the body to rise, which can burn your muscle tissue for energy….which totally sucks, we don’t want to undo what we are trying to do!!  So always work hard and push yourself, but keep those workouts to an hour or less.

Klutzy Mama

One hard workin' dad, an accident-prone mama, and two crazy kids!

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Twisted Fencepost

Life on the outskirts of town.

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